There are various types of insulin used to treat type-1 diabetes, which include:
This type of insulin is typically taken before every meal to prevent the blood glucose from elevating after a meal. Rapid-acting insulin is used in combination with longer-acting insulin.
- As the name suggests, this type of insulin produces quick results, making it easier to time insulin with food.
- Rapid-acting insulin is quickly absorbed by the body and works as effectively as naturally produced insulin.
- This type of insulin provides more flexibility, which means you can compensate an extra serving of carbohydrates consumed by taking an extra shot of the insulin.
- The results are extremely short-term
This type of insulin covers the body’s insulin needs for meals within 30 to 60 minutes. It is also taken in combination with long-acting insulin.
- You have to take short-acting insulin before breakfast and supper and this is enough to keep your blood sugar level in check
- Peak time is only 2 to 5 hours
This type of insulin works in a similar way as long-acting insulin, covering your insulin needs for
around half of the day or throughout the night, and is typically combined with short or rapid-acting insulin. It lowers blood glucose level in case rapid-acting insulin ceases to work. This type of insulin is taken two times a day.
- Controls blood sugar up to 12 hours with a peak time 2 to 5 hours
- The insulin can take up to 1.5 to 4 hours to reach the bloodstream
Taken in combination with rapid-acting insulin twice a day, long-acting insulin acts as a backup should rapid-acting insulin stop working and covers the body’s insulin needs for a complete day.
- Unlike rapid and short-acting insulin, long-acting insulin can regulate blood sugar level for the whole day, and provides a similar effects as your natural pancreas.
- This type of insulin brings the possible risk of various side effects including chills, headaches, fainting, dizziness, blurred vision and weakness
Administering Insulin - Important Points to Keep in Mind
- When not in use, vials of insulin should be refrigerated. You have to keep the liquid away from extreme temperatures to prevent frosting, clumping, or loss of potency. Any important storage guidelines as provided by the manufacturer should be taken into consideration.
- The insulin should not be mixed with any other diluent or medication unless permitted by the prescribing doctor.
- Lente insulins should not be mixed with phosphate-buffered insulins.
- Consistency is important in terms of the insulin brand and type used.
- Always take a dose of insulin at room temperature. If it has been sitting in the refrigerator, take it out 30 minutes before injecting to properly let its temperature normalize.
- Make sure there are no air bubbles in the injection.
- Avoid changing the direction of the needle when inserting or withdrawing.
- Thoroughly wash and dry your hand prior to filling the syringe with insulin.
- When injecting the insulin, pinch the skin then put the needle at an angle of 45 degrees. Leave the syringe injected in the skin for about 5 seconds.
- Do NOT inject in an area that is swollen, bruised or tender.
- Prevent your shots from coming into contact with any scars (1 inch away) and navel (2 inches away).
- Use disposable syringes only once.
- Consult your pharmacist about the best way and place to store insulin. Never put insulin in the freezer.