Insulin is a hormone made by beta cells in the pancreas. When we eat, insulin is released into the blood stream where it helps to move glucose from the food we have eaten into cells to be used as energy. Type 1 Diabetics need lifelong insulin, while type 2 diabetics may need insulin at late stages of their disease. Insulin is the preferred therapy in treatment of Diabetes in pregnancy. Your doctor will prescribe you an insulin regimen best for your type of diabetes, meal and activity pattern. You will be advised regarding the type of insulin, dose, frequency and timing related to your meals.
- Rapid acting insulin (Insulin Aspart/ Insulin Lispro) - Clear in appearance. Take just before or after the meal
- Short acting insulin (Soluble insulin) - Clear in appearance. Take 30 min before the meal.
- Intermediate acting insulin(Isophane/ NPH) – Cloudy in appearance
- Mixed insulin(Combination of intermediate or long acting insulin with short or rapid acting insulin in 50/50, 70/30 ratio) – Cloudy in appearance. Relate with meal according to the type of short or rapid acting insulin.
- Long acting insulin (Insulin Glargine/ Detemir) – Acts for 24 hours or more. Commonly prescribed once daily.
Store in the refrigerator door closet / in a cool clay pot. Avoid freezing.
Administration - Points to Remember
- Gather your insulin kit – insulin bottle, syringe and needle/pen, cotton wool. Turn the insulin bottle on its side and roll it between the palms of your hands to mix it well.
- Remove the cap from the needle. Pull back the plunger on the syringe to draw in an amount of air that is equal to your insulin dose. Push the needle into the bottle top and inject the air into the bottle.
- With the needle still in the bottle, turn the bottle and syringe upside down. Pull the plunger to fill the syringe with the insulin dose you need.
- If you see any bubbles, tap the syringe with your finger to make them rise to the top. Slowly push in the plunger just enough to push out the air and the extra insulin.
- Clean the skin where you will get the injection. Rotate the sites of insulin injection.
- Pinch the skin and fat between your thumb and first finger.
- Push the needle into your skin: With your other hand, hold the syringe at a 45 degree angle. Press the plunger with your thumb using a slow and steady push until the insulin is gone.
- Pull out the needle at the same angle you put it in. Press your injection site for a few seconds to keep insulin from leaking out.
Myths and facts about Insulin