The condition that comes closest to being caused due to a fluctuation in blood sugar is diabetes. Both types 1 and 2 can be caused by fluctuations in blood sugar. Another indicator for diabetes is high levels of glucose in your urine. Insulin levels are directly related to those of blood sugar: if your pancreas does not produce enough insulin, your blood sugar rises. Blood sugar can rise even if your body does not appropriately accept the insulin produced by the pancreas. Let us look at some of the tests that you should undergo before starting your procedures for diabetes treatment.
- Fasting glucose test
As the name suggests, this test is taken in the morning before you have had any meals. The idea is to test your blood sugar levels without any intake of food. The reading criteria for this test is pretty clear: a reading of 126 mg/dL or more can suggest that you have diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance test
This test can be taken at any time of the day. It is undertaken to test the glucose tolerance level of your body. It includes drinking a beverage that is high on glucose and your blood sugar levels are then tested every 30 to 60 minutes. This goes on for three hours, resulting in 3 to 6 tests, depending on the frequency of the readings being taken. If your glucose level is 200 mg/dL or higher than that after two hours, then you might be prone to having diabetes.
- A1C test
This test is similar to a regular blood test. The blood is collected and then tested for sugar levels. Your blood sugar levels for the past two to three months are tested in this test. In the A1C test, if the A1C level is 6.5% of higher, then it indicated that you might have diabetes.
Let us look at different procedures associated with the use of insulin as a form of treatment for diabetes
Prefilled insulin pens
The 20th century had not seen the growth of technology and was home to only pre-filled insulin pens. The syringes carrying insulin were made of glass and needed to be sterilized. Injecting insulin included the use of needles, vials of insulin, and alcohol swabs. Due to this, the patients found it inconvenient to take many shots of insulin; therefore, a compromise in the blood sugar levels was settled for. Most companies now offer different, convenient, and safer ways of delivering insulin to hospitals.
Insulin pumps have improved over time with regard to the progress in the delivery systems of insulin. An insulin pump includes a number of different elements, including an insulin cartridge, a battery-operated pump, and a computer chip that allows the exact amount of insulin that has to be delivered. The size of these insulin pumps is similar to that of a pager or beeper. The pump is primarily attached to a thin plastic tube that holds a cannula that passes the insulin. This cannula is inserted below the abdomen, under the skin. The cannula is changed every two days, while the tubing can be disconnected when the patient is showering or swimming. The pump has the capacity to deliver insulin 24 hours a day. The amount of insulin required by the body depends on the activity for the day, exercise, and the amount of sleep. The different basal rated offered by the insulin pump allows the user to change them for variations in lifestyle.
When we consume extra carbohydrates, the body requires an added amount of insulin to tackle them. The user can program the insulin pump to deliver extra insulin during meals. There have been great advancements in the insulin pump, the most exciting of these innovations is the ability to combine the pump with new glucose-sensing technology. The implantable sensor in the insulin pump communicate wirelessly with a pager-sized device. The device transfers the data from the pump when kept in close proximity to the it, however, it can also transfer data from a few feet away.
Inhaled insulin is a new entrant in the procedures of taking insulin to effectively treat diabetes. It was approved by the FDA and launched by Pfizer back in 2006 as Exubera. The inhaled insulin, Exubera, did not last very long due to poor marketing and was pulled out of the market in October 2007.
Intranasal or transdermal insulin
There are other routes of delivery for insulin in the body of someone suffering from diabetes. The intranasal insulin delivery was successful in the beginning, but it soon fell out as it was causing nasal irritation and poor absorption of insulin. Transdermal insulin was done through the skin and did not yield great results.