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What’s Insulin Used For

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How Can I Deal With An Insulin Reaction

How to Use an Insulin Pen – Mayo Clinic Patient Education

People who have diabetes should carry at least 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate with them at all times in case of hypoglycemia or an insulin reaction. The following are examples of quick sources of energy that can relieve the symptoms of an insulin reaction:

  • Non-diet soda: ½ to ¾ cup.
  • Fruit juice: ½ cup.
  • Fruit: 2 tablespoons of raisins.
  • Milk: 1 cup.
  • 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.

Teach your friends, work colleagues, and family members how to treat hypoglycemia, because sometimes you may need their help. Also, keep a supply of glucagon on hand. Glucagon comes in a kit with a powder and a liquid that you must mix together and then inject. It will raise your blood sugar level. If you are unconscious, or you cant eat or drink, another person can give you a shot of glucagon. Talk to your doctor to learn when and how to use glucagon.

Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor thinks insulin can help you, it doesnt mean you now have type 1 diabetes. You still have type 2 diabetes, but you’ve changed treatment.

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may not need to use insulin straight away. But some people have very high blood sugar levels when they are first diagnosed. Insulin can be used as a short-term treatment to help quickly bring down your blood sugar levels.

Some people may need to take insulin for a particular reason, like during pregnancy or a severe illness, or after surgery. But you may also need to start it as a treatment if other medications havent helped managed your blood sugar levels or are not appropriate for you.

If you need insulin it isnt your fault and it doesnt mean you havent managed your diabetes well. It’s simply another medication that can help to keep you as healthy as possible. Managing blood sugars effectively is really important in reducing your risk of future diabetes complications and insulin may be the most appropriate treatment choice for you. Many people with type 2 diabetes need to use it as treatment at some point.

Its still important to keep going to your appointments and manage your condition with healthy lifestyle choices. Staying active and eating a healthy diet will reduce the risk of complications from your diabetes.

What Are Alternative Medications For People With Diabetes That Arent Insulin

Non-insulin medications that may be prescribed to people with diabetes include:

  • Metformin a pill that stops sugar production in the liver

  • Glitazones pills that remove sugar from the bloodstream

  • Sulfonylureas and glinides pills that increase the release of insulin from your pancreas

  • Starch blockers pills that slow starch absorption

  • Incretin therapies and amvlin analogs pills and injections that reduce sugar production in the liver and slow food absorption. Types of the former include DPP4 inhibitors and GLP1 analogs .

  • SGLT2 inhibitors pills that are taken before meals that prevent the reabsorption of glucose

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Never Use Before Sleeping

You should never administer insulin before you go to sleep. This is very dangerous and could result in a coma or even death.

This is because, while asleep, you wouldnt be able to detect the early stages of hypoglycemia, should it occur.

Therefore, if you choose to use insulin, administer it only during waking hours when you can compensate for a drop in blood sugar by consuming carbs.


We strongly discourage using insulin in bodybuilding. Should you choose to use it, proper education and guidance are key.

What Type Of Insulin Goes Into An Insulin Pump A Helpful Guide

Guidelines for Optimizing Safe Subcutaneous Insulin Use in Adults ...

Insulin pumps are effective forms of diabetes equipment that diabetes patients use to manage their condition. However, many things about how this piece of equipment works leave people confused and with many questions unanswered.

One of these areas of confusion is the question of what type of insulin goes into an insulin pump. And does it matter what insulin is used in an insulin pump?

This article will give a clear understanding of what types of insulin go into an insulin pump. But first, lets give a quick summary of what type of insulin goes into an insulin pump, then well get into more explanation as to why.

What type of insulin goes into an insulin pump? Short-acting or fast-acting insulin, like Aspart, Lispro, and Glulisine, is what goes into an insulin pump. This helps insulin pumps work similarly to the natural pancreas of an average person. However, basal-bolus insulin therapy replaces the need to use both short-acting and long-acting insulin.

So, now weve seen the quick rundown answer, lets take a deeper dive into some of the nuances of this question.

