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Can You Be Allergic To Insulin

Check Your Indoor Environment For Allergens

#504 Allergic to Insulin

Often people believe they can avoid allergy symptoms if they stay indoors. This does not work if your indoor air contains allergens. Clean your furnace and air conditioner filters. An air filter tower can help minimize your allergy symptoms. Another option is a humidifier if the air in your home or workplace is dry. If you are allergic to pollen, try to stay indoors during the early morning hours before noon when the pollen levels tend to be the highest.

What Is A Diabetes Rash

Diabetes affects various parts of your body, including your skin. An estimated 1 in 3 people with diabetes will develop a skin rash or other skin problem at some point.

When you have diabetes, your chances of having dry, itchy skin are higher than someone who doesnt have the disease. Youre also more likely to get other diabetes-related skin conditions.

What Is An Insulin Allergy

Adverse reactions to insulin can occur as soon as 30 seconds after an insulin injection or later, after several minutes or even after hours have passed . Its possible that someone with Type 1 could be allergic to one type of insulin, but not another. Just over 2% of people with diabetes exhibit some signs of an allergy to insulin, most commonly a local reaction .

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Glargine Insulin Is Not An Alternative In Insulin Allergy

  • Karine-Noelle Durand-Gonzalez, MD1,
  • Catherine Pecquet, MD2 and
  • Jean-Pierre Gayno, MD1
  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Poissy-Saint Germain en Laye Hospital, Laye, France
  • 2Department of Allergology, Tenon Hospital, Tenon, France
  • Address correspondence to Dr. Durand-Gonzalez, Service de Diab√©tologie et Endocrinologie, 18 rue Armagis, 78100 Saint Germain en Laye, France. E-mail:
  • Allergy to insulin is rare with human recombinant insulin and is now reported for < 1% of diabetic patients. Clinic symptoms are usually local and appear a few minutes after the injection and are rarely general . A decrease of the efficiency of the insulin is usually associated with these symptoms. Different methods have been proposed for the treatment of insulin allergy including the use of oral antihistaminics, the addition of glucocorticoids to insulin, and the change to human insulin analogues.

    To our knowledge, we report the first case of allergy to a new long-acting insulin analogue, insulin glargine

    Skin-prick tests were positive for human and porcine insulin and negative for all additives using the Novo Insulin Allergy Kit . These tests confirmed the allergy to insulin.

    Allergic Reactions To Insulin

    Can you have an Allergy to Insulin?

    A bit of historyAllergic reactions to insulin have been around since it was discovered in 1922. It was estimated that around half of people using these impure insulins had allergic reactions thought to be caused by the insulin molecule as well as the preservatives or the agents used to slow down the action of insulin, such as zinc. Until the 1970s only bovine insulin was available and this differs from the insulin our bodies produce by 3 amino acids and therefore is more allergenic than pork which differs by only one amino acid.

    Localised allergic reactions are those that affect a specific area, such as rashes at the injection site, and the introduction of highly purified insulins reduced these localised allergic reactions to about 2-3% of people treated with pork or human insulin.

    Systemic reactions are those that affect the whole body and these are classed as very rare and can occur at the start of insulin treatment or many years after. In these cases the allergy is usually due to the insulin molecule itself rather than additives such as the preservatives.

    Types of allergic reactions to human insulin

    There appears to be 3 types of allergic reaction:

    First type is the most common and is an immediate hypersensitive reaction. The symptoms vary in severity and start at the injection site with swelling, redness and itching but they may progress to the rest of the body. This reaction can be very difficult and even life threatening.


    Just a thought


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    Insulin Allergies + Type 1

    Read Help Get Answers for Jack a story of an 8-year-old boy who suffers a severe allergy to insulin, the life-saving medicine required for managing his Type 1 diabetes.

    Editors Note: If you suspect you have an allergy to insulin or any item that is a part of your Type 1 diabetes management, consult your physician and diabetes team. This article has been verified by Dan Desalvo, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in Pediatric Diabetes & Endocrinology at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Childrens Hospital.

    Now imagine being allergic to the very thing that keeps you alive. Allergic reactions to insulin are rare, but they do exist.

    Are Your Food Allergies Making You Fat

    YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM may be making you fat. Its hard to believebut very true. I want to explain the bugs in your digestive tract, why they upset your guts immune system, and how they just might be behind those extra pounds.

    I have observed this phenomenon in hundreds of patients. Recently, remarkable new research has confirmed this phenomenon.

    I have developed very effective treatments for it, based on understanding the way in which all the bodys systemsthe gut, the immune system, detoxification system, hormones and moreare connected. Theres powerful evidence that addressing these key causes of weight gain and illness can help you shed pounds.

    For example, Ive seen patients who lose significant amounts of weight, just by cutting food allergens from their diet. And I have also seen people lose 20 to 30 pounds, simply by balancing the bacterial ecosystem in their intestinal system.

    One patient, a 38-year-old woman, had chronic inflammation, fluid retention, acne, fatigue, joint pain, as well as irritable bowel syndrome with bloating and gas. She had tried every known diet, but was unable to lose weight.

