Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, an organ inside the abdomen. If your child has type 1 diabetes, he does not make insulin. Your child will need to take insulin shots. Insulin cannot be taken as a pill, because the stomach acid destroys it.
If your child has type 2 diabetes, he may still make insulin, but not enough. He may be able to take pills to help him make more insulin or to better use the insulin he does make.
Your child needs the right kind of insulin at the right times during the day. The amount and kind of insulin is very important. If your child takes too much insulin or takes it at the wrong time, your child could have a serious low blood sugar reaction. If your child doesn't take enough insulin, the body will not be able to use the food for energy and the blood sugar will be too high.
When you have type 1 diabetes, there is a loss of the cells that make insulin. When you eat, your body turns the food into sugar. The sugar is carried through the blood. Insulin helps your body turn the sugar into energy. Throughout the day your blood sugar levels go up and down.
Your body naturally makes the right amount of insulin to move sugar from the blood into the cells where it is burned for energy. Your body cannot turn sugar into energy without insulin. If insulin is not available, sugar builds up in the blood and then starts to spill over into in the urine.
There are three major types of insulin:
Your child's provider may prescribe a combination of different types of insulin to match your child's eating schedule and lifestyle.
If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.