If Vicki Taniwaki eats three meals in a day, she will have “stuck” herself with insulin at least five times by the time she goes to bed at night.
Taniwaki has been diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. She must take two basal injections, or background insulin, and three bolus injections, an insulin to control her glucose levels after meals, every single day of her life.
But, as normal as this routine has become for Taniwaki, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in August 2007, she said there is certainly room for error with all those sticks and pricks.
“Anything you do that much becomes routine, but the opportunity to screw it up also goes up as you become more lax and comfortable with it,” said 50-year-old Taniwaki.
When Taniwaki heard about a study that found the background shot of insulin could be lowered from one or two times a day to three times a week, she said it could be a positive change to her day.
“Anything that would diminish or curtail that maintenance routine would be good,” said Taniwaki. “Some people could argue that then you would have to worry about trying to remember when you did that background injection, but if I could do roughly half of what I’m doing now I would be very happy.”
While the new type of insulin is not available on the market right now, Taniwaki could be cutting back on stick and pricks in the future.
A new study, published in the Lancet, found that a longer acting form of insulin, known as degludec, is just as effective as the existing long-lasting insulin, glargine.
One injection of glargine lasts 18 to 26 hours, but study participants who used degludec had the same amount of blood sugar control as glargine while only getting injected three times a week instead of daily.