Try Injecting Insulin At Room Temp
Unopened insulin should be stored in the refrigerator, but an open insulin vial and cartridge can be safely left out at room temperature for up to 28 days. And injecting it at room tempbetween 59 and 86 degreesmay actually be more comfortable. Injecting cold insulin may sting a bit, explains Dr. Miller. You also want to avoid extreme temperature changes, which can spoil your supply. So dont store it in your car or leave it next to the air conditioner, he advises.
What Is Insulin Made Of
Insulin is made in different ways. You and your healthcare team will discuss which insulin you can take.
- Human insulin this is synthetic and made in a laboratory to be like insulin made in the body.
- Analogue insulin the insulin molecule is like a string of beads. Scientists have managed to alter the position of some of these beads to create genetically engineered insulin known as analogues.
- Animal insulin This isnt used much anymore, but some people find that insulin from animals works best for them. It is usually from a cow or pig.
What Happens If I Have Too Little Insulin
People with diabetes have problems either making insulin, how that insulin works or both. The main two types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2 diabetes, although there are other more uncommon types.
People with type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin at all. This condition is caused when the beta cells that make insulin have been destroyed by antibodies , hence they are unable to produce insulin. With too little insulin, the body can no longer move glucose from the blood into the cells, causing high blood glucose levels. If the glucose level is high enough, excess glucose spills into the urine. This drags extra water into the urine causing more frequent urination and thirst. This leads to dehydration, which can cause confusion. In addition, with too little insulin, the cells cannot take in glucose for energy and other sources of energy are needed to provide this energy. This makes the body tired and can cause weight loss. If this continues, patients can become very ill. This is because the body attempts to make new energy from fat and causes acids to be produced as waste products. Ultimately, this can lead to coma and death if medical attention is not sought. People with type 1 diabetes will need to inject insulin in order to survive.
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Pale Cold And Clammy Skin:
This is another effect of the hormone adrenaline. This hormone causes the blood vessels of the skin to become narrow. So, less blood flows through your skin. Thus, youll be cold to touch. Youll also look paler than usual due to the low blood flow in the skin.
Another thing youll notice is an increase in sweating. This happens for the same reason. Adrenaline has direct effects on your sweat glands. The increased production of sweat will result in clammy skin.
What Other Information Should I Know
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin should be checked regularly to determine your response to human insulin. Your doctor will also tell you how to check your response to human insulin by measuring your blood or urine sugar levels at home. Follow these directions carefully.
You should always wear a diabetic identification bracelet to be sure you get proper treatment in an emergency.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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How Should I Store My Insulin
Like food, insulin doesnt have a forever shelf life. Its recommended that you store any insulin youre not using in the fridge.
However, injecting cold insulin may make the injection feel more painful. Because of this, a best practice is to keep the bottle of insulin youre currently using in a safe place, away from direct heat and sunlight. Insulin kept at room temperature can last about a month.
Do not store insulin in the freezer, and always check the expiration date before using it.
Side effects from injecting or receiving insulin are rare, but can occur in certain cases. The symptoms of mild allergic reactions are swelling, itching, or redness around the injection area. More severe insulin allergies may include nausea and vomiting.
In either case, talk with your doctor if you notice any of these signs.
Hypoglycemia, or blood glucose levels that are too low, can sometimes occur when you take insulin.
Its important to balance the insulin that you give yourself with food or calories. If you exercise longer or harder than usual or dont eat the right amount of calories or carbs, your glucose level can drop too low and trigger low blood sugar. Symptoms of low blood sugar include:
Checking Your Blood Sugar
Your meals, medicine, and exercise all revolve around your blood sugar. So youâll need to test it regularly.
Your doctor will tell you how many times to do it each day. It’ll depend on the kind of diabetes you have and how much insulin or other medicine youâre taking.
If youâre taking insulin several times a day, you may need to do a test before each meal and before you go to bed.
If youâre taking long-acting insulin, you may only need to test before breakfast and before dinner.
If youâre taking other medicine but not insulin, you may not need a test every day.
Keep extra-close watch on your blood sugar if you do vigorous exercise. Physical activity can affect your level for hours even the next day. You may need to check your blood sugar before, during, and after each workout.
