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Insulin Actions Times and Peak Times

A good way to improve your glucose levels is to track the peaks and drops in your glucose, so you can figure out why they happened and how to correct them. Once you identify glucose patterns (they ARE there!), you also want to understand when each of your insulins is active and when they typically stop lowering your glucose. This helps you adjust your doses or food intake to stop unwanted ups and downs in your readings.

Rapid Insulins

Like Regular, Humalog and Novolog are used to cover meals and snacks. Most meals raise the blood sugar for only 2 to 3 hours afterwards. Once injected, Regular insulin takes 30 minutes to begin working, peaks between 2 and 4 hours and hangs on for 6 to 8 hours, long after the meal stopped raising the blood sugar. Humalog and Novolog, on the other hand, begin working in about 10 minutes, peaks at one to one and a half hours and are gone in about three and a half to four hours. Many people who've tried these faster insulins report that their control is improved and that they feel better. The great advantage of fast insulins are that they match the "action time" for most meals. You can take them as you begin eating, rather than the 30 to 45 minutes prior to eating required of Regular. No longer do you need to accurately anticipate when you (or your young child with diabetes) will begin eating. In addition, Humalog and Novolog leave your body faster so you don't have residual insulin causing low blood sugars in the late afternoon or, even worse, in the middle of the night.

Insulin Basics

How To Store Insulin

  • Store insulin you are not using in a refrigerator. It is a protein dissolved in water, sort of like a soup stock, so keep it cold to prevent it from spoiling. Keep it between 36º and 46º F. If it gets colder it will freeze. If the insulin freezes, when it thaws it will separate and clump and will no longer be usable. If it gets warmer it will be ok for awhile but will eventually spoil.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting about 30,000 people in the U.S. alone. People with CF produce very sticky, thick mucas which affect the cell function of the lungs, pancreas, intestines and reporductive organs.

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