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Why Is This Medication Prescribed

Human insulin is used to control blood sugar in people who have type 1 diabetes or in people who have type 2 diabetes that cannot be controlled with oral medications alone. Human insulin is in a class of medications called hormones. Human insulin is used to take the place of insulin that is normally produced by the body. It works by helping move sugar from the blood into other body tissues where it is used for energy. It also stops the liver from producing more sugar. All of the types of insulin that are available work in this way. The types of insulin differ only in how quickly they begin to work and how long they continue to control blood sugar.

Over time, people who have diabetes and high blood sugar can develop serious or life-threatening complications, including heart disease, stroke, kidney problems, nerve damage, and eye problems. Using medication, making lifestyle changes , and regularly checking your blood sugar may help to manage your diabetes and improve your health. This therapy may also decrease your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other diabetes-related complications such as kidney failure, nerve damage , eye problems, including changes or loss of vision, or gum disease. Your doctor and other healthcare providers will talk to you about the best way to manage your diabetes.

When Do I Take Rapid

You should inject rapid-acting insulin no more than 15 minutes before you eat. Your doctor will tell you how much insulin to inject. Remember, you should not wait more than 15 minutes to eat after you take this insulin shot.

Rapid-acting insulin can be more convenient to take than regular insulin. With regular insulin, you inject the insulin and then wait 30 to 60 minutes before eating. Many people find it hard to time their meals around regular insulin injections. Sometimes they end up eating too soon or too late. Then they dont achieve the best blood sugar control. Since rapid-acting insulin is taken so close to mealtime, it may help you control your blood sugar more effectively.

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What Else Can I Do To Manage My Blood Glucose Levels

Food, sleep, and exercise are all of vital importance for regulating your blood sugar when you have diabetes.

  • Get enough sleep. Evidence shows that lack of sleep can lead to increased secretion of the hormone cortisol, which is inflammatory and can cause greater insulin resistance. Endocrinologist Al Powers MD of Vanderbilt University notes that when youre deprived of sleep or your sleep is disrupted, your glucose levels tend to go up, whether you have diabetes or not.

  • Exercise regularly. During exercise, insulin sensitivity is increased, and muscle cells use available insulin more efficiently. When your muscles contract during exercise, they also absorb glucose and use it for energy.

  • Follow an eating pattern that is healthful for you, as recommended by your doctor, such as the DASH diet or the Mediterranean diet. Both have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels.

  • What About High And Low Blood Sugar

    How to Use Your Insulin Pen

    You just read how hormones help control your blood sugar around the clock. Even if you watch what you eat, you work out, and you follow your doctors plan for taking your medicines, your blood sugar may not always be where it should be.

    When this happens, it has a name. Actually, it has two names. Doctors call it hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia . And either one can be a problem. So speak with your doctor to learn the warning signs of low blood sugar and high blood sugar. Thats a great step in beginning to create a plan if either one happens to you.

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    What Happens If I Have Too Much Insulin

    If a person accidentally injects more insulin than required, e.g. because they expend more energy or eat less food than they anticipated, cells will take in too much glucose from the blood. This leads to abnormally low blood glucose levels . The body reacts to hypoglycaemia by releasing stored glucose from the liver in an attempt to bring the levels back to normal. Low glucose levels in the blood can make a person feel ill.

    The body mounts an initial ‘fight back’ response to hypoglycaemia through a specialised set of of nerves called the sympathetic nervous system. This causes palpitations, sweating, hunger, anxiety, tremor and pale complexion that usually warn the person about the low blood glucose level so this can be treated.

    However, if the initial blood glucose level is too low or if it is not treated promptly and continues to drop, the brain will be affected too because it depends almost entirely on glucose as a source of energy to function properly. This can cause dizziness, confusion, fits and even coma in severe cases.

    Some drugs used for people with type 2 diabetes, including sulphonylureas and meglitinides , can also stimulate insulin production within the body and can also cause hypoglycaemia. The body responds in the same way as if excess insulin has been given by injection.

    Living With Insulin Online

    If you have recently started using insulin or have been using insulin for a while and would like to learn more, Living with Insulin is an online learning hub to help you become more confident in using insulin. There are 10 short interactive modules covering a range of practical topics such as how to inject insulin, insulin supplies and storage, and low blood glucose levels. No registration is required so you can get started straight away, it is also available as an app so you can learn on the go with your mobile.

    Click here to access this education today.

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    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 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.
    • Losing consciousness.

