Insulin is used to keep under control the blood glucose (sugar level in the blood, particularly glucose) in people with type 1 diabetes and in those with a type 2 diabetes that can not be controlled with only oral antidiabetic.
What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas . It works by replacing the insulin that should already be produced by the body: in this way it promotes the passage of sugars from the blood to the tissues, which use them as a source of energy. It also blocks the release of sugars by the liver.
How is Insulin taken?
Insulin is taken in the form of injections . The doses vary from patient to patient and according to the prescribed formulation (there are, for example, ultra-prolonged action). The action exerted by the drug is however always the same: the only differences concern the speed of action and how long it manages to keep blood sugar levels under control.
Side effects of Insulin
Possible side effects of insulin include:
- swelling, redness and itching at the injection site
- changes in skin sensitivity, feeling of tight skin and the formation of small depressions on the surface of the epidermis
- weight gain
It is good to contact a doctor immediately in case of:
- rash or itching throughout the body
- shortness of breath
- clouded view
- fast heart beat
- breathing difficulties or swallowing
- muscle cramps
- abnormal heart beat
- strong and rapid weight gain
- swelling of arms, hands, feet, ankles or calves
Warnings on the use of Insulin
When taking insulin you should be careful with alcohol consumption, which can cause a reduction in the blood sugar level. It is also important to discuss with your doctor how to behave in case of illness, stress, travel or changes in physical activity levels.
Treatment should be combined with regular blood glucose control. Before starting it, it is important to inform your doctor:
- of any allergies to the active substance, its excipients or any other drug or food;
- of the other medicines, herbal medicines and supplements you are taking, in particular alpha- and beta-blockers, Ace inhibitors, antidepressants, Asparaginases, Diazoxide, diuretics, drugs against asthma or colds , MAO inhibitors, hormonal contraceptives, Niacin, Octreotide, oral antidiabetic drugs, steroids (orally), quinine, quinidine, salicylates (e.g. aspirin), sulfonamide antibiotics or thyroid drugs;
- if you suffer (or have suffered) from nerve damage caused by diabetes, heart failure or heart, adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, liver or kidney problems ;
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding .
It is also important to inform doctors, surgeons and dentists about taking Insulin.