Diabetes mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is one of the most prevalent medical issues facing the world today. It is estimated that there were about 460 million diabetic adults worldwide in 2019 and this is predicted to grow to 700 million diabetics by 2045.
Insulin is an essential hormone that helps regulate blood sugar. Type 1 diabetics are incapable of producing insulin and Type 2 diabetics either do not produce enough insulin or experience peripheral vascular insulin resistance. Through the development of rapid acting injectable insulin, people diagnosed with diabetes mellitus can maintain a healthy and normal lifestyle.
The primary characteristics that determines the effectiveness of insulin treatment relates to how rapidly it is absorbed and the duration of the insulin in the system. To satisfy the physiological characteristics of this naturally occurring hormone and neuropeptide, there are multiple types of insulin products available: rapid-acting insulin, short acting, intermediate acting, and long acting analogs.
Rapid acting insulin is the most effective means for diabetics to lower their blood glucose levels, post-mealtime. Rapid acting insulin is used by diabetics shortly before a meal to mimic the natural insulin secretion that would be normally release by the pancreas. Multiple rapid acting insulin analogs are available on the market and there are now a couple of ultra-rapid acting insulins entering the market.
Glucagon is produced in the pancreas and acts as the counter-regulatory hormone to insulin, meaning that it serves to convert glucagon to glucose in order to raise blood glucose levels.
Although using glucagon in diabetes treatment seems counterintuitive, when it is used in combination with insulin it can provide a way to have complete control over blood glucose levels.
Patients who use an insulin pump often have greater swings in blood glucose and a higher average levels so adding stabilized glucagon could help better balance this process.