Insulin

There are many different forms of insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels., which differ in the time it takes for them to be absorbed by the body, and in their duration of action.

For example, short-acting insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. must be injected around half an hour before eating to allow for absorption; meanwhile, rapidly absorbed fast-acting insulins can be taken just before, or even just after, eating.[1] Insulin detemir is absorbed slowly and has long-lasting action.[2]

Many people use more than one type of insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels., for example, a fast-acting one during the day and a slow-acting one for the last dose before bed

The choice of insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. regimen depends on a number of factors, such as your lifestyle.

Most people who have insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels.-dependent diabetes need to have two to three injections every day. Some people have more than this - having multiple injections may allow more flexibility with meal timings and day-to-day activities.[1]

Many people use more than one type of insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels., for example, a fast-acting one during the day and a slow-acting one for the last dose before bed.

Insulin can be given in various ways, using:

  • Disposable plastic syringes
  • Pen injectors
  • Pre-loaded disposable pens.
  • Continuous subcutaneous insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. infusion via pump.

Needle-free insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. delivery systems, which deliver insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. at high speed through the skin, are available in some countries. However, as they are cumbersome and they may cause some discomfort and bruising, they are not used routinely.

Read more about needle-free insulin.

Insulin can be injected into:

  • The front of the abdomenThe part of the body that contains the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and other organs.
  • The upper arms
  • The outer thigh
  • The buttocks.

The injection site should be rotated regularly, to avoid repeated injections in the same place. This is because insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. can cause a build-up of fatty tissue at the injection site, a side-effect known as lipohypertrophyThe build-up of fat tissue at the site of repeated insulin injections, due to the local effects of insulin..[1]

As well as lipohypertrophyThe build-up of fat tissue at the site of repeated insulin injections, due to the local effects of insulin. and the risk of hypoglycaemia, other side-effects of insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. therapy include weight gain - which can exacerbate diabetes - and salt and water retention.[1]

Sometimes, people with type 1 diabetes may take insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. by means of a pump - this is also known as continuous subcutaneous insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. infusion.

Insulin pumps are portable and deliver a continuous level of insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. beneath the skin (subcutaneously), with a higher dose to be taken with meals. This type of therapy is not usually needed but may be helpful in some people, such as those with poor glucoseA simple sugar that is an important source of energy in the body. control despite multiple injection regimens.[3]

References: 
  1. Boon NA, Colledge NR and Walker BR. Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. 2006; 20th edition.
  2. Philips JC, Scheen A. Insulin detemir in the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Vascular Health and Risk Management 2006; 2: 277-83.
  3. Pickup J, Mattock M, Kerry S. Glycaemic control with continuous subcutaneous insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. infusion compared with intensive insulinA hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas that acts to lower blood glucose levels. injections in patients with type 1 diabetes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trialsStudies comparing the outcomes between one or more different treatments for a disease (or in some instances, preventive measures against that disease) and no active treatment at all (the placebo group). Study participants are allocated to the various groups on a random basis. May be abbreviated to RCT.. BMJ 2002; 324: 1-6.