The history of insulin

The discovery of insulin in 1921 was a major breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes. Today, millions of people around the world are using insulin. Many people have been treating their diabetes with insulin for decades.

Moving to insulin

You may already be doing things that are helpful for controlling your blood sugar, like eating nutritious meals and staying active.

But, like many people with type 2 diabetes, you may also need to take insulin at some point to keep your blood sugar in your target range. Remember, diabetes can change over time and so can your treatment needs.

Levemir® long-acting insulin

You may have heard that common side effects of insulin, including Levemir®, include low blood sugar (or hypoglycemia) and weight gain.

Insulin helps lower blood sugar by moving sugar out of the bloodstream and into the cells where the sugar can be used for energy. If too much sugar moves out of the blood, low blood sugar can occur.

In studies, people who were treated with Levemir® had a low rate of low blood sugar events. In addition, studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes taking Levemir® can reach their A1C and daily blood sugar goals with less weight gain than Lantus®, a different long-acting insulin.

The weight benefits of Levemir® when used alone or with other medicines have not been established. The actual weight effects of Levemir® and these other medicines are not known.

Learn more about Levemir®

Talk to your health care provider about taking insulin

Having a good relationship with your health care provider is very important. Your health care provider is your partner in diabetes care. He or she can help you manage your diabetes so you can stay as healthy as possible.

Your diabetes is not like anyone else’s. And your treatment should fit your needs.

At your next appointment, consider talking with your diabetes care team about your diabetes treatment and whether taking insulin is right for you. Your health care provider wants to find a treatment plan that helps get your blood sugar to target levels and works for you.

When you talk to your diabetes care team, be sure to discuss:

  • Your blood sugar goal. Find out what blood sugar you should be trying to reach
  • Your daily schedule. Decide the best times to be taking insulin, testing your blood sugar, and exercising

Our Diabetes & Insulin Doctor Discussion Guide can help you start a conversation with your health care provider about your diabetes treatment options and whether taking insulin may be right for you.

View a printable PDF of the questions

Working with a diabetes educator

A diabetes educator can be a nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, social worker, or other health care provider. Many diabetes educators have also earned the certified diabetes educator (CDE) credential. Diabetes educators help people develop the skills to successfully manage their diabetes by teaching diabetes-friendly lifestyles and behaviors.

To locate a diabetes educator near you, you can visit the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) website and use their Find a Diabetes Educator tool.