Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, that helps to regulate blood glucose level. This hormone is essential to transport and store glucose in cells and helps to use glucose as energy source for the organism.

Insulin acts as a key for allowing glucose to access cells. If glucose cannot enter the cells, it is accumulated in the blood.

Pancreas produces insulin in two ways:

  • A slow and continuous insulin that helps blood glucose levels to always remain stable between 70-100 mg/dl, known as basal insulin secretion.
  • Another one, bolus insulin, secreted in greater quantity, generally when the sanguineous glucose is in high values after meals, known as pulsatile insulin secretion.

Types of insulin

Depending on the type of insulin to use, the effect starting time varies, i.e., the moment in which insulin starts lowering the blood sugar level.

Moreover, it is necessary to know the peak, when insulin reaches its maximum effect, in which blood glucose level will be reduced.

There should be awareness of the duration of the effects of insulin, that is to say the period during which the blood glucose level will keep lowering.

Insulin is classified into several groups:

Fast-acting insulin

It is rapidly absorbed from adipose (subcutaneous) tissue in the bloodstream. It is used to control blood glucose during the ingestion of food or drinks, and thus correct high blood sugar levels.

Start10 – 15 minutes
Peak30 – 90 minutes
Duration3 – 5 hours

 

 

 

Examples: Apidra, Humalog, Novorapid, etc.

¿ME HE PUESTO YA LA INSULINA?

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Short-acting or regular insulin

As its name suggests, they are short-acting insulins, generally taking longer to produce effect.

Start30 – 60 minutes
Peak2 – 3 hours
Duration5 – 7 hours

 

 

Example: Actrapid.

Intermediate acting insulin

This type of insulin acts like basal insulin, it is absorbed more slowly, extending the duration of its effect. It is administered once or twice a day and is specially used to control blood glucose level during night, fasting or between meals. It is normally combined with fast-acting insulins.

Start1 – 2 hours
Peak4 – 7 hours
Duration10 – 13 hours

Example: Humulin N.

Long-acting insulin

Like it occurs with intermediate-acting insulins, it is used like basal insulins and is slowly absorbed, having a minimum peak effect. Its effect is more stable during the most part of the day.

Start1 – 2 hours
Peak6 – 7 hours
Duration24 – 36 hours

Examples: Tresiba, Toujeo, Levemir, Lantus.

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Premixed Insulins

These are combinations of fast-acting insulins with intermediate-acting insulins, in different proportions. It is only necessary an injection of premixed insulin to control both basal and prandial glycaemia..

It is impossible to take insulin pills because it would decompose during digestion. It has to be injected into the fat located under the skin so that it can be incorporated into the blood.

We leave you the following link about how to inject insulin. Moreover, remember that our device Insulclock adapts to all mentioned insulin pens.

Inyección de insulina