Care Program Overview
Welcome to Glooko’s Type 2 Diabetes: New to Long-Acting Insulin care program. Your care team assigned this care program to you so that you can have easy access to educational resources relating to starting on Long-Acting Insulin (LAI) and best practices for using Glooko to help with starting on LAI.
Let's learn about:
- How to use Glooko
- What is insulin?
- Frequently Asked Questions about Insulin
- How and when should I take my Long-Acting Insulin (LAI)?
- What kinds of Long-Acting Insulin (LAI) are there and which should I use?
- Healthy Eating
- Does exercise impact blood sugars?
- Have Questions or Need Help?
- Useful resources
How to use Glooko
Glooko is a digital health solution that helps people with diabetes centralize their diabetes data, gain insights from their data, and share their data with their care team. Your care team already uses Glooko to help provide you diabetes care and is inviting you to use Glooko at home.
Below is a quick start checklist on how Glooko can be used for managing your start on Long Acting Insulin. Glooko has lots of functionality - this is just a start!
- Sync your blood glucose meter with Glooko. Learn how by clicking ‘Sync’ and then ‘New Device’ within the Glooko mobile app or use this online guide.
- Set up a daily reminder for taking your insulin. How to set up reminders.
- Set up a reminder to download your blood glucose meter at least once per week by setting up a custom reminder.
- Connect your activity data from Apple Health, Fitbit or other apps. Learn how.
Review your data weekly on the Glooko app or Glooko website. Your care team will be able to remotely monitor and review your data as well. If you have questions or need clinical advice, please call your care team.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to absorb sugar into your bloodstream. Insulin is naturally created by the beta cells of your pancreas. Each time you eat, the pancreas releases insulin into the body to make sure that the sugars within the food get absorbed from your bloodstream into your cells.
For a person living with Type 2 diabetes, their pancreas continues to create insulin but this naturally produced insulin is not adequately effective in helping the body use the sugar in the bloodstream as fuel. This is different than in Type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas doesn’t have the ability to create enough insulin (ADA reference).
People with Type 2 diabetes are often prescribed insulin to help the body properly absorb sugar from their bloodstream. The rest of this guide offers resources that can help you with starting and managing your insulin therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions about Insulin
- Can I take insulin as a pill versus as an injection?
Insulin can’t be taken in pill form. If insulin was taken as a pill it would be digested as a food and would not enter your bloodstream, which is where it needs to be in order to help sugar enter your cells. Delivering insulin by injection is what allows cells to process sugar as fuel (ADCES reference).
- Does taking insulin mean I’m not managing my diabetes well?
No, it doesn’t. Taking insulin is very common for those living with Type 2 diabetes, especially for people who have had diabetes for a long time. Using insulin offers an opportunity to live a healthier life. The best way to determine how you’re managing your diabetes is by talking to your care team (ADCES reference).
- Once I start using insulin, do I need to use insulin forever?
Not necessarily. Using insulin can help improve your management of Type 2 diabetes. People with Type 2 diabetes who also focus on healthy lifestyle habits can sometimes stop using insulin. Talk with your care team to learn more (ADCES reference).
How and when should I take my Long-Acting Insulin (LAI)?
You should work with your care team to determine the right LAI schedule for you. In general, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:
- Take LAI around the same time every day
LAI is most effective when taken on a routine schedule. One common approach is to take insulin just before dinner or before bed. Work with your care team to determine the best schedule for you (ADCES reference).
- Create a plan with your care team about where to inject LAI
Having a plan about where to inject LAI can help you obtain consistent results. The abdomen and upper arms are common insulin injection locations. Rotation of LAI injection sites is important to avoid lumps and bumps in the skin that could impair your body’s ability to absorb insulin. Consult with your care team to determine the best location for you (ADCES reference).
- Inject LAI at room temperature
Some people find injecting cold insulin to be painful compared to injecting room temperature insulin. In addition, when insulin is cold air bubbles can sometimes form in the insulin pen or syringe. These air bubbles can be challenging to remove (ADCES reference).
Glooko Pro Tip: Use Glooko’s reminders feature to receive reminders on your phone for when to take your insulin on a daily basis. Reminders Guide.
What kinds of Long-Acting Insulin (LAI) are there and which should I use?
There are several different LAI products currently available in the USA:
- Insulin glargine (Lantus): lasts up to 24 hours.
- Insulin detemir (Levemir): lasts 18 to 23 hours.
- Insulin glargine (Toujeo): lasts more than 24 hours.
- insulin degludec (Tresiba): lasts up to 42 hours.
- Insulin glargine (Basaglar): lasts up to 24 hours.
The most important consideration for which insulin to choose is to determine which insulin helps you best control your blood sugar. You should consult with your care team to make this decision. Also talk to your care team if you have specific questions about the insulin you have already been prescribed.
Glooko Pro Tip: Glooko allows you to record which insulin you use and keep track of your injections. Each time you take your insulin, you can log that you’ve taken your dose and this information will be available to your care team. If you set a reminder to take your insulin, when you confirm that you’ve taken that insulin by responding to the reminder, an insulin record will be automatically saved to your account. Medication Guide.
One of the most important parts of managing type 2 diabetes is a healthy diet. What you eat, and especially carbohydrates, can affect your blood sugar tremendously. Eating a balanced diet will help you keep your blood sugar levels within the recommended range. Your care team will work with you to determine the best personalized meal plan for your success. For example, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends:
- eating a variety of foods that include fruits and vegetables
- watching your portions
- and keeping your fat intake to less than 30% of daily calories
Glooko Pro Tip: You can keep track of your meals and carbs by logging everything you eat in the Glooko app. As you do, you will find out how each of your meals and snacks affects your blood sugar levels. At the same time, your care team will be able to view your foods remotely and help keep track of your diet goals. Glooko’s mobile app allows you to track your food by using voice-enabled food add, barcode scanning, or by manually entering the data.
Does exercise impact blood sugars?
Staying active can help you reach and maintain your recommended blood sugar levels. For example, taking a 15 to 20-minute walk can lower your blood sugar by 20 to 40 mg/dL (AADE reference). Your care team will help determine the right amount of exercise for your goals and based on your fitness level.
Glooko Pro Tip: You can sync your activity to Glooko from Apple Health, Fitbit or other apps. This information will be combined with your blood sugar readings and can help you see how activity impacts your diabetes. Learn how.
Have Questions or Need Help?
Contact your care team if you have questions about:
- Your blood sugar numbers -- for example, if they are low or consistently high
- If you aren’t feeling well
- If you aren’t sure how to take your medicine
- What you should eat
- How often you should exercise
- How to sync your diabetes device
- Errors syncing your diabetes device(s)
- Questions about how to use Glooko to track food, exercise, medication, or notes
- Issues with your Glooko reminders
Useful Clinical Resources:
- American Diabetes Association (ADA): Insulin Basics, Insulin Routines, Financial Aid for Insulin
- Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES): Understanding Insulin, Learning How to Inject Insulin, Pro Tips (and Tricks) for Easier and Better Insulin Injections