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  Diabetes >> Diabetes and Insulin >> Types of Insulin


Types of Insulin


Good control of blood glucose levels is important for your health, now and in the future. Understanding your insulin treatment will help you to control diabetes. It will also help you to fit the diabetes into your life, instead of trying to fit your life around the diabetes.

There are more than 20 types of insulin products available in four basic forms, each with a different time of onset and duration of action. The decision as to which insulin to choose is based on an individual's lifestyle, blood sugar level and a physician's preference and experience. Criterions to be considered in choosing insulin are:

  • Onset:- how soon it starts working.
  • Peak time:- when it works the hardest.
  • Duration:- how long it lasts in the body.

Obesity affects the work of insulin in the body. If body has extra fat tissue, then it will be more resistant to insulin. Treatment for Type 1 diabetes most likely includes insulin via injections, inhaled insulin or an insulin pump. Your physician will recommend the appropriate insulin treatment and its delivery mechanism, in respect to individual case.

Insulin was prepared from bovine (beef) and porcine (pork) sources. Beef and pork insulin is no longer available in the United States. Instead, recombinant (human) insulin is used and marketed. Insulin can’t be taken by mouth because it would be destroyed by digestion, so it is administered subcutaneous by syringe. Since 1982, most of the newly approved insulin preparations have been produced by inserting portions of DNA ("recombinant DNA") into special lab-cultivated bacteria or yeast. This process allows the bacteria or yeast cells to produce complete human insulin. Recombinant human insulin has, for the most part, replaced animal-derived insulin, such as pork and beef insulin. Regular insulin acts within 30 minutes and its effect lasts for 6 to 8 hours. The maximal effect occurs 1 to 3 hours following the injection. As compared to regular insulin, insulin lispro acts more rapidly, has an earlier maximal effect and a shorter duration action. Therefore, insulin lispro should be given within 15 minutes of a meal, compared to regular insulin, which is given 30-60 minutes before meals.

Nowadays people with diabetes no longer need needles or shots to take insulin, as researchers have prepared new ways to get insulin into the bloodstream which can be just inhaled. In January 2006, the FDA approved inhaled insulin, started as a treatment option for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. This new type of insulin, available by the name Exubera, comes in powder form and is the first new insulin delivery option since the discovery of the hormone in the 1920s.


Diabetes and Insulin
Structure of Insulin
Insulin Synthesis
Types of Insulin
Insulin Regimens
Diabetes Insulin Classification
Diabetes and Insulin Analogs
Insulin Injection Devices
Diabetes Treatment and Insulin Problems
Insulin Syringes
Insulin Pump
Inhaled Insulin
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