Directions for first time insulin users
WHAT IS INSULIN?
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas- islet cells/beta cells to be
specific. Insulin facilitates the use of sugar, which all calories are
ultimately converted to, for the multitude of bodily functions which include
energy production, brain activity, metabolism regulation- basically all of your
body's function either directly or indirectly.
WHERE DO I GET IT AND WHAT TYPE DO I USE?
Humilin R is available OTC just about everywhere and while it is a quick acting
insulin, it is not the fastest or most consistent in terms of absorption and
effect. Humulin R starts working in about 1/2 hour and the effect can last up to
Humalog is available OTC in some states/countries while be RX only in many other
states. Humalog is a true fast acting insulin which begins activity within 15
minutes and ends activity within 4 hours. Humalog is the preferred insulin to
use since it works more predictably and is out of your system faster which makes
it easier to control.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
In general, Insulin costs between $20-$30 depending on the type and where you
WHAT KIND OF NEEDLES DO I USE?
Use 29 gauge, 1/2cc insulin syringes. "B-D ultra-fine" is my preference in terms
WHERE DO I INJECT?
Upper back of arm, abdomen (avoid area too close to belly button), inner and
outer upper thigh, butt cheeks.
HOW DO I INJECT?
Rotate injection sites each time you inject. Don't inject into the same area two
times in a row. Insulin injections are subcutaneous- not intramuscular.
WHAT DOSE DO I START WITH?
Start with 2-3 units of insulin. There is no need to start higher than this as
you will be adjusting your dose gradually to find a tolerable level.
HOW DO I INCREASE MY DOSE?
To move your dose higher in order to find your ideal dose, go up by one unit per
day. A very general guide would be to consider between 10 and 15 units as your
pre-determined upper limit. If it turns out you want to go higher and don't have
any trouble with those doses, then no harm is done and you can go higher. Don't
make big leaps up in dose or assume more is better- be safe rather than sorry.
WHAT DO I EAT AND WHEN DO I EAT IT?
For Humulin R, the general start of activity is within a 1/2 hour but the varies
ALLOT!!!!! Don't assume you have tons of time to wait to eat simple sugars. Pay
attention to how you feel and never wait more than 15 minutes if that) to eat.
First consume simple sugars (dextrose preferred but not the only one) in the
form of some type of drink as these are most readily absorbed in my experience.
A general guideline is 10 grams of carbs for each unit of insulin- MINIMUM!
Within a hour or so after your dose you want to eat a mix of simple carbs and
high protein- this is the golden hour AFTER your workout when the insulin will
shuttle nutrients into your muscles very efficiently. Humulin R will peak at two
hours after you take it so you must eat another balanced meal at the hour and a
half mark approximately. This meal should include complex carbs, some fats, and
protein. Use simple carbs also if you feel any hypoglycemic symptoms. "R" will
last up to six hours so be aware of how you feel and eat as needed after the two
hour mark. REMEMBER THAT YOU STILL HAVE A SIGNIFICANT
AMOUNT OF INSULIN WORKING UP TO SIX HOURS LATER SO DON'T BE COMPLACENT AND
ASSUME YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GO HYPOGLYCEMIC.
For Humalog, use the same general rules and type of meal sequence, but begin the
process immediately. Simple carbs should be ingested within 10 minutes- NO
EXCEPTIONS. Then have the carb/protein meal within the hour. Then have the
balanced meal of complex carbs/fats/protein at the hour 1/2 mark. Keep aware of
how you feel up to four hours after your dose and eat as needed.
FACTORS AFFECTING INSULIN ABSORPTION/SENSITIVITY
The abdomen is generally the area where insulin is absorbed the most
consistently or evenly as it is designed to be.
Injections near a muscle that you have worked out can dramatically increase the
absorption rate and effect of your dose of insulin.
GH will make you more insulin Insensitive so your tolerance of insulin will
change when on or off of GH.
Highly androgenic steroids also make you more insulin insensitive, however, can
also cause very random hypoglycemia as well.
Supplements such as Chromium, Ginseng, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Cinnamon (among
others) increase insulin sensitivity.
Variations in glycogen levels in your muscles can also affect how severe a
hypoglycemic reactions may be or may feel. If you are starting out with low
levels of muscle glycogen, the same dose of insulin that didn't affect you
before may now be too much.
The glucagon response from everyone's liver will vary. This hormone increases
blood sugar when during stresses to the body or in response to hypoglycemia.
Some people may get a big response from their liver and hypoglycemia for them
won't be as severe. Others will have less of a response and may be more prone to
insulin shock. This response can also vary for each person based on their diet,
exercise etc. so don't assume your liver will react the same way to hypoglycemia
each time- you may get help from it or you may have to depend mostly on
consuming sugar to save your life.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HYPOGLYCEMIA?
They include: sweating, dizziness, heart palpitations, tremors, drowsiness,
sleep disturbances, anxiety, blurred vision, hunger, restlessness,
lightheadedness, tingling in extremities, headache, slurred speech,
irritability, unstable movement, personality changes, seizures, DEATH
HOW SHOULD I CYCLE INSULIN?
Insulin should be cycled so that you have less of a chance of permanently
affecting your own body's production of insulin. Even cycling can affect your
own production though so be aware and see your doctor regularly. I say 4 weeks
on and 4 weeks off as a general rule of thumb with 6 weeks on being the absolute
limit in my opinion.
This was meant to be a basic introduction to using insulin. I do not condone the
use of insulin by non-diabetics nor am I encouraging anyone to use insulin. I am
not a doctor and YOU are the only one who can be responsible for making the
decision to use insulin. I hope this helps someone to stay safe and think things
through before jumping into the unknown
written by AnabolicDiabetic