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A guide to using Insulin

If you are a type 2 diabetic, with your diabetes worsening your doctor may have told you that you need to take insulin. But this is not all bad news.

As per research taking insulin injections is one of the best ways for people who are type 2 diabetics to manage their diabetes.

If you are new to insulin, read on to know more.

Types of insulin:

There are many types of insulin used to treat diabetes and are defined by how they affect our body.

  • Rapid-acting insulin: This starts to work within a few minutes and its effect can last for a couple of hours.
  • Regular- or short-acting insulin: This takes about 30 minutes to work fully and lasts for 3 to 6 hours.
  • Intermediate-acting insulin: This takes between 2 to 4 hours to work fully. Its effects can last for up to 18 hours or more.
  • Long-acting insulin: This type can work for an entire day.

Your may be prescribed more than one type in some cases.

Depending on your condition, you might need to take insulin more than once daily.

Tips for injecting insulin:

When you start taking insulin, your healthcare provider with help you understand how to inject it. Make sure to rotate where you inject so that the scar tissue doesn’t build up.

Also keep in mind not to inject near your joints, groin area, navel, the middle of your stomach, or on existing scars.

Side Effects of Insulin:

  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Weight gain when you initially start using it
  • Lumps or scars where you’ve had too many insulin shots
  • Rash where you injected. This can rarely spread all over the body.

If you have a case of Asthma, then with inhaled insulin, there’s a chance that your lungs could tighten suddenly.

Storing Insulin Injections:

A good rule of thumb for storage is that if the temperature is comfortable for you, the insulin is safe. You can store the bottle that you’re using at room temperature for up to 30 days.

Another tip is to avoid it getting too hot or cold, and keeping away from direct sunlight. With insulin, always make sure you have extra as backup.

The night before you’re going to use a new bottle, take it out and let it warm up. Don’t let the insulin freezeAlways take a look inside the insulin bottle before using.  Rapid-acting and short-acting should be clear. Other forms may look cloudy, but the concentration shouldn’t have any clumps.

If you are travelling, or carry your insulin with you make sure to not shake it as it leads to air bubbles which can alter the dose of insulin you withdraw for your shot.

Storing Inhaled Insulin

When it comes to inhaled insulin, check on the directions on the package. You should keep the package sealed and refrigerated until you’re ready to start using it. Also make sure to use it  within 10 days.

You can refrigerate packages once you’ve opened, but make sure to let the cartridge warm up to room temperature 10 minutes before you start using it.

Regular monitoring:

If you are someone who uses insulin on a regular basis, it is advisable to invest in a self blood sugar monitoring device, better known as the glucometer.

This will help you keep a track of your blood sugar levels from the comfort of wherever you are.


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