Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that is related to blood sugar (glucose) and the ability of the body to produce hormones (insulin) to control the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. It can be caused by the body not being able to produce enough insulin to control Glucose, like in Type 1 Diabetes. It can also be caused by a decreased response by the body to high levels of Glucose, like in Type 2. This is why Insulin Therapy has become an important part of the treatment and management of patients with Diabetes. In this article, we will be looking at the role of Insulin and the basics of Insulin Therapy.
How Insulin Works
Insulin is a hormone naturally produced by the pancreas. After the intake of a meal, insulin is released to help the body intake and store glucose. Glucose is a sugar that comes from carbohydrates and is used for the body’s metabolism and energy. As mentioned previously, the problem in Diabetes comes from either the body not being able to make enough insulin (Type 1) or a decreased response to glucose (Type 2). Having high levels of blood sugar (glucose) can lead to dangerous long-term complications that affect many of the body’s systems. For example, it is related to heart disease, kidney disease, neuromuscular problems, and weakening of the immune system. This is why for the majority of individuals with Type 1 Diabetes and some with Type 2 Diabetes have to undergo Insulin Therapy.
How Insulin Therapy Works
Insulin Therapy is done through injecting prescribed insulin directly into the fat underneath the skin. This is done through the use of a syringe, insulin pen, or insulin pump. These are medical-grade, safe, and effective devices that allow an individual to self-administer insulin and the right dose and at the right type. Instructions on the use of these devices, as well as, the appropriate insulin regimen must be discussed with a healthcare provider. They will instruct you on the type of insulin you should be using when to inject it, and side effects you should look out for.
Types of Insulin Therapy
The type of Insulin Therapy prescribed to you will determine when you should use it and how often you need to do it a day. For some individuals, it may be twice a day while others may require up to 3 to 4 shots per day. These are the general types of Insulin Therapy usually prescribed:
Rapid Acting Insulin
This form of insulin usually takes effect within 15 minutes and lasts up to 3-5 hours. They are usually prescribed to be used after meals.
Regular Short-Acting Insulin
These take effect within 30 to 60 minutes and last around 5-8 hours.
Intermediate Acting Insulin
These take effect within 1-3 hours and last longer at 12-16 hours.
These take effect around 1 hour but generally last the entire day at 20-26 hours.
The type of insulin you will be prescribed depends on how high your blood sugar is and the levels it reaches and dips throughout the day. Some may require more than one type of insulin to help keep their blood sugar at an appropriate target level.
Insulin Therapy and Glucose Monitoring
Those on insulin therapy will require close blood sugar (glucose) monitoring. This will help determine if the current regimen and dose of insulin can control blood sugar levels. Monitoring is usually self-administered and can be done at home. It requires a glucometer, test strip, and a lancet. With a small prick to the finger using the lancet, the blood is placed onto the test strip and the glucometer measures the blood sugar.
Side Effects of Insulin Therapy
The most common side effect of Insulin Therapy is hypoglycemia. This occurs when blood sugar levels get too low. This could be due to the dosage or regime of insulin therapy. Hypoglycemia can also occur if the individual starts a sudden diet or skips meals. If not addressed quickly, hypoglycemia can be very dangerous and require emergency room consult. These are some of the symptoms to watch out for when on insulin therapy:
Sudden Muscle Weakness
Fast or Irregular Heartbeat
Loss of Consciousness
Insulin Therapy has helped many manage and deal with diabetes. It helps patients take control of their condition and gives them an active role in treatment. BuyMedical.com is committed to supplying only effective, safe, and medical-grade equipment needed for effective Insulin Therapy. From Insulin Pens to Insulin Pumps, BuyMedical.com offers a wide selection from trusted brands and manufacturers.