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How Blood Sugar And Insulin Work

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What Is Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). The cells in your body need sugar for energy. However, sugar cannot go into most of your cells directly. After you eat food and your blood sugar level rises, cells in your pancreas (known as beta cells) are signaled to release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin then attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is often described as a “key,” which unlocks the cell to allow sugar to enter the cell and be used for energy. If you have more sugar in your body than it needs, insulin helps store the sugar in your liver and releases it when your blood sugar level is low or if you need more sugar, such as in between meals or during physical activity. Therefore, insulin helps balance out blood sugar levels and keeps them in a normal range. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes more insulin. If your body does not produce enough insulin or your cells are resistan Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. A_Thorn_in_my_Flesh

    As a 25+ type1 diabetic who hasn't had medical insurance for the 20 years , I've had to work hard to obtain my supplies and insulin. In my latest efforts to obtain humalog insulin , my resource for insulin was not available, all that was available was novolog pens, so I took them with the intention to transfer into a vial and fill my pump reservoir. Upon this process I saw the novolog is five years after the expiration..... I thought wow.. What to do, I researched and all results say, not good. So what, do I take nothing? Of corse not... I put 100units in my pump and went into diagnostic mode which is to check blood glucose very often (every three hours) until I determined that I was stable. Well the 5years expired insulin works just fine. I don't think the drug company does any research after the 30day expiration they label with. This even further reinforces my distrust and disgust with the medical field and drug companies which won't release patents for generic insulin , and continue to have greed be the motivating factor to treat type diabetes.

  2. rgcainmd

    The following is not medical advice. With the exception of antibiotics, I've been known to take medication long (significantly longer than 5 years) after the expiration date and have found it to be just as effective as "unexpired" medication. I believe the key is to keep storage conditions optimal (in the dark without extremes in temperature). When it comes to my daughter's insulin, she goes through it too quickly for us to have any coming close to the expiration date. As I try to build up an emergency supply in anticipation of the Zombie Apocalypse (it's only a matter of time), I will rotate the older vials out for current use.

  3. Cate_Williams

    I had a high school internship in the stability lab of a large pharmaceutical manufacturer. They test everything about a drug, down to the tiniest detail. In the dark but hot? In the sun and hot? In the sun and cold? Shaken for hours?etc. including every permutation and combination you can think of. And then they test the drug to see how it does. Unless there's a very special reason, they don't let a drug out unless it is stable as hell. And if it isn't, they make sure everyone knows about it, i.e. insulin and heat. Expiration date stability is a standard part of the drill.

    I worked specifically with a common drug that's in most cold medications, but the same is true of everything else sold for the American market. I'm not sure how it works in other countries.

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