Types of Insulin

  • Rapid-acting insulin – begins to work within five minutes of injection and last between 2-4 hours. Usually taken before a meal to curb the glucose spikes associates with ingesting food.
  • Intermediate-acting insulin – reaches the bloodstream about 2 to 4 hours after injection and lasts for 12-18 hours. Useful when taken at night before bed to control glucose levels in the morning.
  • Long-acting insulin – reaches the bloodstream 6 to 10 hours after injection and is usually effective for 20 to 24 hours. Used to keep glucose levels in check over a 24-hour period.

Insulin Therapy


Insulin injection through a syringe is the most common form of insulin therapy. When injecting insulin, follow a few of these important tips.

  • Inject insulin in areas where it is more quickly absorbed, such as the abdomen, thighs and back of the upper arm. Avoid the hip and buttock areas where insulin is absorbed more slowly.
  • Choose a slightly new location for every injection. This method, called site rotation, prevents the buildup of scar tissue at the injection site. Keep track of your last injection site and move the next injection site over one inch.
  • Always inject insulin into fatty tissue instead of muscle. Not only does injection into a muscle hurt, but the rate at which the insulin is absorbed prevents even distribution throughout the body.
  • Give your injections in the same general area at the same time each day. This helps your body absorb the insulin more effectively than choosing a completely different spot each time.

Insulin Pens

There are two types of insulin pens – pens that come prefilled and pens that must have a cartridge inserted before it can be used. The insulin dose is then dialed on the pen and the insulin is injected through a needle, similar to using a syringe. Insulin pens do provide more convenience than traditional the vial and syringe and offer a more consistently accurate dosage. However, they do not allow for mixing more than one type of insulin together.

Pump Therapy

Insulin pumps are devices worn 24-hours a day and deliver rapid-or-short-acting insulin through a catheter placed under the skin. An insulin pump combines three different doses of insulin in an effort to match what your body would normally need throughout the day.

  • Basal rate – insulin delivered continuously throughout the day to help keep insulin levels stable between meals and overnight.
  • Bolus doses – regulates insulin to prevent spikes after a meal.
  • Correction or supplemental doses – insulin needed to correct a dip or spike in glucose levels.

Checking Your Blood Glucose Levels

It is very important for people with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels frequently throughout the day. Checking blood sugar levels allows you to take better care of yourself by knowing how food, activity levels, exercise, stress, medicine and insulin affect your blood sugar level. By actively regulating your blood sugar, you can avoid complications down the road associated with diabetes.

Blood sugar levels can be checked easily through the use of a blood sugar meter. The meter requires a tiny drop of blood and the level appears as a number on the screen. Today’s meters are about the size of a pocket calculator or smaller.

The meters themselves are very accurate. However, improper use by the person doing the checking could return incorrect results. Always keep your meter clean and free from dirt and dust. Store test strips at room temperature and never use strips that are outdated. Finally, make sure you use a large enough drop of blood so that the meter is able to calculate an accurate result.

Different meters offer a variety of features, so talk with your healthcare professional about the best meter for you and your lifestyle.

Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid is the largest endocrine gland in the body.  Located in the neck just above the collarbone, the thyroid controls metabolism.


Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce an adequate amount of thyroid hormones.  This causes many bodily functions to slow down and over time can lead to obesity, joint pain, infertility and heart disease.


Hyperthyroidism, the opposite of hypothyroidism, occurs when the thyroid produces too many hormones.

Graves’ Disease

Graves’ Disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism.A normal body produces a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which controls the production of thyroid hormones.  In a person with Graves’ Disease, the immune system releases antibodies that are similar to TSH.  Because the thyroid is receiving incorrect signals, it begins to produce an overabundance of hormones.

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is a malignant tumor found on the thyroid gland.  Most cases of thyroid cancer can be cured with treatment. The most common treatment is surgery, followed by thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

Other Endocrine Disorders

Low Testosterone

Also known as Low T, low testosterone describes a condition where abnormally low levels of the male sex hormone testosterone are found in the blood.  While testosterone levels will fall slightly with age, Low T occurs due to a number of conditions affecting the glands that regulate and produce this hormone.  Hormone replacement therapy is the most common treatment for this condition.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

This condition is also known as PCOS and is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. It can cause enlarged ovaries in addition to the development of numerous small cysts along the outer edge of each ovary.  The occurrence of PCOS may led to an abnormal menstrual cycle and interfere with a woman’s ability to become pregnant.  Treatment options include regular checkups, healthy lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery.