Living with type 1 diabetes: Reflections on Flexibility of Insulin Dosing

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"Just because my pancreas is faulty, doesn’t mean my taste buds are," observes Paula, a Toronto Health healthcare professional living with type 1 diabetes. "Sometimes I’ll be walking down the sidewalk with no intention of straying from my normal diet only to get attacked by warm whiffs of freshly baked bread that escape from the bakery and convince me to enter."

Paula is taking a long-acting and a rapid-acting insulin. As her situation illustrates, using a rapid-acting insulin with a broad administration window can have important practical benefits. The rapid-acting insulin that Paula is taking  can be given within 15 minutes before or within 20 minutes after starting a meal.  This flexibility gives Paula greater confidence that she can inject her insulin on her own schedule rather than having her diabetes and its treatment dictating her schedule.

Paula says that this flexibility for timing the dosing around meals has helped her out on many occasions. "Like anyone else, my day can be reshuffled so that I only have the next 30 minutes to eat my lunch. Or sometimes my lunch order doesn’t come as quickly as anticipated," Paula says. "Or maybe my friends are in the area and want to go for a walk—or a dessert. Having a larger window of time to take my insulin makes it easier to go with the flow and gives me flexibility in when to inject my insulin."  Since I’m able to inject before or after a meal, I am more confident to be more spontaneous in terms of activities with my friends or family."

"Diabetes is part of my life, and I’ve made many adjustments to manage my blood sugar," Paula says. "When you get it all figured out, it becomes part of the routine. My whole life doesn’t revolve around the disease."

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