If you’re a diabetes patient than chances are that insulin is a medicine that you have heard of and may have some familiarity with. Insulin is a hormone that is found in the body’s natural state however with diabetes, insulin does not work as it should. This can cause life-threatening situations for the body.
Here, we give you some basics about insulin.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is one of the major hormones in the body. It helps the body utilize glucose from food sources converting it into energy that can be utilized by the body’s cells and organs. If insulin is not functioning as it should, our blood glucose can rise causing all sorts of problems. Type 2 diabetics usually have an issue with insulin resistance, meaning that while insulin is produced adequately, there is an issue with insulin uptake by the cells. This results in high blood glucose levels.
Considerations When Taking Insulin:
In the event that a diabetic patient needs to start taking insulin as prescribed by his or her doctor, there are several factors to consider about the insulin that you may need to take.
- Onset: When will the insulin take effect and start working?
- Peak: At what time after administration will the insulin be working at its peak?
- Duration: Over what length of time will the insulin work and when will it no longer be active?
The major types of insulin are explained below:
Rapid-acting: Rapid-acting insulin starts showing effects after 15 minutes of its consumption and has a peak time for 30-90 minutes. Further, it stays effective until 3 hours of consumption.
Regular: Regular insulin usually takes a longer time to show its effects and it has a longer peak time then Rapid-acting as well. It usually has an onset time of 30 minutes and a peak time of two to three hours. Further, its effect lasts up to five hours at least.
Intermediate: These insulin have a higher effect and peak time, however, they also have a higher onset time as well. This insulin has an onset time of 3 hours, peak time for at least eight hours and keeps lowering blood sugar until 12 hours.
Long-acting: The long-acting insulin show its effect longer than even the intermediate ones however they have a minimal peak time. The onset time of such insulin is one hour and they last up to 24 hours.
Inhaled: Inhaled insulin came into the market after 2005. They have an onset time of 15 minutes, peak time of 30 minutes and lasts up to 180 minutes. As always, consult with your doctor before making any decision about your medical conditions. However, knowledge is power and the more you know, the easier it will be for your to engage in shared decision making with your doctor to determine what is best for you!