Insulin and Temperature: The Crucial Connection You Can’t Ignore
It’s true that the potent liquid that keeps you healthy is temperature sensitive. A vial or pen of insulin is highly particular about temperature; it should never be too hot or cold.
Let’s examine how to protect your insulin against extreme heat and cold in more detail.
The right temperature for storing unopened insulin
When stored in your refrigerator, an insulin vial or pen should be kept between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to verify the temperature setting on your refrigerator because some portions may be cooler than others.
Additionally, since it can become a little too chilly near the back of the refrigerator, you might want to avoid keeping your insulin there.
Instead, think about storing your vials or insulin pen box in one of the vegetable drawers, the door shelves, or the butter compartment.
After 28 days, all insulin pens and vials begin to malfunction.
Even if you keep the insulin in the refrigerator in between doses, once you open a vial or pen, it will only last for about 28 to 30 days at room temperature before it begins to slowly degrade. This does not imply that you must discard all the insulin after 28 days, but you should closely monitor your blood sugar levels. Many people who use insulin have reported continuing to use it into day 28, although they note that this is when the drug really starts to lose effectiveness.
The ability of insulin to control blood sugar decreases with its breakdown. If this starts to show up in your blood sugar, you should absolutely think about replacing the pen or vial.
This is not a problem because many people use a pen or vial all before the 28-day period.
When air is too hot or cool for insulin
The problem with insulin that has been rapidly ruined by heat or cold is that you won’t know it’s “spoiled” until your blood sugar starts to spike out of the blue.
Insulin that has been tainted doesn’t smell, doesn’t change colour, and doesn’t give any obvious symptoms other than not affecting your blood sugar levels.
For people with type 1 diabetes, this can mean a rapid spike in your blood sugar and life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
This can result in a sharp rise in blood sugar and potentially fatal diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in those with type 1 diabetes.
Depending on how long you continue to use that spoiled insulin, it might cause a sharp jump in blood sugar and cause continuous problems controlling blood sugar for those who have type 2 diabetes.
Making mindful temperature changes in daily life
While shopping groceries in July, leaving your insulin in a hot car for fifteen minutes won’t likely ruin it, but leaving it there for a longer period of time could. It’s crucial to exercise caution when deciding where and when to store your unsealed insulin because of this.
Overexposure of insulin to extreme heat or cold, even for a brief period of time (60 minutes) can disintegrate so quickly that they have little effect on your blood sugar.
Keep in mind that if it’s 65 degrees outdoors, it may be 80 degrees inside your vehicle.
Conversely, a chilly winter’s day may result in temperatures as low as 10 degrees inside your automobile or in your jacket package when skiing, which is easily low enough to kill your insulin.
Risky areas in which you shouldn’t leave your insulin or diabetes kit:
- Sitting in the sun when engaging in summertime outdoor activities
- If it’s hot outside or you’re exercising, letting your insulin pump lie right against your skin
- Close to a heating vent or heater
- In an airline bag when flying
Recall that your insulin is still susceptible to severe temperatures even when it is enclosed in a diabetic kit or pouch.
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