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Skipping Insulin May Not Be Uncommon
Date:1/26/2010

Doctors need to be more attuned to patients' issues to stop risky practice, expert says,,,,,,

TUESDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of the people who need to take insulin to control their diabetes skip an injection now and then, a new study reports.

The researchers found that people with diabetes forgo their insulin injections for a number of reasons, including pain and embarrassment, and that their reasons vary depending on the type of diabetes they have.

"More and more people will be taking insulin, and it's really important that they learn to manage this powerful medication effectively," said the study's lead author, Mark Peyrot, a professor of sociology at Loyola University Maryland and an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, both in Baltimore.

About one-fourth of the people who have diabetes -- either type 1 or type 2 -- take insulin, according to the study, which is published in the February issue of Diabetes Care. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Without insulin, the body's cells can't use sugar to fuel muscles. Insulin can only be taken through injections or an insulin pump.

People with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, no longer produce insulin on their own and depend on insulin injections to survive. People with type 2 diabetes still have some natural insulin, but they might not have enough or they might be resistant to insulin and require more than their body can provide.

Skipping a necessary insulin dose causes blood sugar levels to rise. And, with persistent high blood sugar, a person's risk for serious complications, such as blindness and kidney failure, increases.

In their research, Peyrot and his colleagues asked 502 people with diabetes who used insulin to complete an Internet survey.

More than half of those surveyed, 57 percent, said they had intentionally missed an in
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