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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Insulin Overview

Written by Paige Reddan.

How It Works

Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the body by the pancreas. It is normally secreted throughout the day and after food is eaten to help normalize blood glucose levels. Insulin "guides" blood glucose up to the cell wall which allows it to enter the cell and provide energy to the cell, thus the body.

In type 2 diabetes, insulin production by the body may not be enough to achieve good glucose control so injected insulin is needed. It is often used in addition to oral medication because the need to reduce insulin resistance still may exist. Also the continued use of metformin is necessary to quiet the livers desire to produce too much extra glucose. Insulin is generally started with one injection each evening, to see if desired glucose results can be accomplished. Adding insulin injections at different times of the day may be necessary to acheive the best blood glucose control.

There are various types of injected insulin used to try and best mimic the patterns of secretion no longer achieved by the pancreas. Short or rapid- acting insulin is used to cover food eaten and bring down high blood glucose levels quickly and requires multiple injections each day. Intermediate-acting insulin is used to keep glucose levels down between meals and overnight and requires two injections each day. Long-acting insulin works similarly to the intermediate-acting insulin in that it works to keep glucose levels down throughout the day and overnight, however it lasts longer and generally requires only one injection each evening.



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