By Dr. Abhay Ahluwalia, Endocrinology
Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, allows for utilization of the glucose for energy. The food consumed is broken down by the digestive tract of the body, converting carbohydrates into glucose before releasing it into the bloodstream. The glucose is then absorbed by the cells to be used as an energy source.
Insulin even plays a pivotal role in balancing the blood sugar counts. In case of too much of glucose content in your blood, insulin prompts your body to store the surplus sugar in your liver to be released when your blood sugar dips, for instance during times of stress or in-between meals when your body requires an additional boost of energy.
Diabetes occurs when your body cannot produce or utilize the insulin in your body once the immune system has destroyed the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.
TYPES OF INSULIN-
Insulin cannot be consumed orally. It has to be injected with an insulin pump, insulin pen or a syringe.
- Rapid-Acting Insulin: This kind of insulin starts working within 15 minutes of being injected and lasts for 5 hours if administered prior to a meal.
- Short-Acting Insulin: Usually prescribed before a meal, this insulin starts to work in about an hour following the injection, lasting for approximately 8 hours.
- Long-Acting Insulin: This type of insulin starts to work after an hour of being injected, and its effects last for about 26 hours.
- Intermediate-Acting Insulin: This kind of insulin begins to act after about 3 hours of being injected with the effects lasting up to 16 hours.
In a nutshell, insulin sustains your blood sugar count within an optimal range, hence alleviating your risk of developing diabetes complications, such as limb amputation and blindness. Therefore, it is essential to keep a check on your blood sugar count on a daily basis and change your lifestyle accordingly to prevent high blood sugar count.