    This womans problem: She could not lose weight because she was inflamed. The imbalances in her gut and the food sensitivities resulted in the inflammation.

    But when we had her eliminate the foods to which she was allergic or sensitive, and gave her some healthy bacteria to heal her gut, she lost 35 pounds in a few monthsand all her other symptoms went away too.

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    What Causes A Diabetes Rash

    For people who dont have diabetes, a skin rash may be the first sign of high blood sugar or prediabetes. Your healthcare provider can help you take steps to prevent diabetes.

    If you take medications for diabetes, a skin rash may indicate that you need to adjust treatments to lower your blood sugar levels. Some other rashes result from reduced blood flow to your extremities .

    What Other Skin Conditions Affect People With Diabetes

    BD SafetyGlide TNT Syringe for Insulin, TB and Allergy Training Video

    People with diabetes can have any skin condition. But sometimes, people with diabetes have a rash or other skin irritation due to:

    • Allergic reactions: People with diabetes may have an allergic reaction to oral diabetes medications or injectable insulin. You may develop a rash or hives and swelling at the injection site or elsewhere on your body. Contact your healthcare provider if you think youre having an allergic reaction.
    • Bacterial infections: Having diabetes increases the risk of bacterial skin infections. You may develop bacterial infections in eyelid glands or deep under the skin . Infected skin may be swollen, hot, red and painful. Youll need antibiotics to get rid of the infection.
    • Dry, itchy skin: High blood sugar and certain skin conditions can cause dry, itchy skin. If you have poor blood circulation, your lower legs may itch the most. Moisturizers can help.
    • Fungal infections: A yeast called Candida albicans causes most fungal infections in people with diabetes. Youll have moist areas of tiny red blisters or scales that itch. Skin fungus tends to affect skin folds, including under the breast, between fingers and toes, around nailbeds, and in the armpits and groin. Common fungal infections include jock itch, athletes foot and ringworm. Antifungal medications can help.

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    Can You Be Allergic To Synthetic Insulin


    Other common side effects of Lantus include pain, redness, swelling, itching, or thickening of the skin at the injection site. Many other medicines can increase or decrease the effects of insulin glargine on lowering your blood sugar.

    Secondly, what is insulin hypersensitivity? Several types of hypersensitivity reactions to insulin preparations have been described. These reactions may be caused by the insulin itself or by additives within the preparation. Hypersensitivity to insulin can occur in all age groups and in patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

    Accordingly, what are the side effects insulin?

    Common side effects include:

    • initial weight gain as the cells start to take in glucose.
    • blood sugar that drops too low, or hypoglycemia.
    • rashes, bumps, or swelling at an injection site.
    • anxiety or depression.
    • a cough when taking inhaled insulin.

    How can you tell if your insulin is bad?

    The effects of insulin resistance

  • extreme thirst or hunger.
  • feeling hungry even after a meal.
  • increased or frequent urination.
  • tingling sensations in hands or feet.
  • feeling more tired than usual.
  • frequent infections.
  • What Does A Diabetes Rash Look Like

    Diabetes rashes look different depending on the type and cause.

    Some diabetes rashes only affect people with diabetes. They usually go away when blood sugar is under control. These rashes include:

    • Blisters : Painless blisters may form on the backs of hands and feet and on the legs and forearms. This rare condition most often affects people who have diabetic neuropathy.
    • Diabetes dermopathy: Light-brown, round-shaped scaly patches, like age spots, appear on the shins. These harmless spots dont need treatment.
    • Digital sclerosis: Some people with Type 1 diabetes develop hardened, thick, waxy skin on the backs of their hands. The finger joints stiffen, making movement difficult. A related rash is scleredema adultorum of Bushke which is tightness, thickening, and hardening of the back, neck, shoulders and face. There are various treatments that dermatologists can provide for this.
    • Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum : This lower leg rash is more common in women. NLD causes raised, red, shiny patches with a yellow center. Blood vessels may be more noticeable. The rash may be itchy and painful. You should see a dermatologist for treatment options.
    • Diabetes Foot Syndrome: These are ulcers that develop from trauma to the skin. The ulcers can take a long time to heal and there is an increased risk for infection.

    Other conditions can affect anyone, but are particularly common among people with diabetes. These rash-causing conditions can also be a warning sign of pre-diabetes:

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    Follow These Helpful Tips If You Take Allergy Medications

    • Before starting any new treatment, always talk to your provider or asthma specialist about treatment options while managing your diabetes.
    • Stay prepared for any diabetic health risk by monitoring your blood sugar frequently. If you are having unusually high or low blood sugar readings, contact your healthcare provider.
    • High blood sugar – Hyperglycemia
    • Spartans Will.

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    The 4-H Name and Emblem have special protections from Congress, protected by code 18 USC 707.

    Pregnancy And Breastfeeding While Taking Humalog

    Can You Be Allergic To Your Own Insulin

    Below is information on pregnancy and breastfeeding during Humalog treatment.

    Pregnancy. It isnt known for certain whether Humalog is safe to use during pregnancy. However, the American Diabetes Association recommends insulin for managing blood sugar levels during pregnancy. If youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using Humalog.

