To keep blood glucose levels in the target range and to reduce the risk of complications, accurate doses of insulin need to be delivered to the body. Different therapies can include:
- Conventional Therapy
2 to 3 injections per day of mixed long- and short-acting insulin.
- Multiple Daily Injections (MDI)
Injecting 3 or more times per day with rapid-acting insulin and 1 to 2 times per day with long-acting insulin.
- Insulin pump (Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion)
CSII replaces the need for frequent injections by delivering rapid-acting insulin 24 hours a day. A programmed insulin rate mimics the basal insulin production by the pancreas and can be better adjusted to the body's needs. Rapid-acting insulin acts very quickly to help minimise variations in blood glucose levels in response to carbohydrate intake or, if needed, to lower high blood glucose values.
Reduce Hba1c, Reduce Complications
When you monitor your blood glucose with a fingerstick test, you measure it at the moment you perform the test. To get an even better picture of how well you're managing your diabetes, it is important to look at your average blood glucose levels over a few months.
The test used to work this out is the haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test. HbA1c is a kind of chemical 'footprint' that shows how much glucose has been in your bloodstream over the past 60 to 90 days (the average lifespan of a red blood cell). Research shows that, for people living with diabetes, an HbA1c level of ≤ 7 greatly reduces the risk of long-term complications1,2. In fact, any reduction in HbA1c is good news.
Whether you use an insulin pump or injections, it's important to have your HbA1c levels tested at least every three months by your doctor, endocrinologist or diabetes educator. That way you can get a clearer picture of how well you're doing and make the necessary treatment and lifestyle adjustments to do even better.
1. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) Research Group. The effect of intensive treatment of diabetes on the development and progression of long-term complications in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. NEJM. 1993;329(14):977-986.
2. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) Study Research Group. Intensive diabetes treatment and cardiovascular disease in patients with Insulin Dependant Diabetes. NEJM. 2005;353(25):2643-2653.