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[IP] Glargine insulin (Lantus)
You asked, I will tell.
I have been shooting insulin into my poor old body since 1963. I started with
NPH to which I developed a resistance in 1969. I then switched to Lente and then
to PORK Lente. I am also resistant to beef insulin preparations. I an MOT
allergic to them, they just do not do anything once injected into MY body. I
found NO difficulties with either of the pork products that I could definitely
attribute to the insulin. I did have "wild" swings, both up and down, but I have
always attributed that to my less than "regular" life style and activity habits.
Having been a practicing alcoholic since the age of sixteen, I have not been the
most conscientious person when it came to controlling the fluctuations in my
insulin needs. Still an alcoholic, I am no longer "practicing".
I DID, however, develop symptoms that I learned were caused by HYPOinsulinemia.
Those are EASY to treat -- just take some quick acting insulin.
Since "human" insulin became available I have made it my insulin of choice and
I, personally, have had no problem at ALL from this switch. I know that there
are (were) a significant number of insulin dependent diabetics whose problems
"worsened" or who developed "new" problems when they switched to human insulin.
I have no argument with that. I had no problem.
I think I lost my ability to (easily) detect hypoglycemic episodes after being
insulin dependent for a little over ten years. I had symptoms all right, but not
the adrenergic ones that we all start with. (Those are the ones caused by
ADRENALIN which is initially released by the adrenal gland as a result of a low
or falling blood sugar.)
In an attempt to more closely mimic a "normal" CBG (capillary blood glucose) I
found that I was becoming hypoglycemic more and more often. In an effort to
stabilize my swings and to prevent the return of the HIGH blood sugars that were
causing my endocrinologist some concern he recommended Lantus insulin to me. The
reason for this is that NPH, Lente and Ultralented ALL have variable and
UNPREDICTABLE spikes in their insulin delivery during their duration of action.
Lantus, allegedly does NOT release its activity in unpredictable spikes. Lantus
was NOT available in this country (USA) last year when I was ready to try it, so
my endocrinologist and I thought we might try an insulin pump. That we did. It
eliminated almost ALL of my hypoglycemic peregrinations. It also did a pretty
fair job of reducing those "way high" blood sugars. How much of this improvement
can be attributed to the "smooth" delivery of insulin and how much can be
attributed to the fact that I am now measuring my CBG at least ten times more
often that I had been previously is anyone's guess. I think it was a combination
of BOTH factors.
When Lantus became available in this country last month I switched to it to see
how it would compare to pumping insulin. My personal opinion (that is, in MY
body and in MY life) is that it is equivalent. There are small advantages and
disadvantages TO ME for either mode of therapy. For now, though, I am going to
stick with the Lantus. Overall it has seemed slightly more convenient and vastly
less expensive than the pump.
Nick Trubov CCP
the "CCP" stand for Clinical Cardiovascular Perfusionist -- we ALL know what
THAT is, don't we?
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