Insulin Therapy Changing With Improved Insulin Delivery Methods

Not that long ago, being insulin dependent meant carrying around a syringe and a vial of insulin to deliver your insulin injections, while making sure to keep the insulin dose refrigerated. There are now a variety of methods for insulin delivery on the market, and some promising new developments on the horizon. These include:

1) Insulin pens. Most types of insulin are now available in convenient prefilled pens. Some pens are entirely disposable when empty, and others use a replaceable insulin cartridge, usually containing 300 units. There is a dial on one end to set your desired dose. The pens offer discreet, push button insulin delivery. Some claim the injections are more comfortable than from a needle that has already been dulled by insertion into a vial. Many people prefer to use a pen if they are caring for a diabetic child or pet.

2) Insulin pumps. Insulin pumps are a device about the size of a pager that adhere to the skin and are worn 24/7. Pumps contain an insulin reservoir, a battery powered pump, and a programmable computer chip that allows the user to control insulin dosing.

The pump is attached to a thin plastic tube called a cannula, which is inserted just under the skin to deliver insulin subcutaneously and continuously. Pump technology is constantly being improved upon. The newer pumps are smaller, and can “communicate” and interact with a continuous blood glucose monitor and computer software for state of the art blood sugar control.

3) Insulin jet injectors. Jet injectors deliver a fine jet of high pressure medication directly through the skin. The main advantage is that that the delivery system requires no needles. The major disadvantage is that many diabetics find the force required for the insulin to permeate the skin is painful, and may cause bruising. Jet injectors have been on the market since 1979, but have yet to become popular.

4) Insulin patch. The FDA has just approved a new insulin delivery patch. The new device, Finesse, is a small plastic patch-pen roughly 2 inches long and an inch wide that is attached to the skin like a bandage. It can be worn under your clothes, and remains attached during routine activities like sleeping, exercising and even showering.

Patients use a syringe to pre-fill the patch-pen with a three-day supply of insulin, and simply push two buttons to dispense a dose of fast-acting insulin when needed. The insulin is delivered in seconds through a miniature, flexible plastic tube inserted painlessly into the skin. The manufacturer, Calibra is also working on a patch-pen that would deliver a.05 unit insulin dose for children.

5) Inhaled insulin. The FDA approved the first insulin inhaler, Exubera, in 2006. It was a short-acting insulin delivered to the lungs through a device similar to an asthma inhaler. But it never achieved market success, and was discontinued a year later.

But research on inhaled insulin continued, and two new forms are poised to hit the market. One is an inhaler, AFREZZA, which is awaiting FDA approval. The other is a spray which is absorbed through the mouth, called Oral-Lyn. Oral-Lyn is in Phase 111 clinical trials in Europe and North America.

Despite some obvious advantages to the new insulin delivery methods, tried and true syringes remain the most popular way to deliver injections with most insulin dependent diabetics, who no longer consider them a big deal.

Insulin pens, pumps, and jet injectors are all more costly than insulin syringes, and not always covered by medical insurance. Not all types of insulin are available in insulin pens, and you can’t mix insulin types in a pen.

Insulin pumps can kink or otherwise malfunction, posing the danger of inaccurate insulin dosing, and are just too “high tech” for some diabetics. Many diabetics remain skeptical of devices like inhalers and sprays after Exubera’s spectacular lack of success.

Still, with the advances being made in insulin pumps, and the pending introduction of an improved inhaled insulin and the insulin patch, the world of insulin therapy is definitely changing – and most would say for the better.

Planning for Travel with Insulin and Diabetes

Travel can be a lot of fun, but it takes some advance planning. People with diabetes have to plan a little more. Here are a few things to keep in mind about your insulin when you head out for that dream vacation.

Your Blood Sugar

When you are traveling, it is important to monitor your blood sugar more closely. This means checking your blood sugar every four hours when you are awake. Travel can be stressful, which can raise your blood sugar level. Don’t treat your blood sugar without monitoring it, and monitor it to make sure that you are giving the correct dosages of medication and/or insulin.

Insulin Storage

Keep your insulin with you when you travel, in your carry-on or purse. Insulin needs to stay in a fairly moderate temperature zone, and as such, cannot go with your luggage in the depressurized compartment. Also, if there were ever a baggage handling mishap, you would want your insulin to be with you: if your bags end up in Minneapolis-St. Paul’s when you are in Sao Paulo, you want to make sure you have your insulin.

Insulin does not need to be refrigerated. To keep your insulin at moderate temperatures, however, consider the climate in which you are traveling. Often, keeping your insulin in an insulated container or thermos will be enough to keep it cool in warm temperatures. If you are someplace very warm, however, you might consider keeping some frozen water bottles in your insulated container as well, which will help keep your insulin even colder. If you are going to be in cold climates, perhaps skiing, keep your insulin close to your body so that it stays warm.

