Diabetic issues therapy: Using insulin to regulate blood sugar

Knowing how insulin impacts your blood sugar can assistance you far better regulate your problem.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Insulin remedy is typically an vital component of diabetes therapy. Understand the essential role insulin plays in managing your blood sugar and protecting against diabetes complications.

The role of insulin in the human body

It may possibly be less difficult to recognize the importance of insulin remedy if you recognize how this obviously developing hormone ordinarily performs in the human body and what transpires if you have diabetes.

If you don’t have diabetes, insulin assists:

  • Control blood sugar concentrations. Right after you take in, carbohydrates crack down into glucose, a sugar that is the body’s principal source of strength. Glucose then enters the bloodstream. The pancreas responds by producing insulin, which will allow glucose to enter the body’s cells to present strength.
  • Keep excess glucose for strength. Right after you take in — when insulin concentrations are higher — excess glucose is stored in the liver in the type of glycogen. Involving meals — when insulin concentrations are small — the liver releases glycogen into the bloodstream in the type of glucose. This retains blood sugar concentrations within just a slim range.

If you have diabetes:

Your glucose concentrations will carry on to rise immediately after you take in since you can find not sufficient insulin to move the glucose into your body’s cells. People with variety 2 diabetes don’t use insulin successfully (insulin resistance) and don’t make sufficient insulin (insulin deficiency). People with variety 1 diabetes make very little or no insulin.

Untreated, higher blood glucose can sooner or later lead to complications this sort of as blindness, nerve injury and kidney injury.

Plans of insulin remedy

If you have variety 1 diabetes, insulin remedy is crucial for changing the insulin your human body would not make. In some cases, individuals with variety 2 diabetes or gestational diabetes will need insulin remedy if other remedies have not been in a position to continue to keep blood glucose concentrations within just the desired range. Insulin remedy assists avoid diabetes complications by maintaining your blood sugar within just your goal range.

Kinds of insulin

There are a number of styles of insulin offered that differ in how immediately and how prolonged they can handle blood sugar. Routinely your medical professional may possibly advise combining a lot more than just one variety of insulin. To determine which styles of insulin you will need and how significantly you will need, your medical professional will contemplate things this sort of as the variety of diabetes you have, your glucose concentrations, how significantly your blood sugar fluctuates throughout the working day and your way of living.

The general styles of insulin remedy consist of:

  • Prolonged-, ultralong- or intermediate-acting insulin. When you might be not taking in, your liver releases glucose so the human body constantly has strength. Prolonged, ultra-prolonged or intermediate-acting insulin assists the human body use this glucose and retains glucose concentrations from rising much too higher.

    Illustrations of these insulins are glargine (Lantus, Toujeo, some others), detemir (Levemir), degludec (Tresiba) and NPH (Humulin N, Novolin N, Novolin ReliOn Insulin N). These insulins operate for in between 8 and 40 several hours, relying on the variety.

  • Speedy- or limited-acting insulin. These insulins are perfect for protecting against blood sugar spikes immediately after you take in. They start off to operate significantly more quickly than prolonged-acting or intermediate-acting insulins do, often in as very little as three minutes. But they operate for a significantly shorter interval of time, ordinarily about two to 4 several hours.

    Illustrations of these insulins consist of aspart (NovoLog, Fiasp), glulisine (Apidra), lispro (Humalog, Admelog) and typical (Humulin R, Novolin R, Myxredlin, ReliOn R).

Insulin shipping alternatives

Insulin would not occur in capsule type since the digestive method would crack it down ahead of it had a chance to operate. But there are a number of selections for insulin shipping. Your medical professional can assistance you make a decision which fits greatest with your way of living and therapy desires.

Possibilities consist of:

  • Photographs or pens. Insulin can be injected into the fat just below your pores and skin with a syringe and needle or a penlike product that maintain insulin with a needle connected. How typically relies upon on the variety of diabetes you have, your blood sugar concentrations and how typically you take in. It may possibly be many instances each individual working day.
  • Insulin pump. An insulin pump pushes modest, continual doses of rapid-acting insulin into a slender tube inserted underneath your pores and skin. These doses are delivered repeatedly throughout the working day. There are a number of different sorts of insulin pumps offered.

Insulin remedy can often be demanding, but it’s an productive way to lessen blood sugar concentrations. If you have any trouble with your insulin program, this sort of as issues staying away from very small or very higher blood sugar concentrations, be certain to speak to your medical professional to see if any adjustments will need to be made. By picking an insulin program that fits your desires and way of living, you can avoid diabetes complications and lead an lively, healthier lifetime.