Insulin Study: No Need to Delay Eating After Injection

Friday, 01 Feb 2013 07:29 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
People with type 2 diabetes are sometimes told to wait after using insulin for the drug to work its way into the body before they can begin eating, but a new study from Germany says that's not necessary.
 
In a group of about 100 diabetics, researchers found that blood sugar levels remained steady regardless of whether or not participants left a 20- to 30-minute gap between using insulin and eating a meal. The diabetics overwhelmingly preferred being able to eat right away, too.
 
"It's a very promising result. It will lead to better adherence and satisfaction," said Dr. Aaron Cypess, a staff endocrinologist in the clinic of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston who was not involved in the study.
 
Insulin gives glucose - or blood sugar - access to the body's cells to be used as fuel. But in type 2 diabetes cells are resistant to insulin or the body doesn't make enough of the hormone, so glucose remains in the bloodstream and can climb to dangerously high levels.
 
Injectable insulin is available for diabetics in a newer fast-acting form, but it's expensive and many still use human insulin, which takes some time to become active in the body. So doctors often recommend waiting to eat after using human insulin to prevent blood sugar spikes.
 
Not all experts think waiting is necessary, though, according to the researchers led by Nicolle Mueller of Universitätsklinikum Jena. To see what difference it makes, Mueller and her colleagues randomized type 2 diabetics into two groups.
 
For four weeks, one group of 49 people waited 20 minutes to eat after using human insulin. Then they switched to eating immediately after injecting insulin for another four weeks. A second group of 48 diabetics did the same in reverse order, eating immediately after injection for the first four weeks, then observing a waiting period for the next four.
 
Using a blood test that measures average glucose levels over time, the researchers found that all the participants had generally higher than ideal blood sugar levels - but the difference in those levels between periods when they waited or didn't wait to eat after insulin injections was a negligible 0.08 percent.
 
The participants also reported about the same number of high-blood sugar episodes between the two time periods, and about 87 percent of them said they "significantly preferred" doing away with the 20-minute wait altogether.
 
Cypess said people should talk with their doctors before making any sort of change to their insulin routine.
 
"What would I do with a patient who is moderately adherent to what I recommend? I'd say give it a shot," he said, because it's better for people to eat closer to the time they use insulin.
 
"This is really useful, because you get into a problem if people are supposed to take insulin so many minutes before. That's where adherence goes down," he said.
 
These results may also allow some people to switch from the fast-acting insulin analogs to the less-expensive human insulin, said Cypess, but he added that more studies would be needed to compare the two.
 
He also warned that people shouldn't assume these results apply to people with type 1 diabetes, whose bodies produce virtually no insulin.
 
"Talk to your doctor," he said.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Breathing Problems Keep George H.W. Bush in Hospital

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 19:19 PM

Former US president George H.W. Bush is spending a fourth night at a Texas hospital Friday after experiencing breathing  . . .

Yoga Heart Benefits Equal to Aerobics

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 14:23 PM

Yoga could be as good for the heart as cycling or brisk walking, and easier to tolerate for older people and those with  . . .

Amino Acid Effective Against Alzheimer's

Friday, 26 Dec 2014 12:01 PM

An amino acid called taurine has been found to be effective against Alzheimer's disease. Researchers from the Korean Ins . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved