Go Search

Taking Insulin

Learning you may need to start taking insulin could be difficult to accept at first. You may ask "Why do I need it?" Diabetes can change over time. If it changes, it usually takes more than one approach to get the best results: healthy diet, exercise, pills, and now insulin.

Facts About Taking Insulin

If you're starting insulin, here are some facts that are good to know:

  • Many people with type 2 diabetes may need to take insulin at some point—you are not alone
  • You need to take insulin if you can't reach the blood sugar (glucose) targets recommended by your healthcare provider without it
  • Some people fear taking insulin because they think the shots will be painful. However, many people who are taking insulin say their worries about injections were worse than the shots themselves. It may be helpful to know that the needles used for insulin injections are short and thin

Taking Insulin Now May Help Reduce The Risk of Diabetes Complications Later

If you don't think you should be starting insulin, even though your healthcare provider has suggested it, you should know that you may feel fine right now, but high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) may put blood vessels throughout your body at risk and cause complications.

Concerns About Taking Insulin

If you have questions or concerns about starting insulin, it's important to discuss them with your doctor or diabetes educator. Here are some of the most common questions people may have about starting insulin:

  • Does taking insulin mean I've failed?
  • Do injections (shots) hurt?
  • Does taking insulin mean I'm sicker?
  • Will I gain weight?
  • How will I learn to give myself an injection?
  • Will I have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)?
  • Will I have to change jobs or give up my hobbies?
  • Will taking insulin be complicated?
Knowledge is Power

Learn about diabetes to understand why it's important to manage your blood sugar every day.

Aim for Your Blood Sugar Target

Learn about blood sugar goals and targets to help reduce your risk of diabetes complications.

Mealtime Steps to Success

Help keep blood sugar levels in range with healthy recipes.

Lilly and Disney help families find the magic in everyday moments

Learn how the Lilly and Disney collaboration helps children with type 1 diabetes, their families, and caregivers manage diabetes in their everyday lives.

Diabetes tools you can use

Download diabetes educational materials and meal planning tools.

Count carbs at home or on-the-go

Use the Carb Counting tool to add up your carbs at every snack or meal.

Recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?

Learn about treatment options for type 2 diabetes, including medications, eating well, and staying active.

Walking toward wellness

Learn why staying active is important in managing diabetes.

Taking care of #1

It's important to take the best care of your body now to help reduce diabetes complications in the future. Learn why.

Different insulins for different needs

Various insulins are available to help manage blood sugar levels. Learn about the different types of insulin available.

Multicultural diabetes materials

Access diabetes awareness resources in 38 different languages.