When your body doesn't produce enough insulin, or it can't effectively use the insulin it does produce, your doctor may prescribe a treatment of insulin therapy so you can get the insulin you need from injections.
All people with type 1 diabetes, many people with type 2 diabetes, and some women with gestational diabetes need to inject themselves with insulin one or more times every day.
A therapy regimen is the insulin injection plan that you follow to control the blood sugar levels in your body; it includes the types of insulin you take, when you take them and how much you take. Most regimens fall into one of these three groups:
In conventional insulin therapy, you take one to three fixed doses of insulin every day. Because your doses are the same each day, you have to eat approximately the same amount of food at the same time each day, as well as maintain the same level of activity every day, in order to match your insulin dose. Your doctor may modify your insulin dose based on the results of your blood glucose measurements, how you're feeling, and major events occurring in your life - such as change in your job shift, weight loss or gain, illness, or travel across multiple time zones.
In flexible insulin therapy, you generally take three or more injections per day and test your blood sugar levels often throughout the day. Your insulin dose depends on a combination of your blood sugar readings, what you plan to eat, and how much exercise you plan to do, along with guidelines from your doctor.
In combination therapy, you control type 2 diabetes with both insulin and pills. The insulin is usually taken at night to limit the liver's production of glucose. The pills work during the day to keep your blood sugars down.
It's important to remember that there are a wide variety of excellent therapy regimens. The definitions of conventional and intensive therapies are not hard and fast, and the regimen that your doctor prescribes may not fit exactly into the categories you see here.