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Insulin Pens: Types, Benefits, And How To Use Them

Insulin pens: Types, benefits, and how to use them

Insulin pens: Types, benefits, and how to use them

Insulin pens are used by people with diabetes to inject insulin. The pens include an insulin cartridge, a dial to measure dosage, and a disposable needle.
Insulin pens are growing in popularity. They allow insulin to be delivered in a more simple, accurate, and convenient way than the vial and syringe method.
Contents of this article:
Types of insulin pen
There are several different brands and models of insulin pen available. Most fall into two distinct categories: disposable and reusable.
A disposable pen: this contains a prefilled insulin cartridge. Once used, the entire pen unit is thrown away.
A reusable pen: this contains a replaceable insulin cartridge. Once empty, the cartridge is discarded and a new one put in.
A new disposable needle must be used every time insulin is injected. With proper care, reusable insulin pens can last for several years.
Choosing an insulin pen
The brand, model, and category of pen used will depend on several factors. It is important to discuss this with a doctor before purchase.
Some general factors about the pen to consider include:
type and brand of insulin available
size of the insulin dose it can hold
increments by which the dose of insulin can be adjusted
material and durability (if reusable)
how it indicates remaining insulin levels
ability to correct dose levels that are put in wrong
size of the numbers on the dose dial
level of dexterity required to use the pen
Benefits
Research has highlighted the benefits of using insulin pens, particularly prefilled disposable pens. People with diabetes are happier using insulin pens than the via Continue reading

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How Alzheimer’s Could Be Type 2 Diabetes

How Alzheimer’s Could Be Type 2 Diabetes

The link between Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes continues to grow stronger. A new study presented at the Society for Neuroscience shows that the disease may actually be the late stages of type 2 diabetes.
Learn more about how Alzheimer’s could be type 2 diabetes.
The Correlation Between Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes
A new study done by researchers at Albany University in New York, shows that Alzheimer’s may be the late stages of type 2 diabetes.
People who have type 2 diabetes produce extra insulin. That insulin can get into the brain, disrupting brain chemistry and leading toxic proteins that poison brain cells to form. The protein that forms in both Alzheimer’s patients and people with type 2 diabetes is the same protein.
Researcher Edward McNay at Albany University, said:
“People who develop diabetes have to realize this is about more than controlling their weight or diet. It’s also the first step on the road to cognitive decline. At first they won’t be able to keep up with their kids playing games, but in 30 years’ time they may not even recognize them.”
Alzheimer’s, Brain Tangles and Diabetes
In the past few years, the connection between the two diseases has grown stronger with each relevant study. People who develop type 2 diabetes often experience a sharp decline in cognitive function and almost 70% of them ultimately develop Alzheimer’s.
A recent study published in the journal Neurology found that people with type 2 diabetes were more likely to develop the brain “tangles” commonly see in people with Alzheimer’s disease. They found t Continue reading

Our Diabetes Story: My 11 Year old Son Went Into Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Was Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

Our Diabetes Story: My 11 Year old Son Went Into Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Was Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

We had a really scary time this week — my 11-year-old son ended up in the Pediatric ICU at the local children’s hospital for two days due to Diabetic Ketoacidosis and we found out he has Type 1 Diabetes. I’m sharing our story because I missed obvious signs. Maybe another parent or caregiver might miss signs too. Maybe this will save a kid from going into Diabetic Ketoacidosis. While Type 1 Diabetes is not curable; maybe if I had put things together, we could have prevented a 2 day stay in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit. Our Diabetes Story: My 11 Year old Son Went Into Diabetic Ketoacidosis and Has Type 1 Diabetes
According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: “Knowing the warning signs for type 1 diabetes could help save a life! Type 1 diabetes can often go undiagnosed in its early stages because the symptoms can be mistaken for more common illnesses, like the flu. Take notice if you or your loved one experiences the following:
Extreme thirst
Frequent urination
Drowsiness and lethargy
Sugar in urine
Sudden vision changes
Increased appetite
Sudden weight loss
Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
Heavy, labored breathing
Stupor or unconsciousness
Call your doctor immediately if one or more of these symptoms occurs in you or your loved one. It is extremely important to receive medical attention—misdiagnosis or leaving your condition untreated can have tragic consequences, including death.”
This is how we wound up at the hospital:
Last Friday night B vomited (food) late at night. I didn’t think anything of it because he had eaten ice cream with h Continue reading

Arthritis on a Diabetes Blog

Arthritis on a Diabetes Blog

When it comes to living with both Type 1 diabetes and arthritis, I don’t experience the amount of pain and disability that burdens some of my favorite people in the DOC. Rick Phillips who deals with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis shared his story on my blog a couple of years ago. Rick tirelessly advocates for people with diabetes, but he often admits that arthritis negatively impacts his life much more than diabetes. Molly Schreiber has had Type 1 diabetes for 28 years. Her rheumatoid arthritis is a formidable opponent and she deals with the worst that RA can dish out. In general I am doing okay when it comes to living with arthritis. Except when I’m not….
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I am good at diabetes.
I am bad at arthritis.
I have had a tough summer. Although I was diagnosed diagnosed with inflammatory spondyloarthropathy over 10 years ago, my problems are peripheral. My hands hurt and my thumb joints are shot. In May I woke up with horrible heel and foot pain which continues to get worse despite following doctor’s orders.
I don’t write about arthritis very often because I am a diabetes blogger. Type 1 diabetes is a constant in my life and I do little without taking diabetes into account. After 40+ years of T1, I have no major D-complications. At the same time diabetes is a “needy condition” that requires constant affirmation and is entrenched in my psyche. More than once I have mentioned that I deal with other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions in addition to diabetes. I once wrote about a skin problem called annulare granuloma and mentioned that I fe Continue reading

Common Insulin Pen Errors: Diabetes Questions & Answers

Common Insulin Pen Errors: Diabetes Questions & Answers

Q. I recently switched from using syringes to inject insulin to using an insulin pen, and it seems like I need to inject more insulin with the pen to counter the same blood glucose level. The length of the needle seems to be the same, the pen is primed, and yet the pen injection has less of a blood-glucose-lowering effect. What could be going on here?
A. The insulin contained in vials and pens is identical. So if you’re using your pen correctly, there should be no change in the effectiveness of the insulin on your blood glucose levels. It’s not unusual for people to be educated on how to use an insulin pen and to believe they are injecting with proper technique but to make one or more minor mistakes that affect the amount of insulin being injected. I recommend that you make an appointment with your diabetes educator or health-care provider and have that person observe you injecting a dose of insulin to see what, if anything, might be going wrong.
Here are a few examples of common errors that can occur when administering insulin with a pen:
A person may dial in the correct dose, put the needle into the skin correctly, but instead of pushing the button at the end of the pen to inject the insulin, dial the dose back to zero. This would result in no insulin being injected. Once the dose is dialed, the button has to be pushed in all the way — you should hear a series of clicks as you push — and then the pen must be held against the skin, needle inserted, for 6–10 seconds.
Some people know that they need to push the button to deliver the insulin, but they don’t push i Continue reading

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