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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Starting insulin

If you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, you'll need to start taking insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, you may need insulin now or in the future.

When you start insulin, your general practice team will set up an appointment or series of appointments for you with your doctor, your practice nurse, or the diabetes nurse specialist.

These appointments will cover:

After these appointments, your GP, your practice nurse, or the diabetes nurse specialist will regularly check (often by phone) how you are going and adjust your insulin if necessary, to get the best blood glucose control. They will also encourage you to have regular check-ups.

Changing your dose

The amount of insulin you need to control your blood sugar readings can change from time to time. You should adjust your dose when your blood sugar readings are regularly outside your target range. Talk to the diabetes nurse specialist, your GP, or practice nurse about what the new dose should be.

Try the new dose of insulin for three to four days before making any further adjustments. Changing the amount of carbohydrates you eat, or your physical activity levels, will also affect your blood sugar levels.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Storing & handling insulin

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by Diabetes Centre, Christchurch Hospital. Last reviewed May 2016.

See also:

Diabetes equipment

How to inject insulin

Storing and handling insulin


Page reference: 268467

Review key: HIDTO-44405