Essential lessons about insulin

What is Insulin and how does it work?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, the organ situated behind the stomach. When insulin is absent, or is deficient, or is defective, sugar (glucose) cannot enter the cells and remains in blood in high amounts. Causing Diabetes When diabetes progresses, insulin becomes inevitable. After injection, insulin enters the bloodstream and is carried throughout the body where it acts by attaching itself onto cell surfaces and allows sugar to enter the cells.

Who needs Insulin Injections?

Persons with type 1 diabetes are dependent on insulin injections as their pancreas is unable to produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, there may be periods (e.g. during illness, surgery or pregnancy) when an otherwise effective tablet treatment has to be temporarily replaced by insulin treatment. In addition, many patients with type 2 diabetes do much better on a daily insulin injection, especially when tablets are no longer effective. The decision about whether you require insulin is best made by your doctor. Don’t have any aversion for insulin.

What are the Different types of Insulin?

  • Insulin is classified on the basis of species; action profile and strength.
  • Insulin is classified into Human, Porcine and Bovine varieties depending upon their origin.
  • Human insulin are manufactured through genetic engineering
  • (GE-technology) or semi-synthetically.
  • Porcine and Bovine insulin are derived from pig and cattle pancreas respectively.
  • Human insulins are the best Insulins as they are chemically similar to our own insulin .So world wide

HUMAN INSULINS are used more.
1.    Soluble insulin
2.    Isophane insulin [NPH]
3.    Premixed insulin 

Insulin rapid acting insulins
1.   Insulin lispro
2.   Insulin aspart 

Insulin long acting insulin analogues  
1.   Insulin glargine
2.   Insulin detemer 

How do you identify Insulin Type?

  • Soluble insulin 
  • Isophane insulin
  • Premixed insulin

STRENGTH: 
Insulin is available in the following strengths:
1.  i.e. 40 i.u. /ml vial
2. i.e. 100 i.u/ml vial

Note:  In India most of the insulin’s or available with the strength of 40 i.u/ml. some companies market 100 ml i.e.100 i.u/ml also.

REMEMBER THESE POINTS WHILE TAKING INSULIN (strength)

  1. Irrespective of the strength (40 i.u./ml or 100 i.u./ml) your daily dose in international units ( i.u.) remains the same but while injecting specific syringe should be used 
  2. The best way to avoid confusion is to use the correct syringe (i.e.40 i.u. Syringe with 40 i.u/ml vial and 100 i.u. syringe with 100 i.u/ ml insulin)

  WHAT IS A GOOD PATTERN FOR INSULIN INJECTION ROTATION?
Rotation methods vary. Some people go in a clockwise rotation, with every injection 1 inch away from the injection site before. Some people go side to side in an area, keeping a 1 inch distance between injections, until all available sites have been used in that area.
Rotate sites within a particular area, such as the left side of the abdomen or the left front of the thigh, injecting 1 inch from the previous spot each time. For example, start with the left thigh until all injection spots in that area have been used. Then, switch to the right thigh. By the time you get back to the left thigh again, the tissue should be healed and ready to accept insulin again.

The same method can apply to the abdomen. Start on the left side. Move over 1 inch, in a clockwise or side to side progression, for every subsequent injection until all areas of that side have been used. Try not to randomly inject, but to keep track in an orderly way so that all available areas are eventually used and no area is used twice. When all available sites have been used on the left side, switch to the right and proceed the same way. Never inject within 2 inches of the belly button (UMBILICUS).

IMPORTANT:

  • Disposable syringes must be discarded, so that they do not cause harm to others.
  • It is important to rotate in injection site in the chosen area so that you don’t injure the tissue.

Guidelines to follow for storage of Insulin.
Yes:

  • Whenever possible, store insulin in a refrigerator at the recommended temperature (before UN used or before using) of 2-8 degree C.
  • If you cannot store your insulin in a refrigerator, keep it in a cool and dark place.                                                          

No:

  1.  Don’ts use insulin that has been frozen (be careful not to place the insulin too near the cooling system of the refrigerator or the freezer box).
  2. Keep insulin out of the range of sunlight.
  3. When traveling in airplanes, insulin should be carried in the cabin hand baggage.
  4. Do not subject insulin to high temperatures, which can occur.
  • In the car’s glove compartment
  • On a sunny window edge.
  • Near the cooking range.
  • On top of electrical equipment, e.g. tape recorders, T.V.Sets. Etc.

NOTE:  Insulin exhibiting white flakes, a granular deposit or a brownish colour should not be used. 

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