Diabetes and Insulin



Insulin is given as injection. There are different types of insulins. Short acting with short duration of action. Intermediate and long acting insulins also are there. Depending on need different insulin are selected. Insulin is injected under the skin normally. Trials are going on for oral insulins and even islet cell transplantation.As treatment tablets alone, insulin alone, or insulin and tablets combined are the different ways.The idea is to bring blood sugar to near normal.


When do you require Insulin?


  • Type I Diabetics
  • During serious illnesses
  • Preparatory to, during and after surgery
  • When tablets fail

You may require insulin units as much, more, or less of your body weight number in kilos daily. Calculate the daily need. Of this 2/3 before breakfast 1/3 before dinner. That is a rough idea. In glucose self-monitoring the dose can be adjusted as advised by your doctor. You need the help of a Glucometer.


How to take insulin


Young Type II diabetics may start with insulin for 1 or 2 months. Then afterwards switch over to tablets. Insulin syringes are available in 2 forms,

  • Unit-100 syringe - 1 ml contains 100 units
  • Unit- 40 syringe - 1 ml contains 40 units




Sites of Injection


  • Upper arm
  • Thighs
  • Abdomen- around stomach button
  • Buttocks

Keep ready Insulin, syringe, needle, and spirit swabs. Wash the hands with soap and water. Roll the vial between palms to bring it to normal body temperature also to mix the mixed insulins. Ordinarly insulin has to be injected 20 minutes before food. There are insulins that can be taken just before or just after food.

Clean the skin with spirit cotton swab.

Pinch the skin between the thumb and index finger. Pierce the needle at the center of the pinched skin vertically and inject insulin. Leave the pinch. The injected insulin will spread under the skin.





Insulin Pen


Device for insulin injection is widely available. Disposables ones and reusable pens are available. Prefer disposable pens for short term use. Pens for long term use have separate cartridges which can be replaced. Very convenient. Small needles. Dosing is convenient. A bit costly but affordable. No need for refrigeration. Convenient while on travel.




Insulin Pump


Insulin Pump is available for continuous administration of insulin. It is costly. Advanced systems with sensors are available to meet different needs of patients.



©2017 Dr. Kamalasanan

Navabharath Diabetes Care & Research

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