What is Insulin and What it is Used For?

Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, discusses insulin.

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Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, discusses insulin.
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Featuring Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist

Duration: 1 minute, 43 seconds

Other than gestational diabetes, there are two main types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes and type 2. Patients with type 1 diabetes have run out of insulin, and will generally early on in the disease require to be on insulin - pills don’t work for them.

Type 2 patients, patients with type 2 diabetes, initially can be treated with pills. But for many of them, after having the disease for many, many, many years, your body’s production of insulin tends to decrease and you too will also require insulin.

Insulin is a hormone. It has a number of functions, but the primary one is lowering of blood sugar in the blood. Your body produces other hormones which elevate blood sugar. So what’s happening continuously is it’s like the gas and the brake on a car, it’s being adjusted continuously.

If you’re healthy, and you don’t have diabetes, and you eat food, your body automatically produces insulin to prevent the sugar you’ve eaten from making your blood sugar shoot up too high. If you have diabetes, that’s not going to occur, and you have to anticipate the food intake and make sure you’ve got insulin in your body at the time to prevent very high sugars.

Insulin comes in a number of different formulations, and it’s important to discuss your particular situation with your pharmacist or health care provider in terms of how it impacts your health and may have an impact on other medications you’re taking.

Presenter: Dr. Richard Bebb, Endocrinologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.