What are the advantages of taking rapid-acting insulin?

Rapid-insulins can both be used for bolus doses of insulins. But many people find rapid-acting insulins more convenient. Rapid-acting insulins can be used by people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The faster action of these insulins makes it easier to time insulin with food. In other words, you can match the rise in blood glucose from food absorption to the rise in insulin in your blood from the rapid-acting insulin.

Rapid-acting insulins are in a form that the body can absorb right away, without having to break it down. With regular insulin, the body needs to reduce the insulin protein chain to a smaller size before it can be absorbed and go to work. It can take over 30 minutes from the time regular insulin is injected until it starts working on cells. With rapid-acting insulins, this time is cut in half, so there’s less room for error. It goes to work almost as fast as naturally produced insulin does.

Rapid-acting insulin may give you a lot more flexibility. You can count the carbohydrates in your meal and take insulin to cover that amount. If you eat an extra helping at a meal, you can take care of the carbohydrates with a booster shot right away. You may even be able to wait until you know how much carbohydrate you’ve eaten to inject these insulins. Also, because rapid-acting insulins don’t remain in the body as long as regular insulin does, you may experience fewer episodes of hypoglycemia. Ask your provider whether you could benefit from using a rapid-acting insulin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.