Faster Acting New Insulin This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   This past June the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new form of insulin which will help the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from diabetes, including my sister, Sarah. A small percentage of people with diabetes have Type 1, and Sarah is one of them. This type, usually diagnosed in childhood, is characterized by the lack of insulin production by the pancreas. Type 2 diabetes usually affects adults who are over 40 and overweight. In Type 2 the body cannot produce enough insulin for the body.

This new insulin will help those who take insulin injections by adding more flexibility to their lives. To use normal insulin one must take the injection 30 minutes before eating and it is not fast-acting. The new insulin, Humalog (lispro), is a variation of regular human insulin. It is fast-acting and closely matches the time-release pattern of insulin normally produced by the body. This allows the diabetic to take the insulin shot right before or after eating, giving the diabetic more flexibility. Sarah was fortunate to be able to participate in this experimental trial prior to its release. She absolutely loved how it works.

This new insulin is really helpful for little children with diabetes, since a baby's eating habits are very unpredictable. If you gave the child an insulin shot before eating, anticipating large consumption and the child doesn't eat enough, you have a problem. The child can have an insulin reaction because of low blood-sugar. But with this new insulin, you can give the insulin after eating, accurately gauging how much has been consumed.

Another plus of this new insulin is that it metabolizes very quickly into the system. This quality makes it more like the insulin produced by someone without diabetes. This also helps prevent hypoglycemia, a low-blood sugar condition. The new insulin makes it easier to sleep knowing that all the insulin has been metabolized by your system and you don't have to worry about nighttime low-blood sugar, which can be really harmful. My sister has been fortunate and only experienced one bad reaction because of nighttime lows.

This new insulin is a blessing for all with diabetes. It is still not available to all, but with time, it will be. It has truly improved life at my home, since my father no longer has to get up during the night to check my sister's blood sugar. He is able to sleep and my sister can rest easier knowing that she will not wake herself up with a reaction. u


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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