Insulin: Potential side effects if incorrectly used

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Diabetic individuals should take insulin injections correctly. The injections are needed since the pancreas could not produce insulin. It is important to note that insulin assists with the absorption of glucose which is the main energy source of the body from the blood.

Some individuals with type 1 diabetes and some with type 2 diabetes require insulin since their bodies could not produce sufficient amounts of the hormone. If there is not enough to draw out glucose from the blood, the blood sugar level rises which is called as hyperglycemia.

Using excess insulin or taking insulin when the body has already adequate amounts gets rid of a large amount of glucose in the blood which results to low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

Action of insulin

All body cells require glucose to function properly. When eating, carbohydrates in food are broken down into glucose in the intestines and blood absorbs the glucose. Once this occurs, the blood sugar level rises.

As a response of the rise in the blood sugar level, the pancreas releases insulin. It facilitates the ability of the cells to draw out glucose from the blood and utilized for energy.

If the body has already released enough insulin and more is taken, excess glucose is taken from the blood, thus resulting to hypoglycemia. Overdose on short or intermediate-acting shot is considered unsafe than using too much of the long-acting variant.

What are the indications?

Using insulin when it is not needed can trigger symptoms such as:

  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Hunger
  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating

Among diabetics, the treatment for hypoglycemia is to provide something that contains glucose that can be easily absorbed such as special glucose tablets or candy.

In case a hypoglycemic reaction occurs, provide glucose followed by a snack that contains both protein and carbohydrates to prevent a rebound reaction with a quick rise in the blood sugar followed by a rapid drop.

What are the potential effects?

Diabetics who are dependent on insulin should carefully measure their insulin needs to their activity level and food intake.

If an individual takes one but does not eat enough food, more than the normal amount of glucose is taken from the bloodstream which is followed by hypoglycemia.

In case an individual uses insulin that was not given for him/her, the added insulin will eliminate too much glucose from the blood and the level of blood sugar drops, possibly to dangerous levels.

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