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Can your body reject insulin if badly controlled?


Q. Can your body reject insulin if badly controlled?

A. You seem concerned that your body may be rejecting insulin that is injected which is leading to trouble controlling your blood glucose levels.

If so is there a particular reason you think this may be happening? Your body does not reject injected insulin, however, if you are finding doses you are used to are not working as well or you are needing much higher doses, there could be a number of reasons for this.

The first thing to check is the insulin itself. Is the insulin within the expiry date? Has it been exposed to extreme hot/cold temperatures or has it been in use for over 28 days? Any of these things could mean the insulin is damaged. If you think it may be, or you are not sure, then it might be sensible to start a new vial just to be on the safe side.

Another thing to check is your injection sites/insertion sites. Are there any raised lumps, dimples or hardened areas? Any problems of this kind may interrupt the absorption rate of insulin. If you are unsure whether your injection sites are as they should be, then you may want to ask your diabetes nurse to have a look at them for you.

Another thing that can happen,  particularly during adolescence when hormones can be unpredictable, is that insulin resistance can develop. Insulin resistance means that any  insulin you have injected cannot be used properly and so is not effective enough at lowering blood glucose levels.

There can be few ways of tackling this. Insulin resistance can develop in people who are very overweight, I am not sure if this is the case for you, but losing extra weight, if applicable, should reduce insulin resistance. As mentioned before however, insulin resistance is more likely to occur during the teenage years and be completely unrelated to weight. In this case it may be necessary to introduce oral medications alongside insulin injections to reduce the insulin resistance, making insulin more effective again and controlling blood glucose levels more easily.

Of course whether this is the cause of your trouble with insulin needs to be considered by your doctor, so again it may be best to chat with your diabetes nurse about the problems you have been having to identify the cause of them and decide the best way to tackle them.

We do hope this has been helpful but please do get in touch with us again if you need to. You can also contactCarelineif you would like to talk things through. 

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