Archive for July 31st, 2014
The term “insulin” is easily associated with diabetes. While many people may consider it to be only a diabetes drug, it is a natural substance produced by the body. The pancreas is a small organ that creates insulin. The cells in the body need blood glucose (sugar) from carbohydrates for energy, but blood sugar can’t go directly into the cells without some help.
Enter insulin – the key that unlocks the cell door.
When you eat, blood sugar rises as the food provides a new stream of energy. The beta cells in the pancreas get a signal to release insulin into the blood. Insulin then attaches to the cells and allows the sugar to be absorbed and used for fuel.
Insulin is important to keep balance in the bloodstream. It keeps blood sugar levels from getting too high, preventing a condition called hyperglycemia. If also keeps blood sugar levels from being too low, preventing a condition called hypoglycemia.
In people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin so they will need to take insulin injections to keep blood glucose levels under control. People with type 2 diabetes also can use injected insulin to control blood sugar. Insulin is often used with pills to treat type 2 diabetes.
The latest treatment trend involved inhaled insulin. First, insulin is made into a powder form. The tiny particles of insulin would then be put inside of an inhaler similar to that used by people with asthma. The fine powder is then inhaled into lungs and eventually is released into the bloodstream. This process is still being perfected, but you can read more in our earlier blog item: FDA approval opens door for inhaled insulin.
The diabetes educators at Diabetes Management & Supplies can help take the guess-work out of your medication and treatment plan. For more information on insulin delivery or training needs, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.