InsuJet for Rapid Insulin Absorption: Enhancing the Diabetes Treatment Experience
Time to read 8 min
Time to read 8 min
One of the biggest challenges when trying to manage diabetes is early postprandial glucose control, which means controlling the way the blood sugar spikes after a meal.
For most people living with diabetes, injecting insulin using a needle and vial or a conventional insulin pen is the standard way of insulin administration.
Aside from the discomfort caused by these multiple daily injections, there’s still much to be desired when it comes to patterns of insulin absorption that prevent these plasma glucose spikes.
Let’s take a closer look at how the delivery method affects the potency of insulin therapy, as well as how to use InsuJet for rapid insulin absorption.
Traditional methods of insulin administration involve using a needle, about 1–2 inches long, to inject the medication. This medication is usually rapid-acting insulin, short-acting insulin, intermediate-acting insulin, or long-acting insulin.
An injection site is chosen, preferably with an adequate fat layer, called subcutaneous tissue, because it lies underneath the skin. These include the outer part of the upper arm, the abdomen, the thighs, and the buttocks.
Needle injection disperses the insulin into the area surrounding the point of injection. Due to the nature of the needles used in a disposable insulin syringe and some insulin pens, the insulin takes some time to completely absorb by the body’s cells.
The time plasma insulin levels take to reach their highest concentration varies depending on the type of insulin used. Here’s a breakdown of each type:
Rapid-acting insulin analogs are types of insulin that scientists modified to work more quickly with a conventional needle injection method. These analogs reach the bloodstream around 15 minutes after injection.
It takes about one to three hours for rapid-acting insulin analogs to reach their peak concentration, which is the time when they’re most capable of bringing down blood glucose levels.
Example: Insulin Aspart
Short-acting insulin, also known as regular (human) insulin, is the “default” insulin formula that mimics the natural hormone produced by the pancreas.
Regular insulin injections take about 30 minutes to start working. The plasma insulin concentration peaks at around two to four hours after injection.
Example: Humulin R
This synthetic insulin analog is designed to start working a while later than regular insulin. The onset of intermediate-acting insulin is two to four hours after being injected, and it reaches its peak concentration between four and 12 hours, depending on the brand.
It’s used alongside rapid or short-acting insulin analogs to safely control blood glucose for a longer period.
Example: Humulin N
Long-acting insulin was designed to provide a steady concentration of plasma insulin for a prolonged period that exceeds 12 hours. It starts working around two hours after injection and reaches no specific peaks.
Like intermediate-acting insulin, it’s mixed with short or rapid-acting insulin in some treatment regimens.
There’s also an “ultra long-acting” type of insulin that can provide effective blood-glucose-lowering effects for about 24 hours after injection.
Example: Insulin Glargine
The duration of onset and peak concentration of plasma insulin levels are measured for traditional injection methods using a vial and a syringe.
Scientists used to rely on the different compositions of insulin analogs to control how quickly to bring down blood sugar levels after a meal. However, there have been more efforts recently to factor in the administration method into how fast early postprandial glucose control can be achieved.
A study conducted in 2013 on 24 patients with diabetes, 12 of whom are being treated for type 1 diabetes and 12 have type 2, aimed to question this hypothesis. Scientists found a direct link between using a needle-free jet injector and a significant reduction in hyperglycemic burden during the first hour after eating.
This means that for patients of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, using a needle-free jet injector resulted in a shorter time until peak insulin levels in the plasma. Instead of taking about 90 minutes to peak, Insulin Aspart only took around 50 minutes.
It also improved how high blood sugar levels spiked in the first hour. Instead of readings close to 200, the numbers were close to 150.
Another study done on type 2 diabetic patients concluded that using a jet injector with long-acting insulin Glargine, instead of conventional pen administration, helped control blood glucose levels for longer using the same insulin dose.
The action of a jet injection device includes utilizing a spring-loaded mechanism to inject the medication through a fine stream that pierces the skin without using a sharp needle.
A conventional pen has a specific insulin injection site with limited local subcutaneous blood flow. With needle-free insulin injections, the speed at which the drug reaches the fat layer under the skin can exceed 140 miles/second. This helps it spread along a wider area of the subcutaneous tissue, allowing more cells to absorb the medication over time.
