Fortunately for me  I do not take insulin.  However there are many others, some of whom are my friends , who do.  I recently ran across an article that caused me to pause.  It referred to insulin losing its effectiveness.  My first thought was what a bummer it would be to learn I was causing myself discomfort for something that might be increasing my health challenges rather than reducing them. Of course, one does whatever is necessary to enhance and maintain the quality of life, but learning that my routine injection to control my diabetes could instead have a negative effect would be devastating. 

This post is to alert those who use insulin to be aware of the guidelines for maintaining the effectiveness of your insulin.  Several factors can impact insulin.  A major concern is ’heat’.  Although summer heat has ended for many of us, continue to be cautious about how you store your insulin.  It usually lasts longer when kept refrigerated.  Freezing, however, may damage the potency of your insulin.  Of course check the expiration date on the bottle. 

Here are a few tips from Diabetes Daily.

  • Insulin is good until the expiration date on the bottle.
  • Opened vials do not need to be refrigerated & last 30 days.
  • Some older insulin like Novolin last 7 days after opening.

It is a good idea to keep note and be aware of the expiration date on all of our diabetic supplies. I recently realized (noticed) that there is an expiration date on my test strips.  I have just been using what I have without checking the date on the container.  After reading the Diabetes Daily article I have organized my supplies by expiration date--oldest first.  I did notice that most of them seem to have a shelf life of at least one year.

Remember that Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint. So give yourself permission to slow down and break it into little pieces. Taking small steps every day and you'll travel further than getting trapped in a cycle of leap, leap, and fall. Following your health plan consistently will help you achieve your health goals.  Do not become dismayed or discouraged by a few misteps.  Instead reward and encourage yourself for small or large successes.

I hope you found this information useful.  Leave a comment about your experiences and challenges with diabetes.

Theresa Newell

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