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How do insulin injections work with type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Insulin injections in type 1 diabetes are used to simulate the body's natural release of insulin because type 1 diabetics are unable to produce adequate insulin on their own. Insulin injections in type 2 diabetics are used in later stages of disease when insulin resistance becomes very high and the body produces less insulin than it needs to control glucose levels.

Insulin is injected under the skin (called subcutaneously or sub-Q) to replace the insulin that is missing in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) and in some people with type 2 DM. The insulin is absorbed from the skin into the body to work the same way that natural insulin works. Insulin helps glucose in the blood go into cells of the body where it is converted to energy.

Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body does not produce insulin, so your body cannot transport the sugar in your blood to the tissue cells. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly to transport the sugar in the blood to the tissue cells. In both cases, sugar stays in the blood, so the blood sugar level is high. The amount of insulin that you may need depends on your specific condition, your daily food intake and the amount you exercise. Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about your condition and medications.

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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.