    Breastfeeding. In general, Humalog is considered safe to use while breastfeeding. It isnt known whether Humalog may pass into breast milk. But, the body doesnt absorb insulin taken by mouth. So, even if Humalog does pass into breast milk, a breastfed child cant absorb the drug.

    Its important to note that your insulin needs may change while youre breastfeeding. If youre breastfeeding while taking Humalog, make sure to talk with your doctor about potential changes to your dosage.

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    Side Effects Of Insulin

    The most significant adverse effect of insulin therapy is hypoglycemia. This is especially the case for treatment of T1DM, but is also true for T2DM. Insulin allergy and lipoatrophy were commonly seen with the use of animal insulin before pure and biosynthetic preparations became available. Both reactions are now rare, but can be seen, probably because there is some degradation during storage and/or with depot injection into tissues that can induce an immune response. Weight gain commonly occurs following improved glycemic control with insulin therapy. In the UKPDS, individuals receiving insulin therapy had an average weight gain of 4.0 kg over the course of the study.81

    S.H. Arshad, in, 2006

    Which Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Insulin Allergy

    Generalized insulin allergy is rare. Symptoms occur immediately after the injection and include urticaria, angioedema, pruritus, bronchospasm, and, rarely, circulatory shock. As a rule, allergy may be treated with antihistamines. Some cases may require epinephrine and intravenous steroids.

    Local allergic reactions can occur at the site of insulin injections and can cause pain, burning, local erythema, pruritus, and induration. These complications are less common with the human insulins now in use than with the animal insulins once widely employed. Such reactions usually resolve spontaneously without any intervention.

    Local fat atrophy or hypertrophy at injection sites was common with animal insulins but is rare with human insulin and insulin analogues. Patients do not require any specific treatment of local fat hypertrophy, but injection sites should be rotated. Changing to a different insulin preparation may be necessary.

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    Can You Be Allergic To Insulin

    This week I saw a very interesting man in the hospital. He was concerned that he had an allergy to insulin and shared his story with me.

    This man, in his 70√Ęs, has been a diabetic for about five years. He was previously using pills for his diabetes, but his blood sugars became very high when he was ill with pneumonia, so he was placed on insulin for a period of time. He had a variety of strange symptoms, including flushing of the face and nausea.} After he stopped taking the insulin, the symptoms went away. He was later put on a different type of insulin, because his blood sugars became very high again. He had a similar reaction to this different insulin. The night before I was called to see him, he was given a different type of insulin again, and he became very sick, face flushing, vomiting, etc. The morning that I saw him, he was feeling tired, but much better. He had not had any insulin for 12 hours.

    Does this man have an allergic reaction to insulin? I am not sure. He has several other illnesses that may contribute to his symptoms. In the past, I have only come across one other case of an allergy to insulin, and in that case the woman actually had a RASH when she used a specific type of insulin. She was able to switch to another type and did just fine.

    Until next week, stay safe and healthy Vincies!

    Anita Ramsetty, MD

    Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

    What Does It Mean For People With Type 1

    Insulin Side Effects

    As we all know, with Type 1, insulin is necessary for survival, so stopping insulin is not a choice. Discovering the exact cause of the allergic reaction is important, so doctors will typically run tests to identify if a particular type of insulin, preservative or delivery method is the culprit.

    Treatment options include taking antihistamines to help minimize allergy symptoms, as well as steroids to dampen the immune systems negative response to insulin . In some cases, giving small doses of insulin subcutaneously with low basal rates and avoiding large bolus doses, may desensitize the body, and the adverse reactions will stop. Sometimes, simply switching from one type of insulin to another can solve the problem.

    Specific immunotherapy has been successful in treating severe cases of insulin allergy that do not respond to other treatments. Specific immunotherapy consists of giving a very tiny dose of insulin initially , and slowly increasing the dose over a couple of days to allow the body to desensitize to insulin. It requires close monitoring in the hospital setting in case of an emergency.

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    Insulin Allergies Are For Real

    Craig Idlebrook 0

    Basal insulin was supposed to be a help for novelist Katherine Marple, but instead it became the bane of her existence. A few years back, Marples doctor switched her to Lantus to help control some of the peaks and valleys of her blood glucose levels. Shortly after the switch, she soon felt pain with each Lantus injection.

    It felt like I was injecting fire, says Marple, who has Type 1 diabetes. I could actually feel it going up my veins.

    Soon the problem moved from an annoyance to a life-threatening emergency. She had sudden and dangerous lows while she slept, and paramedics had to revive her several times. Maple had seen online discussions about insulin allergies, and she tried to talk to her doctor about the possibility, but he wasnt convinced.

    He thought I was being insubordinate and neglectful, Maple says. A lot of people dont believe 20-year-olds.

    Maple persisted, and after several months her doctor finally read up on the subject. While it was never conclusively proven that she was having an allergic reaction, she was switched to a different form of insulin, and the symptoms went away.

    That doesnt mean it has eliminated allergic reactions altogether. In some estimates, its believed that as many as 2.6% of people with diabetes experience some form of allergic reaction to various forms of insulin. Such cases are uncommon, but they have been documented. Reactions range from frustrating to life-threatening.

    Examples include:


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