Insulin is produced in the pancreas with the purpose of getting glucose from the bloodstream to enter the cells of the body. When the glucose is in the cells, it’s converted into energy. In moving glucose into the cells, insulin helps to keep the blood sugar level normal. If no insulin, or insufficient quantity of it is produced, the blood sugar level will rise too high. Blood sugar level for normal people is around 100. After a meal, blood sugar level can rise to 150 for as long as two hours.
Types of Insulin
Doctors supply insulin of various types, some of which are suitable for type I while others are suitable for type 2, because they act differently. There are long-acting insulin, intermediate-acting insulin, short-acting insulin and rapid-acting insulin.
- Long-acting insulin, like Levemir and Lantus need to be taken only once each day as it goes into your system and is effective throughout the whole day.
- Intermediate-acting insulin, like Humulin-N is slower as it has to be absorbed into the body before it can affect the blood sugar level.
- Short-acting insulin, like Humulin-R works immediately but it is not time-released.
- Rapid-acting insulin, like Apidra, NovoLog and Humalog are so fast that it instantly affects the blood sugar level.
The Role of Insulin in the Human Body – Video Guide
Long-acting insulin goes into the system faster when a small blood vessel or a muscle is chosen to receive the injected insulin. It is even faster if the diabetic were to exercise after being given the injection of insulin. Another way to have it enter the system fast is to apply heat to the place injection is given. However, to have consistent effect, insulin should be injected into the stomach through a spot at the belly button.
Insulin is used to assist a diabetic to maintain a normal blood sugar level. Even though a diabetic’s diet must be controlled; with insulin, the diabetic is able to consume all kinds of sugar in moderation. Even candy which contains an enormous amount of sugar can be eaten although it is inadvisable to do so.
Being hydrated is important for a diabetic who needs insulin. If there is dehydration, absorption of insulin into the system will be difficult as there is lesser blood reaching the skin. Another important point to consider is the proper storage of your insulin to prevent it from losing its effectiveness. And, especially if it is one of the Humulins being prescribed, make sure you are given the right Humulin by the pharmacy.
Diabetics ought to be aware of some of the side-effects of insulin. Be aware that hypoglycemia, which is having too low a blood sugar level that can lead to coma, can occur about ten minutes after administering rapid-acting insulin. Rapid-acting insulin can be the cause of increased weight among fat type II diabetics. To avoid the loss of fatty tissues around the injection spot, long-term insulin users ought to change the site of the injection often. Other insulin side-effects such as swelling, allergic reactions and edema are not so often observed.