Insulin helps the body to use or store the blood sugar(glucose) that it gets from food. When there is little insulin, the blood glucose cannot be used by the body cells.
1 . What Is Insulin?
Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone that is secreted by pancreas with the help of beta cells. With each meal intake, the beta cells release insulin. When you eat, insulin is released. Another hormone called glucagon is released by alpha cells of pancreas. Insulin and glucagon always work together to help your body maintain ideal blood glucose range.For diabetics, the body fails to produce insulin at all or the body’s cells are resistant to insulin.
2 . Who Needs Insulin Therapy?
Insulin therapy is needed by people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is also given to women with gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
3 . What Are The Types of Insulin?
There are many types of insulin available in the market. They work in different ways, are manufactured differently and vary in price. Some of the most common types are:
-Rapid-acting insulin: starts working in about 15 minutes after injecting it, peaks in about 1 hour, and continues to work for 2 to 4 hours
-Regular or Short-acting insulin: it reaches the bloodstream in about 30 minutes after injecting it, peaks from 2 to 3 hours after injecting and is effective for approximately 3 to 6 hours
-Intermediate-acting insulin: it generally reaches the bloodstream in about 2 to 4 hours after injecting it, peaks 4 to 12 hours later, and is effective for about 12 to 18 hours
-Long-acting insulin: it reaches the bloodstream several hours after injection and lowers the glucose levels evenly over a 24-hour period In some cases the doctor might advise certain patients to use pre mixed insulin (mixing two types of insulin).
4 . What Are The Common Injection Sites?
The abdomen has the fastest rate of absorption, followed by the arms, thighs and then buttocks. Absorption is also the most consistent in the abdomen.
The most common injection sites are
1 . Just above or below the waist (except the area around the belly button)
2 . Upper area of the buttock
3 . Front of the thigh
4 . Outer area of upper arm
You should take the injection consistently at one part of the body. This would help in keeping the insulin absorption constant. But keep in mind that even in that general area you should choose different spots. This helps in preventing the scarring of the fat tissues.
5 . What Are The Common Side-effects Of Insulin Use?
The insulin that is prescribed by doctor’s these days is safe, easy to use and has minimal side-effects.
The common side effects include:
-Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
-Rashes at the injection site
-Enlargement of the area that has received too many injections
6 . What Is Hypoglycemia?
Low blood glucose level is known as hypoglycemia and it is one of the most common side effects of insulin. It can happen to anyone who has diabetes.
Some common symptoms of hypoglycemia include: headache, dizziness, hunger, irritability, sweating, increased heartbeat.
It is advised that people with low blood sugar should keep a source of sugar like a hard candy or chocolate handy.
7 . What Is Hyperglycemia?
High Blood Sugar level is known as Hyperglycermia. Symptoms of high blood sugar include: increased thirst, increased hunger, weight loss, frequent urination, fatigue, dry mouth, blurry vision, dry skin, drowsiness.
Things To Remember
-The insulin should look as clear as water.
-Don’t use it if it looks cloudy, has a different colour, or has some particles.
-It is advised that you don’t share the injection pen or cartridge with any other person.
-Store the unopened cartridges in the refrigerator especially protected from light.
-Don’t freeze the insulin.
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While you are on an insulin routine, it becomes essential you take special care of your health. Nutrition plays a great role. Eat the right food and in right amount. Keep yourself fit and active by exercising regularly and by avoiding the use of tobacco and alcohol. So, Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!