Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas produces to enable the use of glucose (blood sugar) by the cells in the body. Individuals whose bodies fail to secrete or make use of this hormone efficiently can take insulin as a supplement to manage their blood sugar levels.
Different types of insulin available are used to manage diabetes and typically differ in terms of how they work:
Fast-acting insulin begins its action in a matter of minutes and stays in the system for about two hours.
Short-acting insulin begins to work 30 minutes in with its effects lasting up to several hours.
Intermediate-acting insulin takes full effect in 2-4 hours and works for approximately 18 hours.
Long-acting insulin lasts for a full day.
You may get a prescription for more than one kind of insulin depending on your doctor’s discretion. You may also need more than one dose per day and also use additional medications.
Most patients take insulin via injections, which can be administered using either a pen or cartridge system. The injection site is of import. The sites that are known for the most consistent insulin absorption are the stomach, buttocks, thighs, and arms.
It is recommended you stick to the same region for the injections, switching up the specific spots where you give yourself the shots to reduce scarring. For those who are not fans of needles and injections, insulin pumps and inhaled insulin devices are available alternatives.
Scheduling Your Insulin Shots
The time where you administer your insulin shot is dependent on the insulin type you take. However, it is a good idea to time your injection according to your mealtimes so that the insulin takes effect as the glucose from your food is getting absorbed, which assists your body in using the sugar in the blood as well as prevents your blood sugar from plummeting. If you are unsure as to when you should take your insulin, you should consult with your doctor for more information.
Insulin Side Effects
Most common side effects associated with insulin are low glucose levels, weight fluctuations at the beginning of the treatment, scarring due to shots, and rashes at either injection sites or sometimes across the body.
How to Store Your Injectable Insulin
Always keep two bottles of every type you need readily available. Insulin vials that are in use do not need to be refrigerated and can be stored at room temperature for a month. One golden rule to keep in mind is that the insulin is safe to inject if the temperature does not cause any discomfort.
How to Store Your Inhaled Insulin
Follow the instructions on the box. Refrigerate an unopened box of inhaled insulin until you begin using it. Without storing it in a refrigerator, you need to use the insulin in ten days.
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