What is insulin? Comprehensive analysis of insulin efficacy, types, side effects and myths!

Our body will secrete different hormones from cells, glands or organs according to different needs. The division of labor and cooperation to maintain the balance of the body is also the messenger of communication between cells. Only a small amount of hormones can change physiological functions. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, responsible for maintaining a certain balance of blood sugar in the body. If the blood sugar is too high for a long time, it may cause diabetes. Insulin is one of the treatment methods for diabetes patients to control blood sugar.

November 14 is the United Nations World Diabetes Day. As the number of diabetic patients is rising, its complications will also seriously affect life and cause financial burdens. According to the International Diabetes Federation, there were only 150 million people with diabetes in the world in 2000. By 2007, there were already 425 million people. Taiwan also adds 160,000 new cases each year. Next, let the nutritionist take everyone to understand how insulin works, what types it has, and the side effects and myths that need to be paid attention to!

What is insulin? What are the effects of insulin?

Insulin is secreted by the islet β cells of the human pancreas. It can convert the glucose in the blood into glycogen and store it in liver cells and muscle cells to prevent excessive blood sugar from harming the body. It also interacts with the glucose secreted by the islet α cells. Antibiotics antagonize each other and together maintain blood sugar stability. Insulin can’t function normally, and the blood is in a state of high blood sugar for a long time, which is diabetes; according to different reasons that affect the abnormal function of insulin, diabetes can be divided into three types.

3 types of diabetes

1. Type 1 diabetes

Also known as “insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus”, it is mostly hereditary. Most patients have abnormalities in their autoimmune system, which attack their own pancreatic islet β cells and affect the normal secretion of insulin.

2. Type 2 diabetes

90% of diabetic patients belong to this type, which is mainly caused by living habits. Eating too many delicate foods, high-sugar, high-salt and high-calorie foods, plus not exercising, may become a high-risk group! Long-term maintenance of bad habits leads to a decrease in the sensitivity of cells to insulin, and blood sugar cannot smoothly enter the cell storage, which is the condition of insulin resistance.

3. Gestational diabetes

It usually occurs in the middle and late stages of pregnancy. Pregnant women who have no history of diabetes in the past have blood sugar higher than normal during pregnancy. This phenomenon is mainly due to the poor tolerance of carbohydrates in pregnant women, which may lead to fetal hypoglycemia or poor growth. But when this happens, don’t worry too much. If you follow the instructions of a professional doctor, control and track your blood sugar level, you can still give birth to a healthy baby, and most gestational diabetes will return to normal after delivery.

What are the 4 types of insulin?

Insulin secreted in the body is divided into basal insulin and prandial insulin according to the time of secretion: basal insulin maintains blood sugar stability when fasting; prandial insulin is secreted when blood sugar rises after a meal to help blood sugar return.


In the case of artificial insulin administered by diabetic patients, it is divided into quick-acting type, short-acting type, medium-acting type and long-acting type according to the time of action and the duration of the effect after administration, from short to long.

1. Rapid-acting insulin: It lowers blood sugar 10 minutes after injection, and lasts about 2-4 hours.

2. Short-acting insulin: It takes about 30 minutes to work and lasts for about 3-6 hours.

3. Intermediate-acting insulin: It takes 2-4 hours before it starts to lower blood sugar, and the effect can last for more than 18 hours.

4. Long-acting insulin: Can continue to lower blood sugar for a whole day.

Quick-acting and short-acting insulins are prandial insulins that are secreted in large quantities after eating, and the action time is not long; long-acting insulins simulate basal insulin to maintain normal blood sugar.

Which insulin should be chosen to help oneself control blood sugar and the timing of administration must follow the instructions of a professional doctor.

Possible side effects of insulin administration

With the advancement of science and technology, artificial insulin is very similar to the insulin secreted by the human body, so side effects are not common. The only thing to pay attention to is the occurrence of hypoglycemia. If you exercise more than usual, consume more blood sugar, or eat irregularly or not eat enough, replenish not enough blood sugar, and you are using insulin, your blood sugar level may be too low. Therefore, people who are using insulin must eat regularly and quantitatively, avoid sudden and excessive exercise, and pay attention to the fluctuation of blood sugar at any time.


Question 1: Is insulin addictive? Fight for a lifetime?

Diabetes patients are unable to function due to problems with secretion or insensitive reception of cellular insulin signals. At this time, the pancreas will secrete more insulin. As the disease becomes more and more serious, the pancreas continues to overwork and the amount of insulin secreted It becomes more and more insufficiency, and the condition also worsens. At this time, supplementing the right amount of supplementary insulin can help the pancreas rest. As the blood sugar control improves, the doctor will slowly adjust the insulin dose.

Question 2: Insulin will hurt the kidneys?

This is a very wrong idea! Instead, it does not follow the doctor’s instructions to administer insulin to control blood sugar. High blood sugar can damage organs and blood vessels!
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