Inhaled insulin could be a game changer for diabetes patients

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It's a game changer for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Forget giving yourself a shot or wearing a pump. Now you can inhale insulin.

"It's a new design of getting insulin into the system because once you inhale it into your lungs it actually has a very fast onset of action. It's gets in within 10-15 minutes and starts to work," Community Health Network Endocrinologist, Dr. Ernest Asamoah said.

It's called Afrezza. It looks and acts just like an asthma inhaled. Before every meal patients load an insulin cartridge in the device and inhale.

Patients say the enjoy the freedom of being able to take it anywhere and not having to give themselves a shot in public.

Dr. Asamoah says the fast acting insulin has proven to help to control post meal blood sugar levels better than pumps and shots.

"Their sugars were all over the place. They were getting highs and lows and some of them almost every week they needed help to treat low sugar reaction. When I put them on Afrezza literally all these highs and lows went away so for them it was a lifesaver," Dr. Asamoah said.

But there are limits to who can use it. You have to be 18 or older, can't be a smoker or lung problems. But overall Dr. Asamoah says studies have shown very little impact on the lungs and other side effects are minimal.

"One we have to test to make sure your lungs are working very well. But even then some people will have a slight cough usually within a few months or even weeks it goes away," Dr. Asamoah said.

Other inhaled insulin products weren't as successful now patients are relieved to see something that's made life with diabetes much easier.

Afrezza is covered by insurance and the company offers a discount card.

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