Home Off Beat Exploring The Many Faces Of Insulin

Exploring The Many Faces Of Insulin

by Dr Prem Community Writer
insulin

It doesn’t matter if you are suffering from diabetes or you have a family member that has been diagnosed with the condition, there is probably a good chance that you have heard about insulin. In fact, diabetes is becoming a major issue throughout the world, as more and more individuals including children are being diagnosed with this horrible condition. However, with the assistance of a well-planned diet, exercise routine, and insulin treatments, individuals that have diabetes can live a long, happy, and normal life. That being said, the whole process is not easy and there are is a lot of information that you need to know about insulin and its many faces. Below, you will learn everything that you could possibly need to know about insulin.

Understanding What Insulin Is

insulin

If you ask several different people what insulin is, they are probably going to tell you that it is a substance that lowers blood sugar levels. This is partially right, but insulin is actually a hormone and a protein that is naturally produced by the pancreas. Its main job in the body is to move glucose from the bloodstream and put it into the cells so that it can be consumed for energy. In addition to this, insulin helps in moving amino acids into the cells for making protein.

So, if the body naturally produces insulin why do diabetic people need to take insulin shots? Well, some people’s body just doesn’t produce enough insulin, and other people’s bodies just don’t consume insulin like it should. This is why insulin treatments are necessary for treating diabetes.

Who Really Needs Insulin?

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that everyone’s body needs insulin to function healthily and properly. However, individuals that have been diagnosed with type I diabetes will need insulin treatments to stay alive. Whereas, individuals that have been diagnosed with type II diabetes will only need insulin treatments when their blood sugar levels drop below a certain point.

How Is Insulin Taken?

One of the first things that you will discover about insulin is that it can only be injected or inhaled. One of the first questions that many diabetic people tend to ask is why isn’t insulin available in pill or capsule form? Well, the answer is pretty simple. Insulin is a protein. Of course, enzymes break down all proteins once they enter the digestive tract, so putting it in pill or capsule form would essentially render it useless. However, with the latest medical advances and discoveries, it might be possible one day to see insulin available in a pill or capsule form.

Understanding The Strengths Of Insulin

You will also quickly notice that insulin is available in a variety of different strengths. Insulin can be available in U-100, U-40, U-500, and a variety of other strengths. Basically, when you see U-100 strength insulin this means that there are 100 units of insulin per milliliter of fluid. A U-40 would mean 40 units of insulin per milliliter of fluid. The most important thing to know is that if you are injecting the medication it is absolutely imperative that you use a syringe that is specifically designed for the strength that you are taking, otherwise you might make miscalculation on your dosage.

Learning To Store Your Insulin

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Not only is the proper dosage and proper injection of insulin imperative, but it is also very important to know how to store your insulin. If your insulin is not stored or cared for properly it could possibly become ineffective. Below, you will learn some tips that will help you properly store your insulin.

Make sure that you are always storing the insulin away from heat and light. If the insulin isn’t stored in the fridge it should at least be kept between 56 degrees F and 80 degrees F at all times.

Insulin should never be frozen, and if it does freeze, you should avoid taking it after it has thawed out.

If you are going to store insulin in the fridge it should be kept between 36 degrees F and 46 degrees F. If kept at these temperatures the insulin will last until its expiration date. 

Knowing When To Discard Empty Pens, Cartridges, and Bottles

Unfortunately, insulin does not last forever and there are times when you should be cautious of using used insulin pens, cartridges, or bottles. Stick to the following guidelines to make sure that you are getting the most out of your insulin.

Lantus– pens, bottles, and cartridges should be discarded 28 days after being opened.

Humalog– this type of insulin should also be discarded 28 days after being opened.

NPH– bottles of NPH should be discarded 42 days after being opened. Pens and cartridges should be discarded 14 days after being opened.

Always make sure that you are paying close attention to the expiration dates, as insulin should never be used after it has passed its expiration date.

Exploring The Side Effects Of Insulin

Just like every treatment and medication on the market insulin also comes along with side effects. While not everyone will experience these side effects, it is possible that you could. Some of the most common types of side effects that are reported with insulin use are low blood sugar, high blood sugar, weight gain, and skin reaction.

Different Types Of Insulin Medications

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A lot of consumers mistakenly believe that there is only one type of insulin medication. Many believe that they’ll be required to inject insulin for the rest of their days. This may not actually be true. In some cases, the patient may be able to take an oral medication to keep their blood sugar at safe levels. Below, you will learn more about the various types of insulin medications on the market and their unique uses.

