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I live in a housing society and though it’s a general perception that people in large cities do not care enough to know their neighbors, it’s completely inaccurate to say that, in my case. We are a close-knit community with everyone taking care to share each other’s joys and sorrows. I am particularly close to the people in my building.

An elderly aunt lives across and I often pop into her house for a quick chat after my workday is over. She had been looking unwell for a few days. When I asked her, she confided that her blood sugar levels had been uncontrollable for some time in spite of taking good care of her diet and taking adequate exercise. The doctor had asked her to begin Insulin therapy but she was hesitant and anxious. She felt that it was possibly the last stage of her disease. She was concerned about injecting insulin and thought it was a very expensive treatment option.

I had to reassure her. So I did some research and accompanied her to her doctor a few days later. What I found out put all the worries of my dear aunt to rest. I am sharing it with you so that it is useful to others too.

What is Diabetes? 

Simply put, Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. [1]

What is Insulin?

Insulin is a dreaded word for some, but the fact is Insulin is a hormone produced by your body, which plays a key role in the regulation of blood glucose levels. A lack of insulin, or an inability to adequately respond to insulin, can lead to the development of the symptoms of diabetes. In addition to its role in controlling blood sugar levels, insulin is also involved in the storage of fat. [2]

Diabetes and Insulin Relation

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, which is an organ in your body that helps with digestion. It helps your body use glucose (sugar) for energy. But when you have diabetes, sometimes your pancreas doesn’t make any insulin, doesn’t make enough or the insulin it makes doesn’t work properly (called insulin resistance). And that’s why some people with diabetes are insulin-dependent, which means they need to take it as medication. Taking insulin helps you manage your blood sugar levels. Everybody with type 1 and some people with type 2 diabetes needs to inject insulin to help manage their blood sugar levels. You take insulin by injecting it using an insulin pen, or by using an insulin pump. [3]

Blood Sugar and Insulin at Work

Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood sugar (also called blood glucose) levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia. When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin then helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use. In a person with diabetes, there is a problem with insulin. But, not everyone with diabetes has the same problem. There are different types of diabetes—type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. If you have diabetes—type 1, type 2, or gestational—your body either doesn’t make enough insulin, can’t use the insulin well or both. [4]

Myths surrounding Diabetes and Insulin

There are various myths about insulin and diabetes. Whether you are someone with diabetes or just want to have some clear information on its myths and facts then, read further.

Myth 1: I am on insulin, which means I’m in the last stage of diabetes.

FACT: I always thought that insulin is the last resort to treat diabetes. The fact is Insulin is not the last resort but it can definitely delay or even prevent diabetes complications if started early.

Myth 2: Insulin injections are going to drill a big hole in my pocket.

FACT: The fact is insulin prices can vary and it is comparatively cheaper than other oral medications. You always have the option of choosing the one that suits your pocket.

Myth 3: If I take insulin, then I can eat anything I want.

FACT: It’s important that you control your food intake even if you are taking insulin. Eating more can lead to weight gain in all people, with or without diabetes.

These are some of the common myths around insulin and diabetes. When in doubt, educate yourself and reach out to those who need clarification.

Diet, exercise, regular monitoring, and adherence to medication are important factors in diabetes management. Empower yourself to live better with diabetes and take the pledge today to be #MoreThanMyDiabetes.

Disclaimer:

The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi India. Sanofi India bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

References used: 

[1] https://www.who.int/health-topics/diabetes#tab=tab_1

[2] https://www.diabetes.co.uk/body/insulin.html

[3]https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/treating-your-diabetes/insulin

[4] https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-risk/prevention/high-blood-sugar

[5] https://www.intolife.in/

 

6 Replies to “Why insulin is used in the treatment of diabetes

  1. Yes so many myths around diabetes and insulin prevails. This post clear many doubts about insulin

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