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The Right Guide to Using and Storing Insulin for Diabetes

Insulin is a medical drug that must be routinely used to manage diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. It is important for you insulin users to know how to use insulin properly and correctly, because improper use of insulin can cause hypoglycemia complications that can be life-threatening.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin allows the body to use glucose as energy. Glucose is a type of sugar found in many carbohydrate-based foods. After eating, the digestive system breaks down and converts carbohydrates into glucose. After releasing glucose into the bloodstream, insulin helps cells throughout the body to absorb glucose and use it as energy. Without insulin, our cells will starve even though the blood is full of sugar.

Insulin also plays a key role in balancing blood glucose levels. When glucose in the bloodstream is too much, insulin signals the body to store the excess sugar in the liver (liver). This sugar is not released until your blood sugar drops, such as between meals or when stressed when your body needs extra energy boost.

Guide how to use insulin properly
1. Make sure the injection method is correct
How to use insulin properly can determine the progress of your condition. Insulin is a drug that is injected under the skin, so you must pinch the surface of your skin so that the syringe does not go too deep into the muscles. The injection angle must also be precise, that is, perpendicular to the pinch of the skin's surface.

2. Injecting insulin not only in one place
Some common locations for injecting insulin are in the abdomen around the navel to the side of the waist, the two outer upper arms, and the two outer thighs. Injected insulin has a fat-breaking effect, so each time you inject insulin you have to rotate the location of the injection to prevent fat from breaking down in only the same place.

3. Don't forget to replace your syringe
Either using an insulin pen or syringe, the needle should only be used once. Even so, the needle can be used 2-3 times by the same patient as long as the hygiene of the device is kept tightly guarded.

4. Insulin injection on time
Each type of insulin has its own working time so you must understand very well what type of insulin you are taking. Based on the time it works, insulin is divided into 5 types:
  • Fast acting insulin
  • Short acting insulin
  • Medium acting insulin
  • Long acting insulin
  • Ultra long acting insulin
Short acting insulin will start working after being injected within 30-60 minutes, whereas fast acting insulin will work within 5-15 minutes. Basically, both types of insulin are used to reduce blood sugar levels after eating or also known as prandial insulin. Therefore, food must already be available within reach to prevent complications of hypoglycemia if you use fast or short acting insulin.

5. Storing insulin cannot be careless
Unopened insulin must be stored in a refrigerator with temperatures between 2 to 8ºC. As long as the packaging has not been opened, the insulin can last until the expiration period ends. Make sure your insulin is not stored until it freezes or where it is too hot (over 30ºC), such as being left in the car in the hot weather. If the cyclone does not allow you to store insulin in the refrigerator, then unopened insulin can be stored at room temperature but can only be used for up to 28 days.

While insulin that has been opened can be stored at room temperature with a time limit of up to 28 days. Opened insulin is not recommended for storage in the refrigerator.

6. Note the expiration date
Never forget to check the expiration date of the drug when you want to use new unopened insulin. Although not all insulin that is past the expiration date will definitely be damaged, but the use of expired drugs can put you at risk of hyperglycemia due to insulin that is no longer working.

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