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Allergic to Insulin


Allergic to Insulin

Are you plagued by itchy welts where you inject or infuse insulin? Have any other odd symptoms which may be allergy related? Share your frustrations and success in managing this allergy here.

Members: 31
Latest Activity: yesterday

Diabetes Forum

I thought my endo was crazy

Started by Ronda yesterday. 0 Replies

I thought my Endo was crazy when she said that my problems with my sites was an allergic reaction to the Novalog I've been using for the past two years. Apparently, it was correct. I switched to…Continue

allergic to insulin

Started by alice. Last reply by aunttami Apr 1. 1 Reply

Hi,I am so sorry to hear you are having this reaction.I appear to be allergic to 3 kinds of quick acting insulin (humalog - has latex, Adipra, and Novolog which are latex free).I don't know if it's…Continue

Tags: reaction, insulin

Insulin allergy

Started by caitlyngrisham. Last reply by Kelley Apr 22, 2014. 1 Reply

For the past 6 months, I've been having some terrible issues with my insulin. My sites have been getting red, swollen, hot to the touch and infected. They stay red even after I remove the site from…Continue

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Comment by aunttami on April 1, 2015 at 3:28pm

Gail N. I am in the same exact boat as you. I am also treated with Prednisone for my allergic reactions to all insulins. I am frustraed. My Endo thinks it is all in my head which I know it is not. I you get any help let me know. Thanks.

Comment by Gail N. on January 25, 2015 at 11:30am

I am having terrible allergic reaction to Apidra and am allergic to all other insulins for the past 31 yrs. I am now taking Methylprednisolone and Benadryl and Allegra. This is the only way for me to stay alive. Does anyone at all take prednisone for their insulin allergy? Every one of the insulins are horrid for me and I see allergists after allergists without a clue as how to help me. Is this so unheard of that no one else in the whole world cannot tolerate the insulin molecule in general. Am I from outer space? All comments welcome with any suggestions. ALso I saw specialist about Mast cell activation disorder which someone suggested we allergic people might have but I still don't know if I actually have because tryptase is always negative. Any updates on the person who had MCAD? Very interested to find out further development and how that person is handling her insulin allergy. Thank you

Comment by roggenbrot on January 17, 2015 at 12:38pm

I was diagnosed in April 2014 and after about ten days on Lantus I had a serious anaphylactic reaction to it. I took Benadryl that day and the symptoms started going away after 22 hours, when the Lantus was done working and out of my system. I am not allergic to insulin but to the chemicals used to deliver it. Allergist confirmed and I now use N.

Comment by PGG on July 15, 2014 at 12:06am

I am allergic to all insulins and would like to find others who are in the same situation.

Comment by PGG on July 15, 2014 at 12:01am

Comment by cherie on December 23, 2013 at 11:56am

I have recently found out what is wrong well have a name at least, now I have to have all the tests so get your doctor to look for this, It took me to move to Melbourne to find an awesome docotr.

Comment by Diane McDowell on November 10, 2013 at 11:16am

It has been a while since I originally asked for help here. The people who posted gave various experiences and advice. I was able to try a few, and keep testing with my endo to find out which combination of sensor/adhesive/insulin would cause the least amount of reaction for me.

so here are my results so far...I react to all of the sensors and all of the adhesives (except of course the G4 cgm which has never cause a problem...)

So this led us to believe that the source of the reaction was indeed the insulin itself. Went through Novolog, humalog, and apidra. Still same horrid reactions.

then I noticed that benadryl nights (since I can only take it at nights) had lower BGs and less swelling and redness in the AM...I had never used Zyrtec, and didnt want to try it but I did, after a few consecutive days of zyrtec in the day and benadryl at night (better because it helps me sleep) I had no redness, no itching no welt, and no bump. I change inset, any one of the three I have left in my test box at three days.

I have done several re-tests. with injections for bolus...the inj site has a tiny bee sting reaction but the inserts look horrid again and the huge hard bumps ar knots as hard as bone without an antihistamine.

So final analysis, I stay on antihistamines forever I guess, I swap out inserts more frequently, and I change up the brand of the insert because anything that adds to the insulin allergy starts the skin reacting also...Even though the beautiful Dexcom G$ sites have never had one problem...

