short acting insulin || Understanding Diabetes Better

In this article, we will try to understand one of the forms of insulin which is common among the type 1 diabetics.

As we could understand now that Type 1 diabetics are the ones who don’t produce insulin at all and they have to rely on insulin injection for their lifetime.
If you want to understand about different form of diabetes, click here

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Different Types of Insulin
There are different form of insulin available in the market.
We basically categorize them in terms of functionality, i.e. some are immediate acting, some are short and others are long acting insulin.

While it’s your doctor who will have final word regarding your insulin dose, still a good understanding of the disease is always helpful; keeping that in mind, i have categorized insulin below which i think can help in your diabetes management

INSULIN
TYPE
BRAND NAME START DURATION FUNCTIONALITY
RAPID ACTING
LISPRO (Humalog) 15-30min 3-5 hours These insulins are used to metabolize the food we eat.
These are usually taken immediately before the food we eat
Aspart (Novolog) 10-15 min 3-5 hours
Glulisine (Apidra) 20-30 min 1-2 hours
SHORT ACTING
Novolin 30min-1 hr 5-8 hr Also used to metabolize our daily diet
Velosulin 30 min-1 hr 2-3 hr
Long Acting
Lantus 90 minutes-3hrs 16-24 hrs Known as background insulin. They control the carbohydrate dump by the liver and maintain normal blood sugar throughout the day
Levemir 90 minutes-3hrs 16-24 hrs
Ultra Long Acting
Tresiba 30 min 42 hrs Used as background insulin

What type of Insulin is best for you?
Well, i think it is the doctor’s job to prescribe insulin which works best for you. As every diabetic is different, it is the job of doctor to analyze various patterns and behaviors to prescribe the right insulin for your body. Basically, he looks into following things

1. Your body response to insulin (which depends on your metabolism, weight, BMI etc)

2. Food Habits
 In India, food habit chances with geographical location, religion, and age. For example, elderly people tend to enjoy home cooked food while young generations are more into fast food

3. Willingness to inject
While one can have no issue injecting 3-4 times a day, others can have issues doing that.
I personally inject immediate-acting insulin (Humalog)  two times a day (in the morning and evening) and then in the night take 30/70 novomix before dinner

4. How often you check your blood sugar
Injecting insulin multiple times a day can give you better control over your blood sugar. But if you cannot bear the hassle of injecting multiple times a day, then doctor can refer you to inject novomix injection. Using novomix injection make you susceptible to Hypoglycemia, hence testing blood sugar at different times a day is necessary

The main purpose to come up with this article is to understand about short-acting insulin. In the below section i have tried to explain the functionality, uses and different market variants of short acting insulin

What is Short-acting Insulin?
It is a type of insulin which is quick to function as compared to long-acting but not as quick as rapid acting insulin.
It is basically taken to metabolize carbohydrate which we get from food, thus diabetics take this injection just before or after their meal

Where to Inject Insulin?
Most people inject insulin right at the belly.
The process is to find the site 3 fingers away from the navel and then inject.

Some people also inject at their thighs.
One thing is important for to understand while injecting insulin, you should select different areas otherwise it will lead to the development of fats which can hinder the absorption of insulin

Different Brands of Short-Acting Insulin
Short Actin Insulin itself comes from a variety of brands. In order to prevent confusion, i have tried listed some of them

1. Actrapid (by Novo-Nordisk Company)
2. Humulin (by Eli Lily & Co)
3. Velosulin (by Novo-Nordisk)

Why it’s important to inject less insulin?
Most of the diabetics think that now that they are injecting insulin, they are free to eat anything they want. This attitude can have serious repercussions in the future as eating diet high in carbohydrates can lead to ineffective diabetes management, it does not matter whether you are taking insulin or not.

In fact, ADA in their guidelines recommend eating around 150 gms of carbs/meal which i think is excessive diabetic.
I, being a Type 1 diabetic, restrict to around 20 gm of carbs per meal. you can understand the gross difference between the recommended guidelines and my practice.

But why shouldn’t diabetic eat high carb foods?
Now the person is taking insulin, isn’t it safe to eat whatever they want?

No, because of following reasons:
1. Let’s say you purchased a packet of chips, then figured out from the packet that it contains around 35gm of carbs and took insulin accordingly.
This process is faulty because there is always some error in carb figures given in the back of the packet, This way you will never be able to judge the actual amount of insulin needed to cover the carbs.

2. Its been found in the research that more insulin you take, the more get the chances of getting destroyed by our body system.
So for example, if you are taking 20 units of insulin, only 15 units will be utilized while the rest 5 gets wasted. This can lead to gross miscalculation and the blood sugar will rise because of 5 unit wastage.

If you are insulin dependent diabetic, i will suggest you to restrict your dose below 7 units for effective utilization. This can help you to control your sugar effectively and will also prevent Hypoglycemia condition.

You can only reduce your insulin dose by following low carbohydrate diet.
The less carb you put into the body, the less insulin you need to cover it up.

FINAL WORD
Now that you have read about bolus insulin, I think this knowledge will definitely help you to manage your diabetes effectively.

If you liked the article, share it with the diabetic community so that they can also be benefitted from this knowledge.

Further Read
How Metformin cause side- effect?
Understanding Basal Insulin
Can a diabetic eat Popcorn?
Understanding HBA1C Reading
 
Suggested Reading
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How can bottle gourd help to maintain a healthy body?

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