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From Houston, Texas, USA:

I'm 53 years old and diagnosed at 26. I inject small doses 2 to 3 times daily. I don't know if I am Type 1 or 2. I am using the new Humalog Regular when I need instant insulin, and still using my old NPH and Regular pork insulin on a regular basis. My physician is reluctant to changing to human insulins because of antibody buildups. What is your opinion?


Lispro insulin [Humalog®] is a synthetic human insulin in which the position of two component amino acids have been switched around. This change means that it acts faster than regular human or pork insulin and that its action is limited to about four hours. This change adapts it well to use before all meals and it can also be given after a meal to take account of both the pre-meal blood sugar and your appetite.

Modern thinking is that the risk of antibody formation does not justify restricting the use of synthetic human insulin.

It is not possible to tell on the basis of the information you supplied whether you are Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. This can be assessed by a number of tests including an antibodies test, something you might discuss with your doctor; but if you are insulin dependent, I'm not sure how much a definitive diagnosis really matters. The only possibility would be that some of the new glucose lowering drugs such as troglitazone might enable you to come off insulin. However they are very expensive and the success rate is only about 15% in getting off insulin injections.


[Editor's comment: Recently published research indicates that NPH does not blunt the action of lispro insulin when mixed in the same syringe. JSH.] Original posting 21 Jul 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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