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November 3, 2008 at 11:03 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

The Side-Effects of Insulin

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author


Insulin is a hormone produced and secreted by the pancreas. It is a necessary blood component because it is required for the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels. Failing to maintain blood sugar levels can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). These conditions are associated with various signs and symptoms.

Recombinant Human Insulin: The History

The first insulin injection was given in 1922, and approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in 1939. Recombinant human insulin was approved in 1982 by the FDA. Currently, insulin is derived not only from recombinant technology, but also from the pancreas of cows (beef) and pigs (pork).

Diabetes and Insulin

Diabetes is currently divided into two classes, type 1 diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes type 1 mellitus is most commonly associated with the complete absence of insulin and is treated with insulin injections.

Diabetes type 2 mellitus is most commonly associated with insulin resistance. This resistance decreases overall insulin production and is commonly treated with medications that stimulate the natural production of insulin. However, it is possible that some individuals with diabetes mellitus type 2 will require insulin for effective control of blood sugar levels. Insulin is available in several types and can be administered in several ways, dependent upon individual needs.

Insulin: Short-Term Effects

All prescription medications are associated with side effects, and there are certain short-term side effects that are commonly noted with insulin use. If you have any questions about your insulin schedule or side effects, contact your physician.

  • Injection Site: Redness, bruising, and rash
  • Hypoglycemic Effects (low blood sugar): Drowsiness, headache, nausea, nervousness, weakness, increased heart rate, chills, anxiety, and loss of consciousness
  • Hyperglycemic Effects (high blood sugar): Drowsiness, frequent urination, loss of appetite, dry skin, flushing, confusion, fatigue, and fruit-like breath

Insulin: Long-Term Effects

Insulin is associated with several long term side effects, the most common of which is dependency. Individuals that are prescribed insulin typically become dependent on the use of insulin for control of proper blood glucose levels in addition to healthy dietary and lifestyle choices.

Insulin: An Overview

Insulin is essential to the body for the regulation and control of blood sugar levels. Sugars are maintained in the blood for reasons of energy production, but they must be kept at normal levels. Insulin is now commonly used for this function, and several types of insulin exist, as well as different ways for administration. It is important to discuss the benefits and consequences of insulin use for control of your blood sugar levels with your doctor. This is a decision that can only be made by you and your physician. Insulin, used in the manner prescribed, can aid in the control of your diabetic condition and enhance your overall quality of life.


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