Allergic to ALL INSULIN

Just recently I have undergone two lots of allergy testing on All Insulin's. The results of the testing have found that i am allergic to all Insulin's.

Although I'm allergic, I have been told to continue to inject Apidra
3 times per day, but each injection feels like you are being stung by a load of wasps, I also have extreme itchiness and have to take a number of tablets to try to control that. They have also now issued me with two Epipens in case i have an emergency allergic reaction which does not fill me with the greatest of confidence.

I have just been told about a new drug called Dapagliflozin, which i am told will lower my blood sugars, as the sugars would be released in my urine, however they have warned me of the side affects of Thrush and other urinary infections, so I don't know. (Is anyone on this tablet)?

They say its very rare to be allergic to all insulin, but there must be other people experiencing the same problems?

If so, please get in touch, i would very much like to hear from you.

Many thanks
Paul
Lymington
Hants
UK

Allergy to all animal, human, analogue, beef and pork insulin's

Invokana works the same way and is prescribed in the states. Try searching for that on this forum, there has been some discussion of it recently for T1 and T2. Sorry to hear about the allergy, is it possible to eat low enough carb meals that you don’t need it, or need very little?

OK, that sucks. Have you like been tested for the whole lot? or only short acting? maybe regular insulin or animal insulin could work. i know animal insulin is not available anymore, but i have heard guys having it shipped from Poland? not quite sure. are you only on short acting, or also take long acting insulin?
i would definitely try to get your insulin requirements as low as possible with low carb diet and exercise.
take care and keep us posted
SC

There are two classes of insulin allergies (immune disorders). Allergies are immune system reactions that are undesirable overreactions to what would be considered harmless substances. The first is when you are have an innappropriate immune response to the insulin molecule, almost always this is a reaction to a foreign insulin molecule. This almost never happens with human insulin (Regular and NPH), but was actually pretty common in the days of porcine of bovine insulin. These days it still occurs with the modern insulin analogs but is much less common. The hallmark of this first class of allergy is the generation of anti-insulin antibodies which attack the foreign insulin and render it inactive. Typically you will experience a symptom of insulin resistance but not have any other symptoms.

The second type of allergic reaction is a classic allergic response which can either be localized as you have with itching, redness and inflammation or can generate a systemic reaction. Often you don't have an allergic reaction to the insulin and instead react to certain ingredients such as zinc. These classes of allergies are characterized by IgE and histamines. Treatment of an allergy like this involves desensitization and various immunotherapies. Fortunately, my understanding is that these treatments are often successful. You will need to consult with an allergist with experience in this area.

And in the meantime, Lilli has a great suggestion, a very low carb diet like Bernstein and a drug like Invokana or Farxiga (Dapagliflozin). The stated side effects are actually quite mild and if you do follow a low carb diet you will be at very little risk of those side effects.

Have your doctors talked at all about insulin desensitization? Or else using an insulin pump so that the amounts injected aren't so large (if you use extended boluses then a bolus could be injected over half an hour instead of a few seconds). Good luck. I have lots of allergic problems and being allergic to insulin sounds awful. :(

We have 2 groups for allergies, the first one is specifically for insulin allergies

http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/allergictoinsulin
http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/diabetes-and-allergies

Dapagliflozin is the name of the drug here in the UK, It looks like it works exactly like Invokana. The problem with this tablet is it does cause you to have the side affects of Thrush and other urinary infections. I am trying low carbs, thanks for your reply

Thanks for reply, I am unable to exercise a great deal because i have a problem with my back also, I have been tested against all insulin, long and short acting.

Thank you for your reply,
As I understand i am allergic to additives within the insulin, I am also allergic to the pen itself, I have talked about desensitization and because of my very high blood pressure it may not be an option, I am also concerned about the time i have to spend in hospital and the tests they perform with no guarantees. I was told by the Allergy Consultant that it was not that successful.

Thank you for your reply, talked about desensitization and because of my very high blood pressure it may not be an option, I am also concerned about the time i have to spend in hospital and the tests they perform with no guarantees. I was told by the Allergy Consultant that it was not that successful.
With regards to the pump, it does not matter about quantity, the tests are 1 in 1000, 1 in 100, 1 in 10 and Neat and i am allergic to all.

