All you need to know about Insulin.

Insulin

Insulin is a hormone which is produced by the pancreas, its function is to control the amount of glucose in the bloodstream by storing the glucose in muscles and liver and also regulates the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate, and fats in the body.
Hormones are chemical substances that travel from one part of the body to another and control the proper functioning of cells and organs in the body.
The pancreas is an organ that is about 6 inches long, present at the back of the abdomen and behind the stomach. The cluster of cells called islets present in the pancreas. Insulin is produced by the beta cells of the islet. The function of the pancreas is to detect the level of glucose in the body and produce insulin in an adequate amount. 
When a person eats, the level of glucose in the body rises that triggers the pancreas to secret insulin to maintain the level of glucose in the bloodstream and store the sugar as the source of energy in muscles. If the pancreas is not working properly and does not produce the insulin of the required amount, it leads to a high level or too low level of glucose in the body. That causes type1 diabetes or type2 diabetes.

Problems of insulin

Type1 diabetes:

If the immune system of the body attacks the cells of the islet and does not allow the pancreas to produce the adequate amount of insulin, due to this the glucose level rises in the body and leads to type1 diabetes.
It mostly develops in childhood.
In this case, patients require the therapy of insulin.

Type2 diabetes:

When the cells of the body do not respond/show resistance to the insulin or the pancreas does not produce insulin in an adequate amount, it leads to type2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
This type of diabetes mostly develops in people 40 to 45 years of age.

Gestational diabetes:

This type of diabetes develops in pregnant women when the body of a woman does not show an insulin response. It usually stops after the birth of a child, but it can also increase the chances of type2 diabetes in pregnant women. 
According to the CDC (center for disease control and prevention), type2 diabetes is more common than type1 diabetes. Type2 diabetes is about 91-95% among diabetic patients.

Types of insulin

There are different types of insulin and types of insulin also depend on different factors:

  • The concentration of insulin.
  • Duration of working of insulin in the body.
  • Route of administration of insulin in the body.
  • Other medications can affect the working of insulin.
  • Dehydration (does not allow the absorption of insulin properly).
  • Depression or stress (increases the level of glucose in the body).

Fast-acting insulin:

This type of insulin is administrated through the subcutaneous tissues of the body. The function of this type of insulin is to control the level of glucose in the body after eating food.
This includes:

Rapid-acting insulin: 

: it starts working in 5 to 15 minutes and the effect of this insulin lasts for about 2 to 4 hours.

Regular human or short-acting insulin: 

it starts working in 30 to 60 minutes and its effect lasts for about 6 to 8 hours.

Intermediate-acting insulin:

This type of insulin enters the body at a slow rate and remains in the body for a longer period of time than the fast-acting insulin.
It reaches the blood in about 2 to 4 hours and remains in the body for about 18 hours.

Long-acting insulin:

It slowly reaches the blood and remains in the blood for 20 to 24 hours.
Patients with type1 diabetes take insulin and patients with type2 diabetes do not need to take insulin. They can maintain the level of glucose in the body by taking proper diet, exercise, and by taking other oral medicines. But sometimes patients with type2 diabetes also need to take insulin.

Side effects of Insulin:

  • Low level of glucose called hypoglycemia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Coughing (due to taking inhaled insulin).
  • Swelling or rashes at the site of injection.
  • Increase in the weight of the body.

Hypoglycemia:

Due to the taking of insulin, cells of the body absorb the glucose from the blood. Taking insulin at the wrong time and the wrong administration of insulin causes a drop in the level of blood glucose.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia:

  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • vomiting
  • Confusion
  • The pale color of skin
  • Fatigue
  • Irritation
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Weakness
  • The low temperature of the body
  • Damaging of subcutaneous tissues due to wrong administration of insulin.

It is essential to follow the schedule of taking insulin to keep the normal level of glucose in the blood. Otherwise, it may lead to different types of complications. 
In some patients, insulin treatment increases the risk of other complications which includes:

  • Heart attack.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Problems of a kidney.
  • Increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • May leads to a severe hypoglycemia.
  • Lungs problems.

Ways of taking insulin:

  • Injectable insulin: Most patients with diabetes use a syringe for the administration of insulin.
  • Inhalable insulin: Some patients use the inhaler which has already measured insulin.
  • Insulin pens: Insulin pens are just like writing pens and are used to prevent the taking of low or high amounts of insulin.
  • Jet injections: some patients do not like to use the needles. They can use the jet injection for the taking of insulin.

Safely taking insulin:

  • A patient should have to take the advice from a doctor about the selection of the right type of insulin.
  • Patients should know the side effects of insulin therapy.
  • It is essential for the patients to check the level of blood glucose regularly and do not miss the dose.
  • Take the insulin at right time.
  • Take the advice from a doctor on how to overcome the side effect of insulin treatment.

Storing of insulin:

  • Insulin can be stored in a refrigerator of temperature about 2ºC to 8ºC (but not at freezing temperature).
  • Open vials can be used for about 30 days.
  • Protect the insulin vials from sunlight and heat.
  • Do not use expired vials of insulin.
  • Never shake the vials.

Conclusion:

Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the islet present in the pancreas. Its function is to control the level of glucose in the bloodstream. If the pancreas is not producing insulin in an adequate amount the blood glucose level rises and causes type1 and type2 diabetes. In this case, patients take insulin therapy. Insulin treatment can also lead to different side effects such as hypoglycemia. To overcome the side effects, take the advice from a doctor and use the correct dose at right time.

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