Insulin is an important peptide or protein chain hormone consisting of 51 amino acids in each molecule. It is produced in the pancreas to help extract energy from nutrients that are ingested, especially glucose, during metabolism. When your body is unable to produce its own insulin to keep up with your dietary intake, you get diabetes. It is treated by using varieties of insulin obtained from other animals having similar insulin, like cows.
There are four different insulin varieties that are used for treating diabetes based on its onset (time taken to start working), peak (time when it is working best), and duration (how long it will work). Rapid acting insulin is a type that is quickly absorbed and starts working within 15 minutes of injection. However, it lasts only for 2-5 hours and is only used for emergencies. Humalog and Novolog are 2 types of rapid-acting insulin.
Short acting insulin is another type that kicks in by 30-60 minutes after injection and the effects last for only about 3-8 hours. Novolin R and Humulin R are 2 types of this short-acting variety of insulin. Intermediate acting insulin is a kind that takes between 1-4 hours to kick in and the effects of this medication lasts for up to 12-18 hours. Two examples of this type of insulin are Humulin N and Novolin N. Long acting insulin takes between 1-10 hours to begin working, but once it does, it delivers a constant stream of insulin for as long as 24 hours. Lantus and Levemir are 2 examples of this kind of insulin.
In addition to this, you might also be advised by your doctor and prescribed a premixed combination of rapid-acting and intermediate-acting insulin.