Thank you i will have a look

You would still be allergic no matter the quantity, but taking as low an amount of insulin as possible might help to lessen an allergic reaction, especially if you (or they) are worried about a potentially life-threatening reaction, which they are if they've given you epi-pens.

I'm not allergic to insulin but I have had allergies affect my diabetes in big ways (I'm allergic to pump infusion sets, many adhesives, and many foods) and also have potentially life-threatening allergies for which I carry epi-pens. I have also have complex allergy issues that doctors have struggled to control, so I definitely know how frustrating they can be! I hope you and your doctors are able to work out a satisfactory treatment soon.

Thanks Jen, I agree it's very frustrating to say the least, I just wish I could find someone who has gone through this stage, so I know what to do. Thanks again

I know someone on tumblr who's allergic to insulin, though she is a type 1, you might get some help from browsing through her diabetes tag on her blog. She also did an Ask me about... on Reddit about it.

It's suuuuuper rare yes, but it does seem like there's options out there.

It may be possible to treat your allergic reaction to insulin by placing you on a continues low dose of insulin using a pump, and treating

low glycemic meals buy increasing basal dose for 2 to 3 hours after meals. Gradual desensitization will take place over time but you

would probably be required to stick with the pump therapy...

Although I'm allergic, I have been told to continue to inject Apidra
3 times per day

I realise eventually your own insulin production may be depleted to the point where exogenous insulin is mandatory, but are you sure you have reached that stage?

This may be a good incentive to review your lifestyle to see if it is possible to nminimise your need for insulin. Would you mind answering some personal questions?

What are your present A1c, FBG and typical peak (one-hour) post-meal nukmbers? Do you test at one hour or two?

What dietary advice, in terms of carbs, are you following? Has that changed since you started on insulin?

I realise you are low-carb, but I am talking about carbs per individual meal, not just low carb in general. Read this to see what I mean: Test, Review, Adjust

If you decide to try that technique be cautious. It works, but don't make drastic changes while you are on insulin. You don't want to go from hyper to hypo. Eventually you may need to discuss reducing or dropping the insulin with your doctor.

Hi Alan,

I was told this week that I am hardly producing any insulin at all, I am also at the moment looking at ways i can change my lifestyle, I have had no dietary advice from the so called professionals, so I am looking at the best way forward myself. I test my bloods 7 times per day and before breakfast it ranges between 10.0 to 16.0 and two hours later it ranges between 9.5 and 13.0.
Before Lunch : between 10.5 and 12.0. and after : 15.0 to 23.0
before Evening meal : 8.0 to 16.0 and after 10.0 to 15.0
Lastly before bed : between 14.0 to 25.0.

I hope this makes sense to you. Like i have said i am injecting Apidra, Breakfast 16 units, Lunch 18 units and evening meal 20 units. I was injecting just before bed time as well but it did not seem to make any difference at all.
Whenever I inject its like being stung several times and the more i inject the more itchy i get as well, I have proved positive to all insulin and just this week they are considering taking me off insulin altogether and giving me this tablet called Dapagliflozin, which i am told will lower my blood sugars, as the sugars would be released in my urine, however they have warned me of the side affects of Thrush and other urinary infections, so I don't know.
I used to get phone calls from my diabetic team, but ever since they found i was allergic to all insulin, hardly anyone calls. I have to call them, then they don't know so pass me on, its getting to the stage of despair on my part.

The other thing I have not mentioned is, I have other problems as well, Blood Pressure of over 200 systolic and around 160 diastolic (this has been like this for several years since i had two heart attacks. I have a pacemaker fitted, Chronic back problems etc etc, and i am only 54 years of age).

Going back to my blood sugars if i go over 17ish i feel absolutely rubbish and if i go under 8ish i feel the same and this happens most days.. I hardly eat at all, more than likely the wrong things, but i have put on over two stone in weight since taking insulin..

thanks again for your reply
Paul

I have asked about a pump, but was told no.

thank you

I totally feel for your situation. I also, have an allergy to SOME insulin...the additives. and it was a long and miserable experience to find something that works. my doctors simply explained that I would have to deal with the allergy b/c insulin was a necessity. the MOST help I received on this topic was from a pharmacist. as they understand insulin on a molecular level. listening to your story makes me think that a pharmacist might be able to help you too. good luck.