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Why Do Diabetic Patients Need Insulin?

Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 12:10 [IST]

Why Do Diabetic Patients Need Insulin?

What is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone that is produced from the pancreas, a gland in the stomach. When we eat, glucose is absorbed from the stomach and enters in the blood. The glucose must enter into the cells to make energy and Insulin helps glucose to enter the cells. In people with type 1 Diabetes, pancreas does not produce Insulin and in type 2 Diabetes Insulin does not work efficiently as it normally should and also the amount of Insulin comes out of the pancreas is less.

How do we get Insulin?
Once upon a time, we used to get Insulin from slaughterhouse, i.e., from pancreas of dead animals. Now we are preparing Insulin in the laboratory by sophisticated technologies (DNA recombinant) and no way they are connected to animals or human. The names are animal or human because by structure they are same as of beef (bovine), pork (porcine) and man (human) Insulin. So the chance of contaminating any infectious disease by Insulin does not arise.

Who with Diabetes needs Insulin?
In type 1 Diabetes Insulin is a must for living. In type 2 Diabetes we advice Insulin in certain situations like pregnancy, during and after surgery, severe infection and for some reason or other when you are not able to eat. Obviously, when tablets do not work, you need Insulin for better Diabetes control.

Is Insulin better than tablet for people with type 2 Diabetes?
Now, this is a very interesting question. There are several advantages of Insulin. Insulin is the most natural thing that you can have. In that way tablets are not natural. Recent research indicates that Insulin from the beginning or at least for some time at the beginning not only helps in controlling Diabetes better but also maintain pancreatic function in the long run. Only problem is that till today we need to take Insulin only by injection.

Obviously a time would come in type 2 diabetes when tablets will not work, and you need to take Insulin.

Topics: diabetes, insulin
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