A new study suggests that more than 50% of all diabetics who must use insulin injections to manage their disease miss injections on a regular basis. Why would someone intentionally bypass the use of medication that can help them in their personal health care?
The role of insulin is especially important to those who have Type 1 diabetes because the pancreas either stops producing insulin or it is created at a less than ideal rate. There are some Type 2 diabetics that use insulin. However, in both cases there seems to be a significant number who risk long-term health complications by skipping insulin dosing.
According to WebMD, “The study showed that people with type 1 diabetes who didn’t follow their recommended diet were most likely to skip their insulin injections. Among those with type 2 diabetes, younger people, those with a lower income, and those who perceived their insulin injections as painful or embarrassing were more likely to skip them.”
According to MedicalNewsToday, “Using an Internet survey of more than 500 U.S. adults, the study found that 57% of survey respondents with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes purposefully failed to take their insulin shots at least occasionally. It also found that older patients, those who were disabled, those who followed a healthy diet and those with higher household incomes were more likely to take their shots at the frequency prescribed.”
A couple of underlying themes that seem to present themselves in noncompliance include low income and an other health issues that would cause the patient to at least consider that it may be less important to manage their diabetes.
However, according to MedicalNewsToday, “Risk factors for failing to comply with insulin regimens differed between those who had type 1 and those who had type 2 diabetes. The researchers found diet non-adherence to be a more prominent risk factor for missing injections in type 1 patients, whereas younger age, lower income, and perceived pain and embarrassment were more prominent as risk factors for people with type 2.”
WebMD reported, “Other factors that increased the likelihood of skipping insulin injections were:
- Not following a healthy diet
- Thinking that the injections interfered with their daily activities
- Feeling that the insulin injections were painful or embarrassing (Source: WebMD)
Roughly one-fourth of all diabetics must rely on insulin injections, but the truth is there is a large number who are not getting the shots they need to manage their health.
What may compound the issue is the number of physicians who may be resistant to prescribing insulin for their patents. While no medical professional wishes to over-prescribe a medication there seems to be evidence to support the claim that many physicians do not view insulin injections as a course of first response. Their lack of willingness to use insulin may cause some diabetics to believe that their primary care physician does not believe this form of medical care is important. If it’s not important then it may be believed that taking the medication may not be especially important either. A patient may even believe that medical advances may cure their condition soon so it may not be as important to work toward daily care.
Physicians working to educate their patients coupled with patients willing to engage in medical warfare against their disease will be needed in order to manage this disease both now and in the future.