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Insulin Temperature Sensitivity

Tracking Insulin's Health In The Summer Heat

Tracking Insulin's Health In The Summer Heat

Sunscreen: check. Water bottle: check. Beach ball: check. Insulin cooler....? Yep. For those of us who use insulin, summer heat creates an extra level of complexity and worry. The real question we all ask ourselves in the heat of the summer is whether our fun-in-the-sun will cook our insulin and leave us having-not-so-much-fun in an air conditioned ICU unit? There's a whole industry of solutions dedicated to helping us keep our insulin cool, ranging from cooling packs such as the ReliOn and others, to portable fridges, to high tech cooling crystals. Hell, we're even running a Giveaway contest this week in which our readers can win some of these products! With much of the U.S. suffering under a stifling drought-baked summer, the question of just how hot insulin can get is on all our minds. But you have to wonder if these products are serving an important need or just preying on our fears. To find out, we asked the manufacturers themselves, some leading insulin experts, and the American Diabetes Association — and guess what? The answer isn't as clear as you might like. Not Your Grandma's Insulin First, a bit of history: Didn't grandma keep her insulin in the fridge all the time? Well, only if she read the label. The original pork and beef insulin formulations were supposed to be kept cold all the time. As cold insulin stings like hell to inject, the move to being able to keep the newer human insulin and later analogs at room temperature was a great victory (!) for those of us who are human pin cushions. But wait a minute... whose room temperature are we talking about? My father used to get annoyed with me when I'd shovel ice cubes into my glass of red wine. "Wine is supposed to be consumed at room temperature," he'd huff. "Yeah, in the frickin' French Alps,where room te Continue reading >>

Storage Of Unopened Insulin:

Storage Of Unopened Insulin:

Insulin is very sensitive to sunlight, indoor lights, and to extremely hot or cold temperature. Insulin is not OK to use if exposed to very hot or cold weather. The three drug manufacturers of insulin in the United States say UNOPENED insulin is best stored inside the fridge [2° to 8°Celcius (36° to 46°Fahrenheit)]. UNOPENED insulin stored in the refrigerator is good until the expiration date printed on the insulin box. The expiration date will usually be 1 year from the date of purchase but you have to check the box to find out. Storage of OPENED insulin: Once open there are different storage needs for insulin. What does OPEN mean? This does NOT mean removed from the box. OPEN means the insulin cap is removed and the rubber stopper was punctured. Vials and pens have different needs for storage. These differences can lead to confusion. Therefore, it is very important for you to become familiar with the recommendations for the insulin product that you use. What is an OPEN vial? Vial: Once the vial is punctured, it is OPEN. Once you stick a needle in the vial, it is OPEN. OPEN vials can be stored in the fridge or at CONTROLLED room temperature. Regardless of where it is stored, OPEN insulin will only last 28 days before it must be thrown in the trash. Insulin kept in the fridge should be removed and allowed to reach room temperature before injection. PEN: Once used for the first time, insulin pens should not be stored in the fridge. Instead, they should be stored at CONTROLLED room temperature. The number of days you can use the pen will depend on which pen you use. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Pens last 7-28 days if stored at CONTROLLED room temperature. The number of days depends on which pen you use. PUMP: Once 6 IMPORTANT Storage tips for all insulin: Do not Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetes?

What Is Diabetes?

My current understanding compels me to formulate the following brief answer: If both type 1 (an autoimmune) and type 2 (a lifestyle) diabetes are pulled together, I’d describe them with the unifying name ‘fuel partitioning disease of insulin’. Now, that’s not to say that type 1 diabetes does not have a strong lifestyle component as well… You may rightfully ask what I mean by ‘fuel partitioning disease’? Understanding the physiological role of insulin in the body leads you to this conclusion. The general role of insulin was perfectly described by George Cahill in his Banting Memorial Lecture way back in 1971: “Insulin serves as the body's signal for the fed or fasted state. High insulin levels, the “fed” signal, initiate tissue uptake and storage of fuels. Low insulin levels, the “fasted” signal, initiate mobilization of stored fuels from tissue stores, the rate being proportional to the lowness of the insulin. Certain metabolic states such as obesity or trauma alter the concentration of insulin at which no net transfer of fuel occurs, resulting in insulin resistance or hyper-sensitivity.” Our understanding has been refined to some extent since then, but the basics are well described. In fact, where our knowledge has improved the most is the mechanisms underlying the impaired action of insulin. As it seems now, as soon as (especially superficial, below the waistline) subcutaneous fat depots fail to take up and store lipids (fat) in an appropriate (insulin sensitive) way, these lipids get deposited in less appropriate places. First, in deeper subcutaneous, then visceral, epicardial, etc. adipose depots, and if those become full as well, fat starts flooding all insulin sensitive organs, such as the liver, the pancreas, and the endothelium (the inn Continue reading >>

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