Alternative Devices for Taking Insulin

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases affecting many people around the world. There are different causes of diabetes including genetic factors.

While diabetes can be treated at the early stages, most patients have to live with the disease for the rest of their lives. The good news is that diabetes can be managed and the patients can still live their normal lives.


Why do people inject insulin?

Although it is difficult to treat diabetes, the condition can be managed through insulin. There are many reasons why doctors prescribe insulin to their patients. Several conditions including exercise, food, and stress can easily affect a person’s sugar levels.

Insulin treatment is a carefully choreographed and monitored process. The most common and effective way of administering insulin is through injection. However, there are several other ways that include the following:

  • Nasal insulin

Although this is not the best way of administering insulin, it has been tried several times. The main goal was to try and get insulin straight to the brain. But it wasn’t exactly used to treat type 1 diabetes. Instead, researchers were more interested in using this method to treat Alzheimer’s and other cognitive conditions.

  • Exubera

This alternative way of administering insulin lasted only for a year. It was started in 2007 and taken away in 2007. Although it was a good idea, there are two reasons why it became problematic. One, it wasn’t easy to carry it around, and secondly, it looked awkward.

  • Insulin pumps

Although an insulin pump is still invasive, it is a much better option compared to other traditional options. Insulin pumps are usually attached to the body with the help of a catheter that’s put below the skin. The good thing about this device is that a user can adjust the amount of insulin administered based on the doctor’s instructions.

  • Afrezza

This is a rapid-acting inhaled insulin. As opposed to Exubera, Afrezza is very small – just about the size of a human thumb. However, you need to understand that this type of insulin is only taken during meals.

  • Artificial pancreas

An artificial pancreas is a great idea but it hasn’t taken off yet. Theoretically, an artificial pancreas is able to detect low levels of blood glucose and respond by stopping the administration of insulin.

But as far as medical research is concerned, only a glucose monitor and an insulin pump are the closest devices that have been invented for that purpose.

  • Bionic pancreas

The bionic pancreas does a much better job than all the other devices. Just like the artificial pancreas, the bionic pancreas is able to detect when the level of blood glucose is low and stops the administration of insulin. But the advantage of a bionic pancreas is that it can administer glucagon – this makes it appropriate for hypoglycemia treatment.

Bottom line

There are millions of people around the world who rely on insulin to survive. The good news is that technology has led to the development of various devices to administer insulin.

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