Only A Diabetic Knows the True Value of Insulin; But, What if You Run Short Of It?
Insulin helps in the absorption of glucose molecules by liver, muscle, and fat cells for energy production. It is the great convertor in your body.
Due to insulin resistance, your body fails to absorb glucose leading to high blood sugar level. Ultimately, it creates the need for external insulin administration. That is why insulin plays a vital role in the lives of millions and millions of diabetics throughout the world.
But, if you are here to know whether you can survive without your insulin, the answer is ‘yes, you can.’
But, before that, you should know what you are putting yourself at risk of!
What Happens When Your Sugar Goes High And You Don’t Have It?
High levels of blood sugar from lack of insulin can sporadically result in a diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a condition that can lead to death.
On top of it, insulin deficiency can even cause blindness, cardiac arrest or lower limb amputation.
According to The World Health Organization, between the year 2000 and 2014, a surge of 5% was recorded in the untimely death of people resulting from diabetes.
Observing these statistics only proves just how vital insulin is to a diabetic patient.
Apart from that, there is almost no way you can actually ‘get rid of diabetes’ as insulin is akin to a life source for the diabetic’s body. Particularly for diabetic patients who need to have their prescription with them 24/7.
How to Survive When You Run Out of Insulin?
So, what happens if you have no insulin? Or if your prescription either expires or freezes before you can renew it?
A simple answer is you always need to have a plan B. But fret not, we’ve got your back and have compiled all the non-insulin backups for you:
- R & NPH Human Insulin
In case you run out of your prescription or are not able to access it, an over the counter version is always available at your local pharmacy. It is almost like the case of ‘having something is better than nothing.’
The R (regular) NPH human insulin are cheaper and work slightly differently than the standard insulin pen. This type of insulin starts functioning and peaks at alternating time periods, but is your best bet against insulin deficiency in case of an emergency.
However, before making this change, it is best that you speak to your doctor and constantly monitor your glucose levels during the use of R and NPH insulin.
2. Request for Samples
While this is not something you can make a habit out of, your pharmacist or physician might be able to provide you with some ‘not for sale’ or sample pens free of cost given your situation.
They may even guide you further on what to do in case the same happens in the future.
3. Renew Your Prescription
If you have run out of insulin before your prescription renewal, your health care provider will understand that survival without insulin is not an option.
Your pharmacist can contact your physician and update the renewal if you explain your case. We can take care of this for you, as long as you have a previous prescription on file.
Some pharmacist are even allowed to issue you another dose if your situation requires it as per the law.
4. Resort to Rationing
If you have been able to suspect beforehand that you might run out of your insulin dose before renewal, ration your dose.
However, only do this if you feel it is not a risk to your health and consistently monitor your blood sugar.
5. Play It Safe
It is understandable if you do not have any way to get insulin when you need it.
Therefore, without taking any risks at all, simply go to the Emergency Room or an Urgent Clinic, whichever is nearer to be taken care of.
Diabetes has been spreading rapidly in developing countries at a higher rate. The more common it becomes, the less seriously people have started taking it.
However, you don’t need to panic if you ever run out of insulin. The essential action you should take is to act quickly while you can as there are various counter measures you can take to maintain a healthy blood sugar rate.