Storing your insulin on a trip is another matter to deal with. Don’t leave your insulin in the glove compartment of a car, where temperatures can vary. Backpacks can also get very warm in the sun. Keep your insulin someplace where you can reach it.

X-rays

Insulin manufacturers have a warning on their insulin that you should not expose insulin to x-rays. This does not mean that being x-rayed once or twice as you carry your luggage on should be a problem. However, if you are going to be traveling a lot, and going through many security checks, you can ask for your insulin to be visually examined. You should also be cautious to make sure that your insulin is not in the x-ray machine for too long, so asking for a visual examination is never a bad idea.

Packing

When you go on a trip, be sure to bring an extra supply of insulin and medication with you. You want to have all of the medication with you. If you do need to get medication while you are in a foreign country, see our advice below. Be sure to pack extra syringes and extras of all of the materials you generally use to monitor and care for your diabetes.

Insulin Conversions

In the United States, insulin comes in the strength U-100. Not every country has insulin standardized, and some countries offer varying strengths of insulin. If you must get insulin when you are away, check the strength to make sure it is equivalent.

If you have to get insulin while you are away, get the same kind of insulin that you are normally prescribed. If you cannot get the same brand, get the same formulation in a different brand (for instance, if you are on Novolog and cannot find any, get Humalog). A pharmacist or doctor can help you establish which insulin is equivalent.

Consult a doctor

If you have to pick up insulin when you are in a foreign country, get the kind of insulin that you are used to. This particularly means that you should not switch from a slow-acting to a fast-acting insulin, or vice versa. These types of changes should always be made with medical supervision.

Go to a doctor that you trust in a foreign country. Consider calling home to get references if possibly, or ask a friend in your new location.

Insulin-dependence can be difficult to manage, particularly when traveling. But with a little forethought and some information, you can plan an exciting getaway that still maintains your health.

Avoid Insulin Resistance And Manage Diabetes – Naturally

Insulin resistance is when the cell (particularly liver, muscle and fat cells, with the liver losing sensitivity first, then the muscle and then the fat cells) loses its responsiveness on the insulin receptor site. Your body adds more and more insulin to store fat. Overtime, the pancreas give up leading to type II diabetes.

In type II diabetes, your body isn’t making enough insulin and/or the cells are resistant to insulin causing too much sugar to remain in the blood.

Insulin is necessary for your body’s use of sugar. Sugar is the basic fuel for your cells in the body, and insulin takes the sugar from the blood into the cells.

A fasting blood glucose level higher than 100-125 mg/dL is not indicative of diabetes, but it can be indicative of insulin resistance, and is above normal levels. Optimum serum glucose range is 80-95. Fasting serum insulin levels should be below 10.

Controlling your insulin levels with diet/nutrition, lifestyle modifications, exercise and supplements are a powerful anti-aging strategy and a must for health, vitality, longevity and fat loss.

Insulin Resistance Symptoms and Conditions:

  • Brain fogginess and inability to focus
    • Elevated triglycerides. Optimum range: 70-110 mg/dL. (40 to 60% of total cholesterol). This can only be determined with a fasting test. Triglycerides are a component of fat stored in the tissue. Decreased HDL with elevated triglycerides is a more significant indicator of risk to heart disease than total cholesterol over 200 mg/dL. Triglycerides are often increased with dysinsulinism (Syndrome-X/Metabolic Syndrome), alcoholism (GGT/GGTP also generally increased) and diabetes.
    • Excess fat around your midsection or scapula area
    • Hypertension
    • Intestinal bloating
    • Low HDL levels. Optimum range: Males – above 55 mg/dL. Females – above 60 mg/dL. Should be > than 25% of total cholesterol. Most effective way to > HDL is > exercise.
    • Sleepiness and fatigue
    • Type II diabetes

When glucose (sugar) builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can cause problems:

  • Higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease (in diabetes, hyperinsulinemia doubles your risk for AD compared to people without diabetes).
  • Obesity
  • Over time, high blood glucose levels damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart.

ALL hormones work in synergy with one another. The hormone you have the most control over is insulin. This is regulated by your diet.

What Causes Insulin Resistance and Diabetes?

  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Calorie restriction, skipping meals, diet pills and a crap diet of fast foods, boxed, canned or microwaved foods. Unbalanced meals, high in carbohydrates, sugar and a low intake of fats and protein.
  • Drinking soft drinks and fruit juices.
  • Elevated lypogenic (fat storing) enzymes and decreased lypolytic (fat burning) enzymes
  • Lack of quality sleep
  • Stress and altered hormonal levels. Years of high adrenaline and/or cortisol levels due to poor nutrition and lifestyle habits.

