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I noticed that there are many types of insulin that a diabetic can be on.  Why are there so many types on the market?  How does the doctor know which ones to prescribe?  What are the differences in between them and how do they come up with it?  This is all interesting to me, because I take regular insulin as well as Lantus.  Thanks for the information!

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Hello, Guest!  Yes, there are many different types of insulin available that helps diabetics better control their blood glucose levels.  The ones I will mention are:

1. Short-acting insulin is taken about 30 minutes before you eat a meal.  This is to cover the elevation in BG from the meal.  This type of insulin is used in conjunction with long-acting insulin, which we will discuss next.

2. Long-acting insulin is combined with short-acting insulin or regular (rapid-acting) insulin. It helps lower blood sugar levels all the day long.  This insulin covers the times when the other two insulins stop working. It can be taken once or twice a day. 

3. Rapid-acting, or regular, insulin is taken before a meal to buffer the blood sugars tendency to rise at mealtime. 

4. Intermediate-acting is another insulin that is used to cover rises in blood sugar when regular insulin stops working.  It is usually taken twice a day.  The doctor determines the best dosages when he/she checks your blood sugar log book and sees where your glucose levels tend to elevate.  The doctor can prescribe what he/she thinks may help and you monitor the blood sugars while on insulin.  If there needs to be an adjustment, then your insulin will be adjusted.  Many insulins on the market are laboratory made and the ingenuity of the scientist and doctors who made it knew that making some insulin to peak at different times would be beneficial to the diabetic patient.

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