Good News About Today's Improved Insulins

Newer types of insulin allowed Andy to reduce his number of daily injections.
The good news about insulin is the multitude of choices available today. There are long-acting insulins to keep the blood sugar smooth all day and all night and rapid-acting insulins to keep blood sugar levels at bay after meals. There is short-acting, or "regular," insulin and intermediate-acting insulin called NPH.

It may not be as bad as you think
Insulin has come a long way since 63-year-old Andy Mandell, executive director of Defeat Diabetes Foundation, a Madeira Beach, Fla.-based educational organization, began taking it.

"When I started with my insulin injections, I was taking this long needle—I called it a harpoon—and it was like 28 gauge or 29 gauge," says the martial arts aficionado.

His regimen consisted of two different kinds of insulin: One he'd take every six hours around the clock to ensure that his body had enough insulin to control sugar levels between meals and overnight and the other was a rapid-acting insulin to handle any spikes in blood sugar that might occur after meals.

Taking insulin in this way mimics the action of a healthy pancreas, which produces a steady amount of insulin around the clock and bursts of the hormone to cope with meals. New types of insulin have reduced the need for multiple injections and can be taken with smaller gauge needles.

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Last Updated: April 09, 2008

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