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What is insulin therapy?
Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for keeping the level of sugar in the blood under control. It is the primary therapy used for the treatment of any type of diabetes. The dependence on insulin depends on the balance between the actual production of insulin in the body and the resistance of the body cells to the insulin produced. People, who suffer from diabetes type 1, need insulin injections lifelong. The requirement for insulin therapy in people suffering from type 2 diabetes solely depends upon the declining function of the beta-cells over time.
What are the types of insulin available in the market?
The various types of insulin available in the market are:
- Rapid acting insulin: The onset of action in this type of insulin is rapid and it lasts for a short duration, about two hours.
- Short acting or regular insulin: The onset of action is moderate, and it starts acting within half an hour, and the duration of action ranges from 3 to 6 hours.
- Intermediate acting insulin: It takes about 2 to 4 hours for the onset of action of this type of insulin and the effect can remain for about 18 hours.
- Long acting insulin: The duration of action of this type of insulin can last up to about an entire day.
How is it taken?
Insulin injections can be self-injected using a syringe, a needle, a cartridge system, or a pre-filled pen system. Devices for inhaling insulin, quick-acting insulin and insulin pumps are also available at medical stores and pharmacies. Insulin is injected subcutaneously, into your muscles. Try to ensure that you inject around the same area every time, but choose a different spot to ensure less scarring. The best areas to inject insulin are thighs, buttocks, arms and belly. If you take regular insulin, it is advised to take it half an hour before a meal.
What are the possible side effects?
- Low blood sugar level
- Scars and lumps from extensive usage of insulin injection
- Rashes can be found in the area the insulin is injected or sometimes, all over the body
- Weight gain when you start using insulin initially