Anyway, I thank everyone who shares here. Their time and experience was so helpful. Blessings Diane

Comment by alice on October 11, 2013 at 1:56pm

Hi Kent and Gail,

Some news - I had the skin allergy testing done with the 3 insulins and the Lantus that I reacted to, and one insulin, new for me. I didn't react to any of them. Dr Akin said he wasn't surprised, and feels I had an idiopathic anaphylactic reaction - essentially a freak, random reaction. (Dr Cem Akin is one of the few Mast Cell Researchers, and is at Brigham's and Women's in Boston)(I live 2 hours away in Western Mass)

Kent - can I ask why you had a biopsy at the infusion site? And I find it interesting that your insulin works better with large doses of antihistamine. I had noticed the same thing. Am I correct when I say that you had no reaction on the skin surface, but had only a deep tissue biopsy where you had your pump showed Mast Cell involvement? I do sweat and have episodes of unexplained hypertension, and with a reaction to one type of insulin I had some really weird episodes of shortness on breath. I didn't even feel it until I tried to talk, and I couldn't get enough air in my lungs to speak, but seemed fine when I didn't talk - (maybe a message here - hehehe. I have a test for pheochromocytoma pending. I have tested negative for this before, but I have 2 cousins who do have this. I also have occasional right sided chest pains, that are accompanied with abnormal EKG changes - S-T interval changes, which mysteriously goes away after a day or two, and the cardiologists scratch their heads. Extensive cardiac tests show my heart is 100% -no heart weakness or damage at all!! I occasionally get unexplained muscle weakness that comes and goes, but no fainting, nor pulmonary hypertension - that I know of. I do have edema in my wrists and legs.

What do your docs think is going on? Mast Cell Disease - but deep down? or something else or both? I would like to bounce your story off Dr Akin, with your permission? I'll let you know what her thinks. Where do you live?

Dr Akin mentioned Kounis Syndrome (allergic angina, coronary artery spasm due to mast cells releasing histamine there) Dr Akin is good friends with Dr Kounis, but doesn't subscribe to Dr Kounisis' theory. I tend to side with Dr Kounis. Unfortunately, Dr Kounis lives in Greece.

With the negative skin tests, I am told to restart the Lantus injections, and next week we'll re-evaluate and start a short acting insulin. Gail, I haven't been taking any short acting insulin for the past few weeks, and my sugars have been all over - 298 - 493, trying to not eat ANY carbs at all, and drinking lots of water. I didn't have a pump. I reacted the quickest to Apidra. The Endochrinologist mentioned possibly going on a pump. I am hoping I don't react again, and wind up back in the hospital. It wasn't pleasant to go thru that reaction! :-(

Thanks to both of you and to all the the folks in the group that answered my plea for help and info. I'll see what happens next and keep you all posted.

Comment by kent on October 10, 2013 at 10:29am

That is so interesting. Insulin doesn't work in my body without bunches of antihistamines. I also am plagued with mast cells that act oddly. A biopsy of one of my infusion sites showed inflammation and mast cells deep in the tissue, but a skin test with insulin on the surface of my skin showed no reaction. I take large doses of allerest and my insulin works much better. The docs for the most part don't believe it because "you can't be alergic to insulin". Fortunately, I have an internist and an allergist who are seriously searching for an explanation. Other symptoms include pulmonary hypertension, systemic edema, chest pains, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, etc, etc. I have episodes of sweating, and very high blood pressure, fainting that self correct after a few minutes or an hour. I had a test for pheochromocytoma which was negative.

I am going to provide this info to my medical team. Thank you very much.

Comment by Gail N. on October 10, 2013 at 8:18am

Alice; that is so interesting about the mast cell. I am allergic to all insulins and most meds like most of us; I take Apidra on medtronic pump but don;t feel well still as I have written about in detail before. Alice what insulin are you able to tolerate? Do you take shots or use a pump? I'm thinking of switching to Omnipod since there is no tubing. My insurance won;t pay but Iill have to pay out of pocket; I always felt tubing makes affects me adversely no rashes just the way I feel better with less any product that touches my body of insulin haveing to travel thru tubing. Who knows with mei react to everything; also all antibiotics everything docs of course never see this so they have a hard time believing; I take Benadry and Valium to sleep insulin keeps me up and gives dreams. Alice; what is your protocol with insulin?


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