Joslin Diabetes Center: âDiabetes and Scheduling: Starting a Routine,â âOral Diabetes Medications Summary Chart.â
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: âManaging Diabetes,â âDiabetes Diet, Eating, and Physical Activity.â
Kaiser Permanente: âWhat to Eat, How Much, and When,â âAction Plan for Healthy Eating.â
Mayo Clinic: âDiabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar,â âDiabetes,â âBlood sugar testing: Why, when and how.â
Food & Nutrition: âMeal Times and Diabetes: Whatâs the Connection?â
Medicare.gov: âYour Medicare Coverage: Nutrition therapy services .â
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Rotate Your Injection Sites
Anywhere you can pinch a bit of skin is a place you can inject insulin, says Dr. Donner. The most common spots include the abdomen, thighs, upper hip area, and the back of the arms. Be sure to rotate between a few different locations on your body, he adds. If you hit the same spot repeatedly, you can get fatty deposits under the skin at the injection site that may interfere with the absorption of the insulin. This condition is called insulin lipohypertrophy, he explains, and can affect blood sugar levels if youre not absorbing the proper dose of insulin.
What Happens If You Double Up On Insulin
Doubling up on insulin creates an excess amount of insulin in your bloodstream, causing your cells to uptake too much glucose from the bloodstream. It also prevents the liver from releasing an appropriate amount of insulin. This can cause severely low blood sugars , which is life-threatening and must be treated immediately.
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How Is Insulin Controlled
The main actions that insulin has are to allow glucose to enter cells to be used as energy and to maintain the amount of glucose found in the bloodstream within normal levels. The release of insulin is tightly regulated in healthy people in order to balance food intake and the metabolic needs of the body. This is a complex process and other hormones found in the gut and pancreas also contribute to this blood glucose regulation. When we eat food, glucose is absorbed from our gut into the bloodstream, raising blood glucose levels. This rise in blood glucose causes insulin to be released from the pancreas so glucose can move inside the cells and be used. As glucose moves inside the cells, the amount of glucose in the bloodstream returns to normal and insulin release slows down. Proteins in food and other hormones produced by the gut in response to food also stimulate insulin release. Hormones released in times of acute stress, such as adrenaline, stop the release of insulin, leading to higher blood glucose levels to help cope with the stressful event.
Insulin works in tandem with glucagon, another hormone produced by the pancreas. While insulin’s role is to lower blood sugar levels if needed, glucagon’s role is to raise blood sugar levels if they fall too low. Using this system, the body ensures that the blood glucose levels remain within set limits, which allows the body to function properly.
What Is An Insulin Reaction
If youre going to use rapid-acting insulin, you need to be aware of insulin reactions and how to treat them. Rapid-acting insulin begins to work very quickly. So while you and your doctor are working to find the right dosage of this insulin, you may have some insulin reactions.
Hypoglycemia is the name for a condition in which the level of sugar in your blood is too low. If you use insulin, your blood sugar level can get too low if you exercise more than usual or if you dont eat enough. It also can get too low if you dont eat on time or if you take too much insulin. Most people who take insulin have insulin reactions at some time. Signs of an insulin reaction and hypoglycemia include the following:
- Feeling very tired.
- Being unable to speak or think clearly.
- Losing muscle coordination.
- Suddenly feeling like youre going to pass out.
- Becoming very pale.
- Candy: 5 Lifesavers.
- Glucose tablets: 3 tablets .
If you dont feel better 15 minutes after having a fast-acting carbohydrate, or if monitoring shows that your blood sugar level is still too low, have another 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate.
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Future Possibilities To Take Insulin Orally
An MIT-led research team has so far managed to develop a drug capsule that is believed to help deliver oral doses of insulin .
This has the potential to replace the need for patients to take injectable insulins every day. The capsule is about the size of a blueberry and contains a small needle, which is made of compressed insulin.
After orally taking the capsule, and it reaches the stomach, the insulin is then injected.
Animal tests show that this capsule can deliver enough insulin to match the efficacy in lowering blood sugar levels as those by injections given through skin.
Not only that, but the device can also be adapted to deliver other protein drugs.
How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed
Doctors can say for sure if a person has diabetes by testing blood samples for glucose. Even if someone doesn’t have any symptoms of type 2 diabetes, doctors may order blood tests to check for it if the person has certain risk factors .
Some kids and teens with diabetes may go to a pediatric endocrinologist â a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating children and teens living with diseases of the endocrine system, such as diabetes and growth problems.
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How You Take Insulin
You can’t take insulin as a pill because enzymes in your stomach would break it down during digestion. Instead, you inject insulin under your skin through a needle in a syringe, pump, or pen.
There is also a newer inhaled version of insulin. You breathe it in through a device that looks like an asthma inhaler.
People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin several times a day. Those with type 2 diabetes may only have to take it once a day.
How Insulin Reacts If Taken Orally
Weve outlined the simplest explanation as to why you cannot orally take insulin to any effect.
