Changing Your Insulin

GM Vs animal insulin

Choices – The Evidence
Evidence from people with diabetes
A little bit of history
Action and duration times of animal and GM ‘human’ insulins
Hypoglycaemia and loss of warnings
‘Dead in Bed Syndrome’
The concerns of patients are justified
Availability of animal insulins in the UK
Changing your insulin
What to do if your consultant refuses to change your insulin
Availability of animal insulin if admitted to hospital
Frequently asked questions
Allergic reactions to insulin


Changing your insulin

In the UK insulin is a prescription-only drug and therefore you will need to discuss your wishes to change your insulin type with your GP and/or clinic doctor.

The following guidelines are an extract from a talk given by Dr Laurence Gerlis, IDDT’s Medical Adviser.

  • Any change of insulin, type and brand, can alter your control in the first few days or weeks and so it is important to monitor your blood glucose levels more frequently.
  • Dose changes should be made in only 1 or 2 units at a time.
  • Dose changes should be kept to a minimum by altering the amount of exercise and the food at the next meal to cope with the odd high blood sugar.
  • There is nothing wrong with what is called conventional therapy, twice daily doses of short and longer acting insulins, and it is quite possible to achieve ‘good’ control on this regime.
  • Insulin is a delicate protein and small but subtle changes in the insulin molecule, such as the difference between the insulin molecule in pork and ‘human’, can affect diabetic control in some patients.
  • Both doctors and patients tend to raise the dose of insulin and rarely lower it. For example, if the morning blood sugars are high as a result of the body’s reaction to a hypo in the night, then raising the insulin dose will only make this situation worse. This leads to a vicious circle of increasing insulin doses to cope with highs, leading to more hypos and so it goes on.