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What Are Some Possible Side Effects of Insulin Use for Diabetics? — an article on the Smart Living Network
November 30, 2007 at 10:21 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

What Are Some Possible Side Effects of Insulin Use for Diabetics?


The main function of insulin is to increase the absorption of glucose in the body and to decrease glucose levels in the blood.Diabetes patients do not have this ability to absorb and use glucose in the blood; as a result, blood glucose levels rise and can pose a serious health threat in these patients.

If a patient has type 1 diabetes, it means that their pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, necessitating the use of insulin therapy.

Type 2 diabetes patients can produce enough insulin, but their bodies do not respond appropriately to the hormone.Still, insulin therapy may be used in these cases to help the body overcome its resistance to it.

Patients use insulin to reduce the risk of complications stemming from their diabetes, such as damage to blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Insulin is usually injected into the skin near the abdomen, which has been shown to be the most effective absorption site.


Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is the most common side effect of insulin use for diabetics.

Symptoms are numerous and severe, and include:

  • confusion
  • nausea
  • hunger
  • tiredness and excessive yawning
  • perspiration
  • headache
  • heart palpitations
  • numbness around the mouth
  • tingling in the fingers
  • tremors
  • muscle weakness
  • blurred vision
  • cold body temperature
  • irritability
  • loss of consciousness

There are certain drugs that insulin will interact with that can produce dangerous potential for hypoglycemia.These drugs include:

  • Alcohol
  • MAOIs
  • Beta-blockers
  • Aspirin
  • Anabolic Steroids

Blurred Vision

Diabetics might experience blurred vision if their blood sugar levels have been elevated for an extended amount of time and then are quickly lowered to normal levels. This is caused by a shift of fluid within the lens of the eye. After some time vision should return to normal.

Other possible side effects may include:

  • Skin reactions, including redness, swelling, itching, or rash at injection site
  • Progression of diabetic retinopathy
  • Lipodystrophy, or differences in the distribution of body fat
  • Allergic reactions
  • Sodium retention
  • General body swelling

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