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Lonnie E. Shipe, M.A.
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Lonnie E. Shipe, M.A.   My Press Releases

With the glucometer, I always know how much blood sugar I've got, so I can adjust my insulin or the food I eat. Bobby Clarke

Published on 4/20/2018
For additional information  Click Here

Insulin is a popular option for diabetes management, nearly one third of people with diabetes use some form of it alone or in combination with other medication. There are many different types of insulin for diabetes, which gives people who require it options that fit their medical needs and lifestyle.

If you have type 1 diabetes, you need to take insulin to help your body process glucose from food. A person with type 2 diabetes may or may not need insulin depending on how well they manage the disease through diet, exercise, and other medications, or how well their body responds to the insulin it produces.

Types of Insulin

Different varieties of insulin can be effective for different people, and understanding the distinctions is an important part of health management.

Rapid-acting: This insulin starts working in as little as fifteen minutes and is usually taken just before a meal. It reaches peak effectiveness after about one hour and remains effective for two to four hours. This variety is usually taken in combination with a longer-acting insulin.

Regular or short-acting: This type starts working after about thirty minutes, peaks between two to three hours, and continues to work for three to six hours. It is typically given about a half-hour before a meal and is often used with a longer-acting insulin.

Intermediate-acting This variety reaches the bloodstream in two to four hours, peaks in four to twelve hours, and remains effective for twelve to eighteen hours. It is typically given about two hours prior to a meal.

Long-acting: This insulin takes effect after several hours and typically helps lower glucose at a steady rate for twenty-four hours. It is sometimes used with the shorter acting ones to help maintain glucose levels after the rapid- or short-acting doses stop working.

Pre-mixed: This type of insulin is a premixed combination of an intermediate-acting insulin with either a short or rapid-acting insulin in one bottle or insulin pen. The pre-mixed option is useful for people with poor eyesight or dexterity who can't read directions well or have trouble mixing products.

Inhaled: This new rapid-acting insulin, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2014, is inhaled using a nebulizer—similar to the way you would take asthma medication. It starts acting in about fifteen minutes, peaks in thirty, and stays in your system for about ninety minutes. As with other rapid-acting insulins, you need to take this with a longer-acting type as well.

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