How is insulin and pills different?

By Ginlea Latest Reply 2009-01-07 10:15:34 -0600
Started 2009-01-06 09:09:51 -0600

I know that Type 1 people pancreas shuts down but Type 2 also lose half their pancreas.I am a little confused about how the medicine works for different types.I read that the insulin is injected into the blood stream.ow does it work in the body?

3 replies

kdroberts 2009-01-06 09:36:15 -0600 Report

Insulin is injected into body fat and gets into the blood stream. The only reason it's injected is because it's a hormone and (well this may not be 100% true now) it gets broken down by the body before it hits the blood stream if you take it as a pill or whatever. You need insulin to help your cells use glucose in the blood stream. There are many different types of insulin. Some work at a low level for 24 hours or a little under, some work for a few hours at a high level starting quickly and peaking quickly, some peak to a medium level after a few hours and then taper off for another few hours and some start working after a short period of time and peak over a couple of hours and then taper off. The type people use will depend on their situation.

Not all type 2's loose pancreatic function, some do, some don't. Type 1's do because their body attacks the insulin producing cells so they no longer produce any insulin. A good % of type 2's are insulin resistant so they produce insulin just fine but the cells can't use it correctly. One of the classic symptoms of type 2 is a high level of insulin in the blood which is also thought to be a cause of weight gain and other issues.

Medications do all sorts of things but none are insulin. Some work with your liver to reduce the amount of glucose it stores and releases, some work by stimulating your pancreas to produce more insulin (some are short acting and some are 24 hour), some work with your body chemistry to make existing pancreas to liver communications better, some work to slow down your digestion and some work to make your cells more insulin sensitive. Some do multiple things on that list and they all do it in slightly different ways and forms from pills to extended release pills to oral liquids to injections.

It's a very complicated subject but that's a high level overview.