Separating Myths from Facts About Insulin Therapy for Diabetes

Insulin Therapy
Image Source: Unsplash

For many diabetics, insulin is essential in controlling their blood glucose levels. However, there are some myths associated with insulin that may not be true. Patients should avoid these potential risks to get the treatment they need. Doctors and scientist have stated that some of these myths about insulin therapy can lead to patients not having the best understanding about whether or not treatment is effective for them. Insulin therapy is a lifesaving treatment for diabetes, yet there are a lot of misconceptions about the side effects and how to avoid them. This article provides some facts to help clear them up.

Common myths and facts about insulin therapy


Myth 1: Insulin therapy doesn’t work

Fact: The myth about insulin comes from the people who don’t adhere to its correct use and timing. A diabetologist would be the best person to know more about insulin therapy. It is also effective at lowering blood glucose levels. Synthetic insulin is very similar to the one your body makes on its own. This means that it works just as well, with no real difference in effectiveness between the two types of medicine.


Myth 2: Insulin therapy causes weight gain

Fact: This might not be a myth, but it is true that some people with type 2 diabetes get heavier after they start taking insulin. This might not imply that using insulin makes them gain weight, though. Insulin makes the body more efficient at processing blood glucose, which can lead to weight gain. However, often this is temporary and tends to level out over time.


Myth 3: Insulin therapy is addictive

Fact: You cannot become addicted to insulin, as it is not an addictive substance. Insulin is a hormone that the body needs for various biological functions, such as controlling blood glucose. The pancreas produces insulin in healthy people as needed. People with diabetes require insulin therapy to maintain their pre-determined levels of the hormone. Continuing to inject the hormone multiple times a day has not caused one to become addicted to it.


Myth 4: Insulin injections can hurt

Fact: Some people believe that injections of insulin are painful, but they are actually relatively painless. This misconception has been circulating for some time now and is slowly fading away. In fact, the practice of insulin injection is often far less painful than the traditional finger prick test used to measure blood glucose levels. People with certain types of phobias or an aversion to daily syringe usage can also opt for a quick and painless injector pen that provides insulin into the body’s tissue.


Myth 5: Insulin therapy leads to hypoglycemia

Fact: It is true that insulin therapy can significantly lower blood glucose levels. Currently, this treatment is the best way to cure those with type 1 diabetes since an episode of very low blood glucose level (hypoglycemia) may cause a loss of consciousness. This lack of incidence is due to the introduction of better long-acting insulins, which can be taken by individuals as per the physician’s recommended dosage.

Type 2 diabetes has a lower risk of hypoglycemia than type 1 diabetes. However, people with hypoglycemia should be aware of some symptoms like anxiety, shaking hands and sweating. Eating small amounts of sugar can help bring the blood glucose back up again.


Myth 6: Insulin therapy can cause life-threatening complications

Fact: Again, this is not true. Diabetes can cause lot of complications. However, at the end of the day, they are just a part of living with diabetes and don’t have to be deal with or delayed because of other complications. There are many complications that arise (and these often lead to) diabetes, and many people don’t take the necessary steps to treat it. This can be due to disregard for medical advice, or because of delays in care. Insulin therapy, along with an active lifestyle and a healthy diet are the best ways to prevent these complications.


Myth 7: Insulin prescription means one has failed in managing blood glucose levels

Fact: Type 2 Diabetes is a progressive metabolic disease. Over time, the pancreas becomes unable to make enough insulin to keep up with insulin requirements in the body. Although doctors and other medical professionals have been able to manage blood glucose levels through a range of interventions, including exercise, diet and medications, it’s becoming more difficult for them to elicit the desired results. Insulin therapy has been proven to have provided more benefits than traditional treatment methods, and it is time to start using it. It will also keep blood glucose levels in a healthy range.


Myth 8: Insulin therapy needs multiple shots daily

Fact: Medications for diabetes are often prescribed by a physician and advised to be taken once a day. Long acting insulin shots can sometimes be prescribed depending on the patient’s unique needs. Long-acting shots are a convenient way to keep your blood glucose levels stable throughout the day. If you need to do more than that, then try multiple small doses of insulin afterwards.


Myth 9: Insulin therapy continues forever

Fact: Insulin therapy can last as long as necessary for your individual needs. Insulin is required for some people, such as during pregnancy, whereas others may need to stay on it for an indefinite period of time. Lifestyle changes are also having an important impact. People who work out regularly and make healthy lifestyle choices may no longer need insulin.



Insulin therapy is an effective treatment option for diabetics who have elevated blood glucose levels. Although therapy has been proven to have many benefits, there are a lot of misconceptions with it. If people mistakenly believe these misconceptions, it is important to show them with facts. Is it not? With the right information, people with diabetes will likely be better equipped to make and more informed decisions.