When I started my medical career I would give you either a pill or an injection to help solve your illness with an occasional salve thrown in for good measure. Today, we have become accustomed to medications being delivered in a variety of ways. The common method that comes to mind is the patch which uses the absorption quality of the skin to get the medication into our system. Inhaled medications have usually been specific for the lungs, but the world continues to turn. Inhaled insulin is now available. It is the short acting variety usually given before meals and is not a substitute for long acting insulin
in the management of Type I Diabetes.
This new method of administering insulin comes with some lung issues that you should know about if you plan to use this delivery system. Patients considering inhaled insulin need to have a simple breathing test done before starting. This method of insulin administration is contraindicated in patients with asthma or COPD and is not recommended in patients who smoke or who have recently stopped smoking.
Because inhaled insulin has been shown to reduce lung function over time, a repeat breathing test 6 months after starting therapy needs to be performed. Annual breathing tests should be performed if the patient remains on this treatment. If you are considering inhaled insulin, keep the above statements in mind and be sure to discuss any lung problems and your smoking history with the physician managing your diabetes.