Diabetes and Insulin
Today we’re going to talk a little bit about insulin and diabetes and the interrelationship there. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas. Insulin is necessary for the uptake of glucose, serum uptake of glucose, and where insulin is deficient or absent, we have diabetes.
Insufficient or absent insulin prevents the uptake (the serum uptake) of glucose, and diabetes is the resulting diagnosis. Now when people are diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is necessary that they receive periodic injections of insulin, in order to try to stabilize and normalize their blood glucose levels.
In doing that, there are various ways of doing that, various preparations that are necessary. There is synthetic human insulin as well as animal insulin, porcine being, probably, the closest to human there that’s used, but in the synthetic human insulin used, these preparations vary as to rapidity of onset and duration of effect, and they’re classified as such.
Some are classified as rapid-onset insulin as well as intermediate- or long-acting insulin. The variations within the insulin preparations include the onset of the desired effect, evening out the blood glucose levels, and the duration of the effect (how long it will last). Insulin is primarily given by subcutaneous injection, usually self-administered by the person who has the diabetes.
Some of the side effects, since the injections are to be given fairly regularly, include things like hypoglycemia. You get low blood sugar (low blood glucose levels) because you haven’t produced the right insulin preparation, or you have too long a duration in between injections, things like this. One of the side effects, then, of self-injected (or self-given) insulin is that you might be hypoglycemic.
You can also get allergic reactions to the hormone, even though it’s synthetic—you get whole body allergies to the insulin. Then, also you could get injection site reactions, so it’s not just an allergic reaction, (whole body) but just the sight where it is administered subcutaneously. This is just a brief overview, then, of what insulin is, its relationship to diabetes, some of the matters related to that.