DIET AND NUTRITION for insulin resistance/type II diabetes:

  • Allowed fruits in moderation include: tomatoes, avocados, berries, grapefruit, lemons, limes
  • Avoid agave syrup,, HFCS, Nutra Sweet and Aspartame products as they may trigger diabetes and obesity.
  • Cut carbohydrates and increase protein. Eat a diet of organic proteins, non-starchy vegetables and fats (fats slow down the insulin spike)
  • Eliminate all boxed, canned and microwavable foods.
  • Eliminate all refined carbohydrates, grains, dairy products, fast-acting sugars (fruit juices, soft drinks, high glycemic fruits and starchy vegetables), hydrogenated fats, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco).
  • Lemon and lime juice reduce the insulin index of the meal due to the flavonoids.
  • If it does not run around in the field, swim, fly or is not green – do not eat it!
  • Small mini meals 5-7x daily. Include smart fats and protein at each meal.
  • Sweeten with stevia, an herb, instead of sugar. Stevia will not elevate blood sugars.

SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRIENTS for insulin resistance/type II diabetes:

  • Vitamin D – Bio D Mulsion Forte
  • Chromium
  • R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (lowers glucose levels up to 30%)
  • Omega-3 Fish oil with 400 I.U. mixed tocopherols
  • Bio-Glycozyme Forte (use with hypoglycemia)
  • Fiber
  • GlucoBalance (use with elevated triglycerides and ‘ blood sugar)
  • ADHS (consider with increased glucose or triglycerides, adrenal cortical hyperfuntion.
  • Research and clinical feed back indicates that 7 Keto-DHEA is often effective in helping to ameliorate increased glucose levels. In addition, the 7-keto DHEA will not convert androgens to estrogens.
  • Resveratrol
  • Silymarin, an antioxidant that can improve liver function (especially the insulin resistant-liver cells) and blood sugar levels, have shown great promise in the effort to fully restore insulin sensitivity.
  • Zinc, magnesium and potassium deficiencies lead to insulin resistance.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity: CoQ 10, L-Carnitine, Taurine, L-Arginine, Glutathione

SUPPLEMENTAL BOTANICALS for Insulin Resistance/Diabetes:

Fenugreek/Flax seed Potion for diabetes and insulin resistance:
Take on an empty stomach first thing in the AM
1 T. freshly ground fenugreek seeds
1 T. freshly ground flax seeds
1 T. Liquid chlorophyll
16 ounces water

  • Gymnema Sylvestre before meals helps repair the pancreas and damage to liver and kidneys. Studies show that it may be able to help repair damage that has been done to the pancreas, as well as reduce the amount of insulin many diabetics need to maintain normal blood sugar levels. There is also research showing that it can reduce triglyceride levels and aid in weight loss.
  • Bitter Gourd
  • Banaba Tree Extract
  • Grape Seed Extract
  • Cinnamon – add to coffee with organic heavy cream to make you more insulin sensitive. Coffee has polyphenols which protect you from diabetes.
  • Tea: Green tea, Pau d’ arco, Astragalus, Burdock, Fenugreek

LIFESTYLE protocol for insulin resistance/type II diabetes:

  • Ensure healthy gut flora. Consider a CDSA (comprehensive digestive stool analysis).
  • Get to bed by 10pm and get up no earlier than 6am. Lack of sleep disturbs lipid profile, glucose metabolism, androgen production and blood pressure, immune system and memory.
  • Glucose levels are influenced by carbohydrate intake, stress, glandular and liver function. Serum Glucose: Optimum range – 80-95 mg/dL. 105 and > = adrenal issues
  • Monitor blood glucose levels at least 2 times a day and before eating meals. If you are exercising you will need to test your glucose levels more frequently.
  • Obtain fasting serum glucose and insulin levels.
  • Rule out food allergies with increased or decreased blood sugar.
  • Rule out heavy metal burdens, pesticides, other xenobiotics and inoculations. These can be locus to pancreatic dysfunction resulting in diabetes or hypoglycemia.
  • Take Care of Your Eyes – Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness. It can lead to Retinopathy and other eye problems such as cataracts.

EXERCISE protocol for insulin resistance/type II diabetes:

  • Begin some form of exercise routine. Walking is excellent for diabetes. A daily 3mph brisk walk decreases diabetes risk by 50%!
  • Strength training is far superior to steady state aerobic exercise to prevent obesity and improve insulin resistance. Steady state aerobic exercise ‘cortisol levels which ‘insulin levels.
  • The power of being active should never be underestimated: from a short five minute walk to forty-five minute strength training sessions, it all counts towards reducing and eliminating the pre-diabetes (insulin resistance) syndrome.