Insulin injections are used in diabetes treatment and management. Our body requires insulin for converting glucose into energy. Glucose is the main source of energy and we get that from food. Insulin is an essential hormone; with the help of insulin our body properly uses glucose. Insulin is produced by beta cells in the pancreas.
Glucose is used as a source of energy for our body’s growth, movements and other functions. Our body breaks down food into glucose. When glucose enters our blood, the pancreas automatically produces insulin to move glucose into our cells. But diabetic people cannot produce enough amounts of insulin. This results in high glucose levels in the blood. To control this high glucose level diabetics need insulin doses.
The main role of insulin is in regulating glucose metabolism but it also plays important role in other functions. Insulin increases amino acid transport into cells, modulates transcription, stimulates growth, stimulates lipogenesis and diminishes lipolysis. It also helps in cell replication and DNA synthesis.
Insulin can’t be taken orally; it is given as an injection under the skin. Insulin can be injected by different devices like insulin pumps, insulin delivery pens and insulin syringes. The insulin pump is inserted below the skin on the abdomen where it stays for two to three days. The pump is programmed to deliver insulin into the body similar to the way the pancreas do. It delivers small and steady insulin dose between meals.
An insulin pen contains an insulin cartridge of 300 units of insulin. Some pens are pre-filled. This device is disposable. An insulin syringe can be used only once. Syringes are manufactured in 0.3 ml (30 units), 0.5 ml (50 units) and 1.0 ml (100 units).
Insulin is commonly given as an injection under the skin generally on the upper arms, buttocks, abdomen, or thighs. Initially these injections can be a little painful. But once you learn the technique it is very easy to inject insulin.
Short acting insulin should be injected in the abdomen skin, long-acting insulin should be injected in the thighs and mix insulin can be injected in the thigh or abdomen. Your doctor can teach you the proper way to inject yourself. First take the right amount of insulin. Take a small fold of skin between the fingers. Insert the needle at an angle and slowly push the needle. When the needle goes into the skin inject the insulin.
The short-acting doses of insulin are given before breakfast and before evening meal. The intermediate-acting doses are given afternoon and overnight. For this type of dosing the pre-mixed insulin injections are convenient.
An insulin injection is a very quick and effective way of controlling the blood sugar level. But multiple daily injections of insulin increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low-sugar problem). Hence insulin dosage should be adjusted by your doctor depending on the nature of your diabetes and your health.
Doctors always study individual case and find the right amount of insulin dose that controls blood sugar best. Though insulin is effective way of controlling sugar levels do not make changes in your insulin dose without your doctor’s advice.
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