Prior to your appointment to start insulin, please read the following information. This will help you have the foundation knowledge required for an effective consultation and to safely commence insulin.
The short film below shows how to inject insulin. Please review prior to your appointment.
A basal-bolus insulin regime is used to mimic the body’s normal insulin production as closely as possible. It should allow you more flexibility, and eat what and when you want to, and even miss a meal if you don’t want to eat, while still keeping good control of your blood sugar level.
Glucose is a sugar carried in the bloodstream that your body uses for energy. If you have diabetes and take certain treatment, your blood glucose levels can sometimes become too low. This is called hypoglycaemia (or a “hypo”) and occurs when your blood glucose level drops below 4 mmol/L.
Diabetes and illness (sick day rules)
The advice to anyone with diabetes who is clinically unwell is to have a ketone test and in type 1 diabetes this should be a blood ketone test to determine the risk of DKA. If you test positive for ketones then call your Doctor or the Diabetes Specialist Nurses for advice straight away. In the evenings , at weekends and on bank holidays, you will need to contact your local NHS out of hours doctors service on telephone number 111 for advice. If you are vomiting and are unable to keep oral fluids down then you will need to go to the accident and emergency department at your local hospital to be seen.
Both leaflets below cover general guidance, how illness affects glucose levels, looking after yourself, what to eat and drink and when to seek help.
The type 1 diabetes leaflet includes managing your insulin and being prepared, while the type 2 diabetes publication has a section on managing your medication and, or, insulin.
You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. You may be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident as a result.
Driving and ‘hypos’
Remember to test your blood sugar level before driving and every 2 hours on a long journey. Make sure that your blood sugar is above 5 mmols/l before driving. If your blood sugar level is between 4-5 mmols/l have a small starchy snack such as a slice of toast, couple of plain biscuits, or a piece of fruit.
Don’t drive if your blood glucose is less than 4 mmols/l, and treat your ‘hypo’ immediately with quick-acting carbohydrate. If you have a ‘hypo’ whilst driving, stop the car as soon as possible. Remove the keys from the ignition and move into the passenger seat if it is safe to do so, and treat your ‘hypo’. Don’t drive for at least 45 minutes after treating and recovering from a ‘hypo’ (confirmed by measuring your blood sugar level and checking that is back up above 5 mol/l), as your driver response time in an emergency will be slower. For more information about insulin treated diabetes and driving visit the DVLA website: www.gov.uk/diabetes-driving.
Please review the following:
Patient information leaflets
Insulin specific information
Each insulin is different. Please click on the link below of the insulin you have been prescribed for information about how it works and how to take it.