diabetic has to take insulin as part of his or her treatment plan. Those
people who have been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes must take insulin each
day because their body is not manufacturing the needed insulin necessary
How does the
doctor select the type of insulin you will need? Well, the selection
process takes several things into account. They include information about
your body such as weight, and build. The degree of physical activity you
normally have and your usual daily food intake is also considered. In
addition to your current state of health, both emotional and physical the
doctor will need to look at other factors like what medications you may be
taking. All of these factors will play a large part in determining the
correct type of insulin for you.
who require insulin must take two shots a day, and careful monitoring of
blood sugar levels is important to ensuring the correct amount of insulin
is administered. It is not unusual for people to require more than one
type of insulin to control their blood levels.
various types of insulin available and just as many delivery options for
the diabetic today. The doctor based on the different actions of each type
and its duration carefully evaluates types and delivery methods. Because
not everyone responds in the same way, it may be necessary to try several
types of insulin before the right one you for is determined.
types of insulin are classified by how long they take to act. There is
fast acting, slow acting prolonged duration or very slow acting and rapid
acting or very fast acting.
is a list of the types of insulin commonly used:
Ultra Short-Acting Insulin: HUMALOG
Short-Acting Insulin: Regular (R) and Semilente
(r) (S). These preparations start and stop working more quickly than
other types of insulin.
Intermediate-Acting Insulin: NPH (N) and Lente(r)
(L). These insulins take longer to start working and work longer than
Long-Acting Insulin: Ultralente(r) (U). This
insulin starts acting slowly and last the longest.
Combination Insulins: 70/30 insulin contains 70
percent NPH and 30 percent Regular insulin, so the Regular begins
working quickly, and the NPH takes over when the Regular is stopping.
50/50 insulin has equal parts of the two preparations.
When you are ready to give an injection it is important to select the
right location for the shot. There are a wide variety of site on your body
that you can use including your abdomen, thighs, buttocks, and upper arms.
Some of these sites will get the insulin into your body faster than
others, and this can affect your blood sugar. That is why it is important
to talk with your doctor about which are the best sites for you to use.
How fast your body absorbs the insulin is important because it helps to
reliably predict the effect of each dose of insulin. It is best to keep a
consistent site for each time of day and the type of insulin you are
using. Here is a breakdown of the common sites and how the absorption time
is for each site.
Thighs – Slow absorption
Upper Arms – Medium absorption
Abdomen – Fast absorption
Buttocks – Slow absorption
It is a good idea to rotate the sites where you are injecting
insulin. Rotating helps prevent the skin from toughening and affecting
absorption. It is best to have a set plan for rotating the sites. You may
find it easiest to always use only the abdomen and rotate sites within the
area of the abdomen. If you think of the area of your abdomen as a clock,
you could rotate from 1 o’clock to 11 o’clock, starting farthest out
from the navel and moving progressively closer in toward the navel. If you
want to include arms and thighs in the rotation, you should be sure to
inject in the same area at the same time each day. For example, take your
morning injection in the abdomen, your afternoon injection in the thigh or
arm, and your evening injection in the buttocks. When rotating injection
sites on a limb or the abdomen, make the first injection within the
appropriate area and then separate subsequent injection sites by about a
Always be sure
to discuss any plan of care with your doctor, or health care manager. When
you work together, you will be able to formulate a plan of care that works
best for your individual needs.
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