Wellness iNPractice Diabetes

Starting Insulin: Managing Expectations and Addressing Fears

Because of the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes, most patients will eventually need insulin therapy, even those who have adhered to treatment protocols and maintained adequate glycemic control.1 Throughout the course of diabetes management and diabetes self-management education (DSME), you should remind patients that diabetes is a progressive disease and that insulin is a common therapy for many patients with type 2 diabetes.

Some healthcare providers may delay intensification of diabetes therapy, including but not limited to starting insulin, which can lead to poor glycemic control.2 Many patients may have significant concerns when faced with the prospect of starting insulin therapy, including fear of hypoglycemia, weight gain, and an increased need for self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG).2

This presentation, “Starting Insulin: Managing Expectations and Addressing Fears,” is designed to help you educate patients on how to administer insulin and discuss some of the challenges that your patients may encounter while on insulin therapy. You can review this presentation with both English and Spanish-speaking patients during their clinic visit, and use the accompanying tool, My Insulin, to provide patients with individualized information about their insulin prescription.

Topics covered in this presentation include the normal physiological role of blood glucose and insulin; types of insulin; how insulin is administered and titrated; causes, symptoms, and treatment for hypoglycemia; and the specific dose and schedule of insulin therapy.

You can demonstrate the technique of insulin administration during the visit. The Presentation Guide indicates places within the presentation where you can pause the presentation to answer any questions that patients may have and confirm that patients understand the new information being delivered. There are links within the presentation to other Wellness iNPractice Diabetes tools, including My Insulin and the Blood Sugar Diary.You can also share this video, “How Insulin Works,” with your patients and use these cards to help explain how insulin works. These cards are also available in Spanish