Insulin and its role in the human body
Insulin and its role in the human body
Glucose is the main fuel for energy metabolism in the human body. After eating, it almost immediately enters the bloodstream and is transported to the cells of the whole body. In order for cells to accept glucose molecules and use them in their processes, it is necessary that the receptors of cell membranes be activated by a specific polypeptide hormone – insulin.
The hormone is produced by the pancreas in the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans. If it is not produced, then glucose from the blood does not enter the cells and accumulates in the blood, respectively, the level of sugar rises. In this case, the body is depleted, as the cells are deprived of their main source of energy. Then the body tries to use “reserve fuel” – fats and proteins. As a result, the patient may experience extreme exhaustion.
When insulin is not produced, it must be given by injection. If this is not done, the body will literally “eat itself”.
The main types of insulin
When the only way out is to inject the hormone, it is important to choose the right medicine.
Insulin preparations by origin can be divided into the following types:
- Pork – the molecule of porcine insulin in its amino acid sequence is almost identical to the human molecule. Produced from the pancreas of pigs by extraction and purification. When administered, it functionally replaces the human one.
- Cattle insulin – is extracted from the material of cattle. The difference between the bovine hormone and the human hormone is significant and often causes allergic reactions.
- Genetically engineered – modified microorganisms are used for its production.
- Now the best drugs are produced by modified microorganisms. With the help of DNA recombination, the genes responsible for the production of insulin are inserted into them, and molecules are obtained – complete analogues of human ones. They do not cause allergies and immune reactions and are most effective.
Classification by the number of components
If the drug contains one type of hormone, it is called monovid. In the presence of different types of hormones is called combined.
The degree of purification of the drug
The preparation of insulin from natural sources (for example, pork) is obtained by purifying raw materials and isolating one fraction.
With standard purification, the so-called “traditional” is obtained. It contains many impurities and is less well tolerated by patients.
With more thorough cleaning, a monopeak is obtained. It contains fewer impurities and has fewer side effects.
At the highest purification, one-component is obtained. It can be called the highest quality.
Classification by speed and duration
Depending on the speed and duration of action, insulin is divided into 4 types:
- Ultra-short (as fast as possible). Starts its work in 15 minutes. The peak of activity occurs in half an hour. The duration of the effect is up to 6 hours. It is administered immediately before meals or half an hour before meals.
- Simple (quick action). The maximum effect occurs in an hour, the effect lasts up to 5 hours. Apply before meals or immediately after.
- Average. The effect peaks after 5 hours and the effect lasts for more than 15 hours.
- Long-acting (prolonged). The peak of action occurs after 7 hours. It works until 27:00. Several drugs can be used to correct the patient’s condition. They are introduced at different times.
For the speed and convenience of administration, many injection devices have been developed that make it easy to dose the drug and administer it under any conditions.
Even special pumps have been developed that themselves carry out a series of injections according to the scheme prescribed by the doctor, the main thing is to fill it with the drug on time.
Diabetes was a huge problem and often fatal disease a hundred years ago, but now the quality of life of patients has improved significantly.
At the current level of medicine, diabetes can be called a “way of life” rather than a disease. Subject to all the doctor’s recommendations, a diabetic can lead a full-fledged lifestyle, travel and even play sports.