Facts to know about Insulin
By Charmini Gammanpila
Insulin is something that should be taken at a moment when protein is essential. When you purchase it from a Pharmacy and take it home, do not forget to take a container with ice cubes, says Dr. Chandima Namaratne, Executive Director Diabetic Foot Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre, Wimalawihara Road, Nawala.
Insulin is a medication that is essential for controlling Diabetes. Although what is used through modern medical research is Human Insulin, which is a type of insulin, artificially produced in laboratories, it has similar activity to insulin being produced within the body naturally.
In order to get rid of the fear of patients of injecting insulin into their body, in the modern era, very sharp type of injection needles are used. These have been sterilized and can be disposed of subsequent to one use.
Insulin is a protein. It becomes active at a temperature of less than 30 degrees Centigrade only. This drug is destroyed if kept in a deep freezer or at high temperatures or exposed to the sun. Therefore, when not in use, the Insulin vial should be placed in a clay container and kept in a cool place or stored in a refrigerator with a temperature between two and eight degrees Centrigrade. Also, when Insulin is purchased from a Pharmacy and being taken home it should be placed in a container with ice cubes. One of the main factors that have an effect on the sugar level of patients in Sri Lanka who use insulin, not being able to control the levels properly is using insulin which has not been stored at the proper temperature.
Insulin is a costly drug. However, high quality insulin is provided free of charge for Diabetic patients through government hospitals. Various types of devices have been manufactured using modern technology to inject insulin into the body. Two of these devices are Insulin pens and Insulin pumps. Also, a device which has been manufactured to measure the sugar level in patients very conveniently is the Glucometer. The use of these devices enables persons from a small child to an elderly patient to inject insulin without any inconvenience while in their home and also to measure the sugar level in the blood.
A number of types of Insulin are being used in the modern era and they differ from each other based on the speed and time it acts within the body subsequent to being injected. Accordingly insulin can be divided into three categories viz Insulin that acts immediately: Asparte Insulin, Lispro Insulin and Soluble Insulin
Insulin should be injected about 15 or 30 minutes prior to a meal. Its maximum activity begins in an hour's time and lasts for eight hours. This type of Insulin is recommended even three times a day.
Intermediate acting Insulin: Isophone Insulin is an example for this. Long acting Insulin: Protamine Zinc Insulin, Insulin Detemir and Insulin Glargine.
Once these types of Insulin are injected into the body, it begins acting in an hour or two and its maximum action is after four hours or 12 hours and it can remain active within a period of 16 or 36 hours. Doctors recommend that these types should be injected once or twice a day.
When, insulin is initially recommended for patients with a high level of blood sugar, there is a possibility of pain in the legs or numbness increasing, the vision reducing at once but these are temporary. Unlike types of insulin which were used at the very beginning, the types of insulin used today rarely produce allergies.
If Insulin is often injected into one place, the fat layer under the skin can melt or increase and create nodes. This can be avoided by rotating and changing the places where insulin injections are given.
One of the main side effects that can occur due to insulin is, the sugar level in the blood dropping drastically. As a result a patient can become unconscious. Therefore, patients who use insulin should inject the proper dose specified and it should be injected 15 to 30 minutes before partaking of a meal.
Even if the Insulin dosage is increased, if the level of sugar in the blood does not decrease by a considerable amount, what would have happened most often is that the Insulin injected would have been inactive. At no time should expired insulin be injected.
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