Allergic Reaction To Insulins

Hi all. For the past 8+ months I’ve been having allergic reactions to several different insulins (I’ve tried Novolog, Apidra, Humolog). I used to use a pump but after 1-2 days the site becomes very red and swollen, a knot forms under the skin and it won’t absorb insulin anymore. I am religious about rotating sites so I know that’s not it. So the the site fails to lower my blood sugars. I have been forced to go back to multiple daily shots. When I do the shots I am still getting swollen, red bumps where I inject. It looks like a mosquito bite but isn’t itchy or painful.
I’m wondering if anyone has dealt with this before and if so, if they’ve been able to find a good solution. I’m also trying to find a doctor who has experience with this if anyone knows of anyone. I know this is not a common thing. None of my doctors have seen it before. Any ideas? Thanks for your thoughts in advance. :slightly_smiling_face:

I have heard of that. Some of us forum members (cough cough😊) started on beef and pork insulin; and when those were replaced in the US with “manufactured” insulins some people found the new formulations didn’t work as well, or caused allergic reactions such as you describe. I think there may be some discussions on the forum but you might have to dig to find them. Hopefully you’ll get some responses from fellow members who found a solution.
When it comes to irritation I’ve found Benadryl is very effective - both oral and topical. I use it occasionally as needed, and would prefer not to take it regularly unless my doctor recommended it. An allergist might have some recommendations for you.
All the best in finding a solution!

Hi Courtney @Courthutch

The Juicebox podcast did a show on this issue. The main solution was to switch to Afrezza. It is an inhaled powdered insulin. It works well. I use it in conjunction with my Humalog. Hope this helps!

@Courthutch Hello Courtney, and welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum!

I know very little about allergies, but I do know about insulin formulations having used three vastly differing types. I notice that the three insulin names you mention all are “analog formulations”. Have you tried using rDNA insulin [such as Humulin, Novolin, etc.] or inhaled insulin such as Alfrezza that Courtney @homeschoolingmomof5 mentioned?

The rDNA formulations can be used successfully in a pump; they were used for years in pumps before the first analog arrived in 1996. I’ve never used the inhaled insulin because the smallest dose available is much to large for me; a friend has used Alfrezza for a few years and finds it very effective, but the background insulin he injects once per day is an analog.