This is especially beneficial for overweight or obese patients whose high body mass index can affect how fast conventional subcutaneous injections control their blood sugar levels. A study from 2012 concluded that needle-free insulin therapy helped them achieve lower glucose levels faster than needle injections.
Once a meal is consumed, the digestive tract breaks down its components into simpler units that can be used to produce energy. In a healthy individual, the body has a system that allows its cells to make use of the fuel in food.
When any type of carbohydrate is digested, it’s broken down into simpler glucose molecules. The small intestines absorb this glucose and release it directly into the bloodstream, causing an elevation in blood sugar levels termed postprandial hyperglycemia.
The pancreas constantly “reads” plasma glucose levels to determine which hormone to release.
If the levels are low, the hormone glucagon is released to stimulate the liver to let out glycogen, a complex carbohydrate stored for these occasions.
If the levels are high, the hormone insulin is released. Its job is to open up body cells to blood glucose, termed glucose infusion rate, so it’s either metabolized for energy or stored in fat in the body’s adipose tissue.
The plasma insulin levels climb steadily, reaching peak concentration 45–60 minutes after eating. This allows the cells to have the right amount of energy at all times and prevents the plasma glucose levels from becoming dangerously high.
If the body’s cells don’t receive a chemical message (in the form of insulin) to use up blood glucose, the levels remain elevated. In the short and long terms, this has many negative health outcomes, which include:
Glucose molecules that linger in the bloodstream pass through the urinary tract and come out in the patient’s urine, causing a distinct sweet smell that resembles apple juice.
The kidneys have very narrow blood vessels that aren’t large enough to accommodate glucose molecules filtered from the blood. They get damaged, causing a condition called nephropathy.
The blood vessels are affected by the consistently elevated blood sugar levels, causing organ damage and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Because body cells can’t utilize blood glucose, they start breaking down fat to produce energy. Metabolic waste from fat includes ketones, which are dangerous chemicals that accumulate in the blood, causing the patient’s breath and urine to smell like acetone. It can lead to coma, brain damage, and even death.
The idea of switching to needle-free jet injectors for insulin administration can be daunting to some people living with diabetes. After all, If you have a specific regimen you’re used to, it can be challenging to change it.
That said, with the evidence supporting needle-free insulin injection giving you a superior standard of diabetes care, it might be wise to look into this option.
Here are some advantages to switching to InsuJet needle-free insulin therapy:
As discussed earlier, controlling postprandial hyperglycemia in a fast and efficient manner has a positive effect on the body. Aside from preventing long-term nerve and blood vessel damage, it also helps keep the body at a reasonable weight without too much diet restriction.
Using a needle-free jet injection device, like InsuJet, helps patients achieve these goals with relatively low effort. Thanks to the rapid absorption, reaching peak insulin concentrations in less time, and longer-term glycemic control, patients with diabetes can achieve better health outcomes with InsuJet.
Needle phobia is the fear of needles that affects 20–50% of adolescents and 20–30% of young adults. This demographic is disproportionately affected with type 1 diabetes, which is insulin-dependent in almost all cases.
Eliminating the fear of using a needle to self-administer insulin multiple times daily can improve compliance with the insulin regimen. This takes the guesswork out of the diabetes care equation, allowing the patient and their healthcare team to be on the same page when determining the right insulin dose to manage the condition.
Self-injecting insulin can be a steep learning curve for some patients, especially those who are already not enthusiastic about using needles multiple times daily. Determining the dose, picking the correct injection site, and mastering the injection technique can make the patient frustrated with their management regimen.
That’s not to mention the risk of intramuscular injection, which causes unpredictable insulin absorption rates and affects glycemic control.
InsuJet needle-free insulin delivery system can remove all the variables from the equation, allowing patients the comfort and certainty of the right insulin dose every time.
Multiple studies throughout the years concluded that needle-free jet injection improves the care quality and health outcomes of patients. Not only does it offer faster glycemic control, but it also helps patients taking long-acting insulin analogs to maintain their blood glucose levels for longer.
That means that with InsuJet, insulin absorption is faster, better, and more effective.
Check out the InsuJet Starter Pack to get started on your journey today! It includes the state-of-the-art InsuJet V5 jet injector and all the necessary accessories.
Consult with your healthcare provider before permanently changing your diabetes management routine.
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