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August 19, 2009

Hypoglycemia, Insulin

Question from Sana'a, Yemen:

Lately, when my blood sugar goes down, I feel that I am losing the feeling in the area around my mouth. Why would this happen? Is this dangerous because I’ve had diabetes for more than 10 years?

I now have moles on my back, rear, upper hands, and breasts. Is there any relationship between these moles and my diabetes?

Is it dangerous to drink more than one Diet Pepsi daily?

What is the difference between human and animal insulin? I am curious because some of the insulins available in my country are not than effective.

When getting tired sometimes, I can’t tell if my blood sugar is high or low. Is there some way to know this without using a glucose meter?

I’ve read lately about the cancer affected those who use the insulin more than other diabetes, except those who use the “phormin.” What is “phormin?” And, is this right about the cancer?


From: DTeam Staff

It is hard to say that the fall in glucose is absolutely the cause of your symptoms. I would need to know how far to they fall? Do they fall into what would be typically noted as hypoglycemic range? If the sugars fall to values less than 70 mg/dl [3.9 mmol/L], they could possibly be related to a low glucose. However, there are other causes for such symptoms and that has to be sorted out. The reason you might have such symptoms with a low glucose is that the brain requires glucose for its fuel. When the glucose gets very low, the brain starts to operate poorly and you have additional symptoms related to the nervous system. An additional reason to think it may be from the glucose is that if you treat the low glucose, the food actually makes the symptoms improve or go away.

It is unlikely that moles on your skin are the cause of the symptoms.

Diet colas are not dangerous to drink when you have diabetes. Just remember that if you want to get your glucose up, diet colas will not do that.

Animal and human insulins are very similar in their structure. Therefore, animal insulins are able to also lower glucose in humans. Animal insulins were the first type of insulins available for medical use. It was only when drug manufactures used modern technologies that they were able to sell human insulins on a large scale. The human insulins are not from human pancreases. Rather, they are made in a test tube using genetic engineering. Not only is the human insulin native to the body, it is thought that the human insulin may generate fewer antibodies that neutralize its effect. However, the current trend is to use insulin analogs that are different from human insulin. They are engineered to work more rapidly and hang around less time when used at meals or to hang around a long time when they are used at the basal or long-acting insulin.

You can’t. You need to use the machine and discuss your results with your doctor.

The study that was recently publicized linking cancer with a particular type of insulin was surprising and the truth is still very much in question. More work needs to be done to understand if this was really real. The quality of the data was not good enough to really say for sure if this is true or not. The drug that was associated with less cancer was metformin. Still, no one is sure about that either.