How To Ensure Safe Insulin Use

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What is insulin?

  • It is a hormone produced by pancreas to regulate the levels of glucose in the blood. In absence of insulin our body cells cannot use glucose as a source of energy.
  • Type 1 diabetes occurs when the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (called beta cells) are destroyed by the immune system.
  • People with type 1 diabetes produce no insulin and require insulin injections to control their blood sugar.
  • In Type 2 diabetes, pancreas make insulin, but the body cells do not use it as well as they should. This is called insulin resistance.

How should I store my insulin?

  • Protect your insulin (bottles, pens and cartridges) from extremes of hot and cold temperature.
  • If you’re going outdoors for a while in hot or cold weather, store your insulin in an insulated case.
  • Don’t store your insulin near radiators, heat vents, ovens, air conditioners, etc.
  • Never freeze. (Frozen insulin should be thrown away).
  • Do not store insulin in the dashboard of your car. Don’t leave your insulin in a closed car during very warm or cold weather.
  • Never expose insulin to direct heat or light

What precautions should I take while travelling?

  • When travelling by air, Keep your insulin in the cabin baggage and not in chek in baggage
  • Carry at least a week’s supply of insulin and syringes
  • While travelling across different time zones, consult your physician for insulin dose adjustments
  • When traveling by train/bus/car, carry insulin in ice packs.
  • Protect insulin from light, heat and cold temperature.
  • Always carry your prescription with you

What is Hypoglycemia?

  • Hypoglycemia is a common side effect of diabetes medication including insulin. Onset is often sudden; may be fatal if untreated
  • Symptoms include : Hunger, blurry vision, anxious, dizzy, headache, irritable, weakness, fatigue, sweating, fast heartbeat, feeling shaky,
  • Check your blood glucose, right away. If you can’t check, treat anyway.
  • Treat by eating 3-4 glucose tablets or 3-5 hard candies you can chew quickly (such as peppermints), or by drinking 100-120ml of fruit juice
  • Check  your blood glucose again after 15 minutes. If symptoms don’t stop, call your healthcare provider

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