Insulin Glargine Injection

Insulin glargine is a long-acting insulin medication that can be used once each and every day. It is available in a pen form and it can help the user manage their blood sugar levels with a single shot. The pen is capable of delivering the specific dosage that you select each time. The medication is very effective for aiding in the management of blood sugar. The pen includes a large window to help the user select the correct dosage without much trouble. Insulin glargine can be utilized for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in adults. It is primarily only used for type 1 diabetes for children who are 6 years or older.

Those suffering from hypoglycemia or diabetic ketoacidosis should not use Lantus. It is also important to never share an insulin pen with anyone. Sharing a pen will increase the likelihood that you’ll subject yourself to HIV, hepatitis or other serious illnesses.

Insulin Detemir

Insulin detemir is a type of insulin that is produced by man. It works by lowering the glucose or sugar levels in the blood. Insulin detemir, which is often sold as Levemir, is a long-acting medication that can help stabilize the blood sugar levels for twenty-four hours. This specific medication can be used for several purposes. It works exceptionally well for children and adults suffering from diabetes mellitus. It is also a good option for adults suffering from type 2 diabetes. It can be used to treat type 1 diabetes in adults and children two years and older. Some people are allergic to insulin detemir. Therefore, the patient should consult with their primary physician before using this medication.

The different types of insulin medications are available from Canadian Insulin. Just remember that you should never share your pen or needle with anyone! Doing so would be incredibly risky for both parties.

Regular Insulin

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Insulin, a hormone made in the body, works by lowering blood glucose or sugar levels. Regular insulin or short-acting insulin, begins working within 30 minutes of the initial injection, it peaks between two to three hours, and continues working for up to eight hours.

Regular insulin has been approved for both adults and children with Type I, Type II and gestational diabetes. It has also been approved for unrelated purposes. Individuals who have been diagnosed with kidney and liver disease, experience frequent hypokalemia – low levels of potassium in the blood – and taking rosiglitazone or pioglitazone should tell their primary care physician or endocrinologist.

Regular insulin has not been approved for use in children younger than two years of age or all children with Type II diabetes. Pregnant women with diabetes will need to have their regular insulin dose regulated and adjusted each trimester as well as when they are breastfeeding. Speak with your OB/GYN about your condition prior to resuming your regular insulin dose.
Insulin Aspart Protamine And Insulin Aspart

A combination of Insulin Aspart Protamine and Insulin Aspart works similarly to regular insulin, as it is classified as a mixture of a fast- and intermediate-acting insulin. This insulin combination begins working within 10 to 20 minutes after the initial injection, peaks in two hours and continues working for up to 24 hours. This combination of insulin has been approved to treat adults who have been diagnosed with Type I and Type II diabetes mellitus.

Individuals with kidney or liver disease and episodes of hypokalemia should speak with their primary care physician or endocrinologist about their condition before taking this type of insulin. It should not be combined with oral diabetes medications unless prescribed by a licensed physician.

This insulin is often sold as NovoLog Mix 70/30 and it is not recommended for use in insulin pumps or with other insulin.

Apidra Insulin

Apidra contains what is known as glulisine, which is a fast-acting insulin that begins working within approximately 15 minutes after the initial injection, peaks in about one hour and continues working for two to four hours. Apridra has been approved for treating adults and children with Type I and Type II diabetes. Children under the age of four should not be prescribed Apridra.

Insulin Degludec And Insulin Aspart

The combination of Insulin Degludec and Insulin Aspart, which is commonly available as Ryzodeg, is a very common insulin medication. When injected into the body, this medication will help keep the glucose levels in the blood within a safe range. The medication combines a fast-acting insulin with a long-acting insulin. This ensures that the medication is able to work for up to 24 hours inside of the body, if not longer. In most cases, the insulin will begin working in just ten or twenty minutes after it has been injected into the body. It peaks in roughly one hour. This medication can be used to treat many types of diabetes, including diabetes mellitus, Type I and Type II diabetes.

Anyone suffering from low blood sugar should not use this medication. It is also important to realize that some people can actually be allergic to this medication. Consulting with a doctor ahead of time is crucial and will help you avoid future problems. This insulin medication has not been approved for use by the patient under the age of 18.

Velosulin R Solution

Velosulin R solution is a regular type of insulin, which is commonly used in conjunction with proper dieting and exercising. This insulin can help control blood sugar levels in people suffering from diabetes. Remember to never change insulins, unless instructed to do so by a licensed professional.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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