When you take insulin orally, the whole focus of insulin more easily reaching the bloodstream becomes a broken chain.
Compounds in the stomach and the digestive process work to break down whatever has been consumed. As a result, the real effectiveness, potency, or efficacy of insulin will not be fully delivered.
Ultimately, when insulin is taken orally is becomes ineffective, which will result in elevated blood sugar levels. This is why insulin must be injected.
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What Happens If You Take Lantus Twice Dont Worry
After reading about the effects of hypoglycemia, you may be worried. However, all of these may not happen to you. And even if they do, they generally arent very severe.
The reason is that Lantus is a long-acting insulin. It does not dissolve at normal physiological pH of 7.4. It has an isoelectric pH of 6.7. So, it crystallizes upon entry on the subcutaneous tissue where it is administered. Then, it is released slowly over time.
So, the drug gets to the bloodstream slowly. This results in a more continuous supply of insulin to your body. Thus, there is no sharp rise in insulin levels. And so, there is no sharp decline in blood glucose.
For this reason, youll not be severely hypoglycemic if youve taken Lantus twice. The extra Lantus will get to the bloodstream. So, youll have a prolonged but mild to moderate episode of hypoglycemia. This type of hypoglycemia isnt life-threatening. Thus, you can rest assured.
Do You Have Insulin Resistance
How do you find out if youre insulin resistant? No one test will tell you, but if you have high blood sugar levels, high triglycerides , high LDL cholesterol, and low HDL cholesterol, your health care provider may determine you have insulin resistance.
Important note: Type 1 diabetes is different its thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction . People with type 1 diabetes dont make enough insulin and need to take it to survive.
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Muscle And Fat Storage
Insulin helps your muscles and fat cells store extra glucose so it doesnt overwhelm your bloodstream.
It signals your muscle and fat tissue cells to stop breaking down glucose to help stabilize your blood sugar level.
The cells then begin creating glycogen, the stored form of glucose. Glycogen provides your body with energy when your blood sugar level drops.
When your liver can hold no more glycogen, insulin triggers your fat cells to take in glucose. Its stored as triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood, that can be used for energy later.
Why Insulin Stacking Is Dangerous
Insulin stacking can be severely dangerous. By injecting rapid-acting insulin multiple times within short intervals, you are putting yourself at a high risk of having severe low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, unconsciousness, and even death.
When one experiences a hypoglycemic event, they may overeat or consume too many carbohydrates to bring their blood sugar back up. This can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. So, to bring insulin back down again, a person may stack their insulin.
So, a roller coaster of glucose levels starts to occur. Therefore, your time in range will be poor, and the fluctuations in glucose levels will make you feel exhausted and irritable. The lack of blood glucose control can also make you more susceptible to illnesses and infections.
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Weight Loss Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Scientists arent sure exactly why the cells become less sensitive to insulin. However, being overweight is a major risk factor. Getting your weight down should be your primary focus if youre overweight or obese. Losing weight will not only increase insulin sensitivity, it will lower your risk for other chronic conditions, like high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol.
You dont need to lose a ton of weight to improve glucose balance. Losing just 5 percent of your body weight, if youre obese, significantly improves insulin sensitivity in fat cells, muscle and the liver, reported a study published in Cell Metabolism in February 2016. Thats just 9 pounds if you weigh 180 pounds.
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Managing Diabetes With Insulin
Injections of insulin can help manage both types of diabetes. The injected insulin acts as a replacement for, or a supplement to, your bodys natural insulin.
People living with type 1 diabetes cant make insulin, so they must inject insulin to control their blood glucose levels.
Many people living with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood glucose levels with lifestyle changes and oral medication. However, if these treatments dont help control glucose levels, people living with type 2 diabetes may also need supplemental insulin.
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Bodybuilding And Insulin Abuse
Insulin is an anabolic hormone, which means it promotes protein synthesis and muscle growth. According to a September 2016 review published in the Journal of Basic Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, bodybuilders have been known to use insulin to try to “bulk up.” But the review’s authors stressed that this is not a good idea 3. “Athletes are risking long-term harm by using these drugs … potentially resulting in coma and death,” they wrote.
It should also be noted that exercise lowers blood sugar levels, according to the American Diabetes Association, which increases the risk of bodybuilding-related insulin overdose 14. According to the review, insulin abuse among athletes is a growing problem. The Olympic Committee Medical Commission has banned non-diabetes insulin use since 1998 1.
- Insulin is an anabolic hormone, which means it promotes protein synthesis and muscle growth.
- Athletes are risking long-term harm by using these drugs… potentially resulting in coma and death,” they wrote.