The Technical Side of Regular Insulin

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Regular insulin consists of aggregates of six molecules of insulin complexed to two zinc ions (a hexamer). After subcutaneous (under the skin) injection, the regular insulin hexam-ers become diluted by the tissue fluids and become monomers (single molecules), which then enter the circulation and have their effects.

a shorter period of time—about four hours (rather than six hours). These properties make these insulins more effective at controlling the glucose rise after meals. Clinical studies have shown that when these insulin analogs are used in an optimal manner, you can achieve improved glucose control with less risk of hypoglycemia.

However, there are some cautionary notes: first, because the peak level of the insulin with the analogs is higher after a meal, it is important for you to be more precise in counting the carbohydrates you are consuming. Regular insulin is more forgiving of errors in carbohydrate counting. Also, if you were to consume a very fatty meal, which delays glucose absorption, you have to inject these insulin analogs after a meal.

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