What Is Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. It is central to the regulation of metabolism of carbohydrates and fats in the body. When functioning properly in helps remove glucose from the blood to the cells. Without insulin glucose buildup to toxic levels.

What Is Diabetes?

When insulin is not produced or is inhibited in its function you end up being a diabetic. There are several forms of diabetes, type one diabetes sometimes referred to as childhood diabetes, type II the most common form and gestational diabetes. These are the three most common forms and may all lead to us requiring adding insulin, type I always does, to our daily medications.

Type I diabetes is where the body does not produce insulin and therefore the individuals must receive external insulin normally by injection. Type II are insulin resistant, where the body does not produce sufficient quantities of insulin or the inability of the cells to work with the insulin.

The treatment for type II may start with a change in lifestyle, healthy diet and increase physical activity. If that is not working medicine can be added to encourage the cells to work with the insulin that is produced. When the first to or a combination of a does not work then insulin is added to the treatment plan. Gestational diabetes happens to pregnant ladies around the 24th week and can be treated with the same plans as type II. This is normally caused by pregnancy hormones affecting the creation or use of insulin in the body.

What Exactly Is The Insulin That May Be Prescribed?

Let’s start with human insulin, according to Wikipedia it is “peptide hormone composed of 51 amino acids and has a molecular weight of 5808 Da.” It is produced in the pancreas in an area known as islets of Langerhans. This is a hormone that is not produced in people who have type one diabetes.

The insulin used to come from cows (bovine insulin) or pigs (porcine insulin) but they are no longer made or sold. Thanks to recombinant DNA technology now insulin that maybe prescribed fall under four different classifications:
1. Rapid acting – Insulin lispro, Insulin aspart, Insulin glulisine
2. Short acting – regular insulin
3. Intermediate acting – NPH insulin
4. Long-acting – Insulin glargine, Insulin detemir

There is also two type of insulin that is combined:
1. Intermediate-acting plus rapid-acting: Insulin lispro protamine/insulin lispro, Insulin aspart protamine/insulin aspart
2. Intermediate-acting plus short-acting: NPH insulin/regular insulin

Insulin in normally inject by either syringes or pumps. Currently there are studies ongoing with an alternate method. InsuLine Medical, an Israeli based company has developed an insulin patch and is currently in final trials with the FDA. If approved would be a great leap forward not to have to stick yourself once or more times a day.

Insulin Final Words

Being a Marine who got diabetes thanks to Agent Orange in Vietnam, I have had several treatment changes thought the years. At first I was given medicine, pills, to get my body to work with the insulin products. When that stopped working effectively I was moved to Insulin NPH Human insulin. Later I was change to a Rapid – acting Insulin aspart in conjunction with a Long –acting Insulin glargine.

If you are a new diabetic and wondering what might be in store for you, just relax and study the information that you are given by your doctor and what you find on line. If you are being moved to insulin treatment this article is designed to give you some basic knowledge on that subject. There is nothing wrong with asking your doctor about the different classifications if insulin and why they pick the one they did pick. Lets hope that shortly we can put the syringes and pump away and be wearing patches. Remember Insulin is use to help you maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels.