Fitting insulin at mealtimes into your life

Whether you've just been told you have to start taking insulin at mealtimes, or have been working to fit it into your life for some time, you likely have some questions or concerns.

After all, it may be hard to accept the news that your dosing regimen has changed, never mind know how to deal with it.

This article was designed to give you some basic information and emotional support to help you begin to make insulin at mealtimes work for you.

About insulin at mealtimes

You've been told you have to start taking insulin at mealtimes, but what exactly is insulin at mealtimes?

Insulin that you take at mealtimes is known as fast or rapid-acting insulin that works in a similar manner to the insulin the human body makes in response to a meal. Unlike long-acting insulin, which is usually taken once or twice a day, fast or rapid-acting insulin is typically taken multiple times a day, right before eating.

For more information about insulin at mealtimes, click here.

Your feelings

You've probably been provided with a wealth of information about the medical side of your condition. But what about your emotions or concerns? It's also important to talk about how you're feeling.

Following are some common emotions associated with taking insulin at mealtimes that you may relate to (for more on typical feelings, click here.)

Feeling Overwhelmed: You may be a little overwhelmed at the news that you have to add insulin at mealtimes to your therapy. Or maybe you're struggling to make it work for you.

Above all, give yourself time. It's a personal process. Remember to reach out to your healthcare team - your doctor, pharmacist or nurse educator will help you get used to the routine that comes with having to inject insulin multiple times a day. You may also find that it helps to educate yourself so you can play an active role in making decisions to do with your health.

Feeling Alone: It's quite common to feel somewhat alone when you're trying to fit insulin at mealtimes into your life. After all, having to inject insulin multiple times a day can affect your life in ways that not everyone understands.

However, you are not alone. It might help you to reach out to a community of people who are going through the same challenges as you are. You may want to try searching out healthcare-specific websites dedicated to fostering supportive online communities.

Feeling Guilt: The reality is that your condition is variable. And, while there are things you can do, such as healthy eating and staying active, in some cases your doctor may determine that insulin at mealtimes is necessary. So try not to be too hard on yourself.

You may find that it helps to talk to someone: a counsellor, a friend or even someone in an online community who knows what you're going through.

Feeling Ready: Perhaps you're done thinking about insulin at mealtimes and are ready to talk to your healthcare professional about getting started. Congratulations on being ready to take the next step with your insulin therapy.

For pointers and tips to help get you started, click here.

Adjusting to daily life

Some changes that come as a result of having to add insulin at mealtimes to your therapy are small and easy to make. Others can feel complex. Perhaps you're worried about knowing when to take your insulin, or how much or where to inject. Maybe you feel uncomfortable injecting at work or in a restaurant. Keeping the following resources in mind can help:

Your healthcare team: your doctor, pharmacist or nurse educator will work closely with you to help you learn when and how to inject your insulin. They'll also decide your dose, as well as when and how often to test your levels.

Lilly insulin pens: Lilly understands that incorporating insulin at mealtimes into your routine isn't always easy and has developed a range of portable, discreet, easy-to-use insulin pens that can help. You don't have to refrigerate them after first use, which means you can take them just about anywhere you go. Plus, they look like actual pens, so you can carry and inject your insulin discreetly. Lilly has also developed a website dedicated to supporting your need for insulin at mealtimes - including more information about insulin at mealtimes, emotional reassurance and a Pen Profiler Tool to help you find the right Lilly insulin pen for you. Visit it today at

© 2011 Eli Lilly and Company.  

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