Hypoglycemia is the most common and serious side effect of insulin, occurring in type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
Symptoms of low blood sugar(Hypoglycemia) can be mild, such as a feeling of lightheadedness, but can also be severe. In extreme cases, low blood sugar can even lead to coma and death. Other symptoms of low blood sugar include sweating, confusion and rapid breathing. Loss of consciousness is a less common, but severe symptom of low blood sugar.
Insulin overdose can occur if you use too much insulin or if you use the right amount of insulin but eat less than usual or exercise more than usual. Insulin overdose can cause hypoglycemia. If you have any symptoms of hypoglycemia, follow your doctor’s instructions for what you should do if you develop hypoglycemia. Other symptoms of overdose are loss of consciousness and seizures.
Hyperglycemia is the result of your body receiving too little insulin. You may feel confused or drowsy. Other effects include rapid breathing, breath that smells fruity, increased urination or extreme thirst. if you experience these symptoms you may need to speak with your doctor in order to adjust your insulin dosage.
Some other side effects of insulin. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
1.rash and/or itching over the whole body
2.shortness of breath
8.difficulty breathing or swallowing
12.large weight gain in a short period of time
13.swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Because the insulin is administered by the use of a needle, people can develop side effects to the injection site. As the medicine enters the tissues under the skin, it can cause local inflammation and irritation. Diabetics can develop pain, itching or redness at the site of the insulin injection.
Medication Errors: Accidental mix-ups between insulin products can occur. Diabetics must check insulin labels before injection.
Strategies To Handle the Potential Side Effects of Insulin
1.Make insulin injections practically painless.
Many people assume insulin injections will hurt. Often this is just a fear of needles dating back to childhood. But sometimes the fear goes much deeper: Some are concerned that injecting insulin means their disease is getting worse. But that notion is outdated. The important thing is not to avoid needles but to do everything that’s in your power to control your diabetes and prevent damage to your nerves, eyes and other organs.
Since insulin can’t be swallowed—digestive enzymes break it down before it can reach the bloodstream—it must be injected, whether you’re afraid of needles or not.
But advances in insulin-delivery devices have made injections practically painless. The needles used today are extremely thin and coated with silicone, so they slide in more easily.
Also, insulin is injected into the fatty tissue of the abdomen, upper arm or hips, where there are few nerve endings.
2.Prevent low blood sugar
Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose drops below normal, about 60 mg/dL, which can be triggered by administering too much insulin (the most common cause), delaying or missing a meal or exercising on an empty stomach.
Most FDA-approved insulin formulations are carefully calibrated so as not to cause hypoglycaemia but when blood sugar does drop, there are many strategies for managing it.
Learning the early signs—such as sweating, heart palpitations, hunger and feeling weak or faint—allows you to stop hypoglycemia in its tracks. Treat early signs with four ounces of orange juice, or up to five glucose tablets—and call your doctor.
If you’ve been on insulin therapy for many years and stop experiencing the early warning signs, you may be in danger of serious hypoglycemia (which can cause loss of consciousness). Keeping glucose tablets and pre-filled glucagon syringes on hand—if your doctor agrees—will ensure you’re prepared to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.
3.Avoid insulin-related weight gain.
Perhaps you’ve heard that insulin can cause you to pack on pounds? While it does have the potential to cause weight gain, it poses no more of a weight risk than oral blood-glucose-lowering medications.
If you eat the same amount of food as you did before you started taking insulin, you will likely gain weight. The best way to prevent it is to modify your diet and increase physical activity once you start insulin, in order to help you achieve a healthy weight.
Work closely with your doctor and a nutritionist to take the steps necessary to prevent weight gain.
Some doctors will add the injectable medication pramlintide, which makes insulin more effective by blocking glucose release by the liver and slowing the emptying of the stomach, which, in turn, produces a feeling of fullness.
4.Try These Easy-to-Use Insulin Products
Ask your doctor about these breakthroughs in comfort and convenience. They can make insulin therapy easier and more effective than ever before.
Silicone-coated needles This new breed of smaller, thinner insulin needle coated with silicone can make injections virtually painless.
Pens Pre-filled disposable insulin pens have tiny needles and are easy to use and more discreet than a syringe.
Rapid-acting insulin By beginning to work just five minutes after it is injected, and lasting approximately two to four hours, rapid-acting insulin allows some diabetics more flexibility when timing meals.
Room-temperature insulin This insulin can be safely stored at room temperature and doesn’t require refrigeration, providing diabetics a greater degree of freedom and convenience.
Insulin pumps Delivering rapid-acting insulin throughout the day.
A. Diabetics should be instructed on glucose monitoring, proper injection technique, and the management of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
B.Diabetics need to check insulin labels before injection to avoid medication errors.
C. Diabetics should check blood sugar prior to driving a car or operating machinery.
D.Diabetics need to speak to their doctor or health care professional if pregnant or if they intend to become pregnant.
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