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    Often Combined With Other Drugs

    Another important factor to consider is the pairing of insulin with other performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic androgenic steroids or growth hormone.

    While insulin alone may not have a potent effect on muscle protein synthesis, it may have an enhanced effect when paired with anabolic steroids or growth hormone .

    However, data in this area is limited as a result of ethical restraints in research. Users must tread with extreme caution.

    Disposal Of Used Insulin Syringes

    Used syringes, pen needles, cannulas and lancets must be disposed of in an Australian Standards-approved sharps container, which is puncture-proof and has a secure lid. These containers are usually yellow and are available through pharmacies, local municipal councils and state or territory diabetes organisations such as Diabetes Victoria.

    Procedures to dispose of sharps containers vary from state to state.

    For sharps disposal information and help, you can contact:

    • state or territory diabetes organisations, such as Diabetes Victoria
    • state Department of Health

    Insulin needs to be stored correctly. This includes:

    • Store unopened insulin on its side in a fridge.
    • Keep the fridge temperature between 2 and 8 °C.
    • Make sure that insulin does not freeze.
    • Once opened, keep it at room temperature for not more than one month and then dispose of it safely.
    • Avoid keeping insulin in direct sunlight.

    Extreme temperatures can damage insulin so it doesn’t work properly. It must not be left where temperatures are over 30 °C. In summer your car can get this hot so don’t leave your insulin there.

    There are various insulated insulin carry bags available for transporting insulin.

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    Some Side Effects Can Be Serious If You Experience Any Of The Following Symptoms Call Your Doctor Immediately:

    • rash and/or itching over the whole body
    • shortness of breath
    • large weight gain in a short period of time
    • swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

    If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

    How Do You Take Insulin Without A Syringe

    How insulin works

    There are several options:

    • Insulin pens look like large writing pens and can help prevent under- and overdosing. They also dont require refrigeration, are conveniently prefilled, and are more durable than syringes.

    • Insulin pumps are attached to a thin tube thats implanted under your skin. Pumps are computerized or motorized, and some models also act as glucose monitors. They deliver insulin before each meal along with small amounts through the course of the day. In the US, about 60% of people with diabetes use some form of .

    • Jet injection devices are a good option if you hate needles. A jet injector holds several doses of insulin. After placing it against your skin, you press a button, and the insulin is pushed through.

    • Inhaled insulin comes in a pre-measured inhaler and was first approved in 2014. Its short-acting and usually not covered by insurance, which makes it more cost prohibitive than other types of insulin for most people with diabetes.

    Unless you have an insulin pump that also works as a glucose monitor, insulin dosing is based on self-monitoring your blood glucose levels. You can check them by doing finger pricks or wearing a device that continuously monitors them for you.

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    How Do You Store Insulin

    Insulin is easily broken down by extreme temperatures, which means you need to be careful if you live in a part of the U.S. that gets very hot in summer, or very cold in winter.

    All unopened vials and cartridges should be kept in the fridge, between 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit . Discard any insulin that you think may have inadvertently got too hot or too cold. The expiry date on insulin applies to unopened, refrigerated insulin.

    How Do I Take Insulin

    Insulin is normally injected under the skin with a very small needle. It can also be taken with an insulin pen. Your doctor will teach you exactly how to inject insulin, but here are the basics:

  • Wash your hands.

  • Take the plastic cover off the insulin bottle and wipe the top of the bottle with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

  • Pull back the plunger of the syringe, drawing air into the syringe equal to the dose of insulin that you are taking . Put the syringe needle through the rubber top of the insulin bottle. Inject air into the bottle by pushing the syringe plunger forward. Turn the bottle upside down.

  • Make sure that the tip of the needle is in the insulin. Pull back on the syringe plunger to draw the correct dose of insulin into the syringe .

  • Make sure there are no air bubbles in the syringe before you take the needle out of the insulin bottle. If there are air bubbles, hold the syringe and the bottle straight up, tap the syringe with your finger and let the air bubbles float to the top. Push on the plunger of the syringe to move the air bubbles back into the insulin bottle. Then withdraw the correct insulin dose by pulling back on the plunger.

  • Clean your skin with cotton dipped in alcohol . Grab a fold of skin and inject the insulin under the skin at a 90-degree angle . PICTURE 2.

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