Diabetes is one of the widely known chronic health complications that affect millions of people worldwide, especially those who are either obese or have improper dietary habits, sedentary lifestyles, or are addicted to illicit substances like alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, etc.
Types of Diabetes
The condition can be classified into various types of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused when the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells are mistakenly attacked and destroyed by the body’s own immune system. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant, i.e., it is not able to effectively utilize it, which is produced.
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Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnant women experience high blood sugar levels and become resistant to insulin (although their body produces enough insulin, the hormone is not efficiently utilized by the body at its best levels), especially when they are in their second or third trimester of pregnancy.
Regardless of the type of diabetes diagnosed, living with the disorder can be quite challenging. A diabetic patient, whether type 1, type 2, or gestational, has to follow a strict diabetes-friendly diet complemented with moderate physical exercises. Apart from lifestyle changes, they mostly have to rely on basal insulin therapy for the rest of their life.
Unfortunately, since there is no proper and permanent treatment for diabetes yet, people with diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar levels through regular insulin dosages. Basal insulin not only helps control blood sugar levels but also ensures that all the cells in the body are supplied with adequate energy (glucose) for the body to function well. Therefore, it becomes essential for diabetes management.
Based on factors like the nature and speed of acting, insulin is categorized as rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, long-acting, and premixed. As per their names, these types of insulin act upon the condition to provide a diabetic individual with subsequent relief.
While rapid acting is very fast to act, short-acting takes a bit longer to be effective. The intermediate type is the one that lasts longer than rapid and short-acting insulin but is slower in counteracting blood glucose levels than the long-acting insulin.
The long-acting one is effective for the entire day and proves helpful in bringing down fasting blood glucose levels. Lastly, premixed insulin is a combination of either rapid-acting or short-acting insulin with long-acting insulin.
Basal insulin dosage and prescription wholly depend upon the patient’s blood glucose levels, lifestyle, the body’s response to insulin, metabolism levels, and personal preferences. Based on these factors, a doctor or caregiver prescribes the most suitable type of insulin to the patient.
It is easily available in the form of pumps or injections. Most diabetic patients opt for insulin pumps for ease of usage. However, doctors still recommend their injections as they are more effective. A doctor’s consultation is required before using injections.
In type 1 diabetes, people can’t produce enough insulin to control blood sugar. So, a person who suffers from type 1 must monitor glucose levels and take it according to that.