Insulin Therapy for Type 1 Diabetics
People with Type 1 diabetes often do not make enough insulin naturally to deal with the sugar that is in their bloodstream. Several methods are used in diabetes treatment and management, one method which includes insulin therapy.
Insulin is essential for strict control of blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes. Tight blood glucose control is the best way to prevent major complications in type 1 diabetes, including those that affect the kidneys, eyes, nerve pathways, and blood vessels. Intensive insulin treatment in early diabetes may even help preserve any residual insulin secretion for at least 2 years.
A diet plan that compensates for insulin administration and supplies healthy foods is extremely important. Pancreas transplantation may eventually be recommended for patients who cannot control glucose levels without frequent episodes of severe hypoglycemia.
First, what is Insulin?
In the body, insulin is a naturally-occurring hormone. It is secreted by cells in the pancreas in response to blood sugar levels. When the body needs sugar for fuel, the insulin is secreted to carry the sugar to the cells. When there is more sugar than insulin, blood sugar levels can rise above normal.
In people with Type 1 diabetes, there is a problem with the insulin production system. The body produces little or no insulin. That leaves the body vulnerable to the effects of high blood sugar; effects which may include nerve damage, eye damage, and poor wound healing, and kidney damage.
There are many manners in which medicinal insulin is obtained and many types of insulin. At first, insulin was obtained from animals and processed for administering in people. Unfortunately, there was always the rejection factor which often worsened the condition. Now, insulin is obtained by harvesting pancreatic cells and creating human insulin for injection. With this source, there is less chance of rejection.
What Insulin Therapy can do?
Insulin therapy is necessary for Type 1 diabetics. It has to be administered each day and sometimes more than once a day to stop blood sugar levels from going too high and to keep sugar moving into the cells for energy. When a person is dependent on insulin, it is important to monitor several times a day. This helps to make sure the blood sugar remains stable.
- Along with different sources of insulin, there are also different types of insulin:
- Intermediate acting
- Long acting
- Rapid acting
Depending on the blood sugar management program prescribed by your doctor, you may be taking more than one type of insulin.
Onset time is important when it comes to insulin. This determines how fast it will lower the glucose levels in your blood. For instance, Rapid Acting insulin can begin to lower your blood sugar in less than fifteen minutes while Regular Onset insulin products take up to an hour to react. Regular Onset insulin is often used when your sugar is high, but not at a dangerous level, like after you have eaten a meal. It is not necessary to drop the levels quickly.
When diabetes is well managed with diet, exercise, and insulin, a Long Acting or Intermediate Acting insulin product may be appropriate. When glucose levels are well controlled over a long period of time, your doctor may put you on this type of insulin treatment program.
There is some trial-and-error expected with taking insulin. You and your doctor will carefully monitor your progress and change your treatment method as needed. This may take time, so don't worry. Follow all instructions given by your health care professional and take charge of your diabetes.