Insulin and type 1 diabetes
There are 2 types of insulin:
- Rapid-acting insulin
- Long-acting insulin
What should I know about rapid-acting insulin?
- The level of sugar in the blood starts going up very fast when carbohydrate breaks down into sugar in the body. Rapid-acting insulin opens the door on the body cell so sugar can get out of the blood and into the cell fast.
- Give yourself rapid-acting insulin before eating carbohydrate at meal times.
- Taking rapid-acting insulin 15 minutes before eating is best. This will give better blood sugar control than taking it just before eating.
- It can work right away, as your blood sugar starts to go up.
- Most people take rapid-acting insulin 3 times a day, because they eat 3 meals a day.
- Brands of rapid-acting insulin are:
Your diabetes doctor will prescribe the brand of insulin your insurance covers.
What should I know about long-acting insulin?
- Your body needs a small amount of insulin working all the time. Long-acting insulin does that for you.
- You need to take long-acting insulin 1 time a day.
- Your first blood sugar in the morning when you wake up will be too high without a little bit of insulin working 24 hours a day.
- Brands of long-acting insulin are:
All of them give the body a continuous little bit of insulin that lasts for 24 hours or longer.
- You must take long-acting insulin at the same time each day. That way you always have a little bit of insulin in your body.
- Never miss your long-acting insulin.
- Your diabetes doctor will prescribe the brand of insulin your insurance covers.
Before the first time you use a new insulin bottle, cartridge, or pen:
- Check the expiration date.
- Insulin should look clear.
- Insulin should be stored in the refrigerator at 36° F to 46° F.
- Do not let insulin freeze.
After you open an insulin bottle, cartridge, or pen (which means you puncture the top with a needle):
- Bottles may be stored in the refrigerator or kept at room temperature.
- Cartridges and pens should be stored at room temperature.
- Throw all opened insulin away after 28 days. Except Levemir, that lasts 42 days.
- Store opened insulin at room temperature, between 59° F and 86° F, and away from direct heat and sun.
- Do not let it get hot.
- Do not let it freeze.
- Never store it in your car.
Traveling with insulin
- Take more supplies with you than you will need.
- Protect your insulin from heat and from freezing.
- Do not store it in the glove compartment.
- Carry it with you at all times.
- Do not check it with luggage on an airplane. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
- Check with the TSA for more information about flying with insulin.