It’s not easy to live with diabetes, especially when you are insulin dependent. Even now, under normal circumstances, when you have almost unlimited access to medical services and medication. Think about how radically your life will change when SHTF. In a collapsed society knowing how to make insulin can make the difference between life and death.
Type 1 diabetes is a tricky disease that requires a special diet and constant medication, i.e. insulin. In a disaster scenario, a diabetic person is very vulnerable, way more vulnerable than the regular Joe, because insulin dependency is yet another thing that must be taken care of, besides regular survival needs, such as food, water and shelter. When you have diabetes, you’re playing a perpetual chess game with your body. Type 1 diabetics, besides being insulin dependent, are prone to various diseases/infections and a multitude of metabolic problems.
Knowing how to make insulin at home is like the ultimate level when it comes to preparedness. But before getting there, let’s make a few notes about how a person with diabetes should prepare for the worst case scenario.
First thing, you should stockpile lots of testing strips and syringes. These are pretty cheap hence making a serious stockpile would present no significant problem. In case you’ll need them, you’ll see that they are more valuable than money/gold/diamonds/ammo or whatever.
Another thing to stockpile is obviously insulin. But, keep in mind that a stockpile of insulin, if stored properly (the temperature must not exceed 84F, refrigeration isn’t a must-have), has a “shelf life” of just a few months (even days). Keep in mind that expired insulin will kill you (expired insulin forms crystals that are lethal when injected).
How To Tell When The Insulin Goes Bad
Don’t use bottled insulin past the expiration date printed on the label. And no matter what the expiration date is, throw away a bottle one month after you open it. To help you keep track, write the date that you opened the bottle on the bottle’s label.
There are two ways to tell when insulin is no longer good: poor performance and unusual appearance.
If your blood sugar stays high even though you’re following your treatment plan, your insulin may have lost its effectiveness.
1. Poor performance could be due to two things:
- The insulin bottle has been open for more than 28 days.
- There are a lot of punctures in the rubber stopper because you take very small doses of insulin and you’re getting close to the end of the bottle.
2. If your insulin has an unusual appearance:
- The insulin is cloudy when it is supposed to be clear.
- The insulin is supposed to be cloudy but it has clumps, even after rolling it between your palms.
- The insulin looks stringy.
- The insulin has changed in color.
Diet is another crucial thing to consider. The human body needs insulin to break down carbohydrates. So, a low carb-protein rich diet will keep your insulin dependency a little bit under control. But of course you probably know that. If you’re on a protein-rich diet, you should drink lots of water and prevent your blood from becoming too acidic (ketones are the culprit in this case, for a diabetic in survival mode) by ingesting a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, cheap and excellent for lots of uses). Baking soda alkalizes the body (the opposite of acidification).
Your diet must be very strict, just enough to maintain your weight and must consist of lots of small meals during the day, protein rich meals and as little carbs as possible. You must be moderately active given the limited caloric intake and avoid heavy-duty activities that can drain your body of energy.
You must keep an eye on the symptoms of hyper/hypoglycemia, hence monitoring your blood sugar must be high on your priority list. These symptoms include sweating, hunger, dizziness, fatigue, erratic heartbeat, confusion and in extreme cases even the loss of consciousness.
There is so much to say about this subject! A few months ago a friend of mine with type 2 diabetes succeeded in overcoming his disease with a proper program, including a very specific diet. He is writing a book together with his doctor about it. He promised the book will be posted on this website.
How To Make Insulin When SHTF
Now, let’s get back to our main problem: how to make insulin in a long-term survival scenario. I must warn you: this is not a simple task. It’s actually very complicated and you’ll need access to some equipment. Actually, I think you’ll also need a degree in Chemistry just to make sense of the “lecture” I will give you a little later.
The most important thing when SHTF is to help your body make insulin by providing it with the proper diet and with a little help from over-the-counter medication, such as Metformin/Berberine/NovoNorm (go for the highest dosage available). These are different types of oral medication for diabetics that can replace insulin by counteracting your body’s insulin resistance. They have a very long shelf life by the way so you can easily store them. In this way, even the small quantities of insulin that your body produces will have a significant impact when it comes to lowering your blood sugar levels.
Now, if you want to know how to make insulin at home, you should go back to basics, i.e. to read a lecture about how the first batch of insulin was created in the lab almost 100 years ago (actually, in 1922 and the scientists got the Nobel prize for that).
As I already told you and I must emphasize, knowing how to make insulin at home is not enough. You’ll need to have access to lots of stuff, such as pancreatic organs of cows or pigs, power (very unlikely in a SHTF scenario) in order to use centrifuges and lab equipment, not to mention very solid Chemistry knowledge. Truth be told, it is highly improbable that you’ll manage to make insulin at home, to put together all the chemicals and all the equipment in a disaster-scenario, but who knows, maybe you can do it, hence let me show you the actual transcript of a lecture from the 1920’s, given by the insulin inventors themselves, describing the process.
“The present method of preparation is as follows. The beef or pork pancreas is finely minced in a larger grinder and the minced material is then treated with 5 c.c. of concentrated sulphuric acid, appropriately diluted, per pound of glands. The mixture is stirred for a period of three or four hours and 95% alcohol is added until the concentration of alcohol is 60% to 70%. Two extractions of the glands are made. The solid material is then partially removed by centrifuging the mixture and the solution is further clarified by filtering through paper. The filtrate is practically neutralized with Sodium Hydroxide. The clear filtrate is concentrated in vacuo to about 1/15 of its original volume.
The concentrate is then heated to 50o degrees Centigrade, which results in the separation of lipoid and other materials, which are removed by filtration. Ammonium sulphate (37 grams. per 100 c.c.) is then added to the concentrate and a protein material containing all the Insulin floats to the top of the liquid. The precipitate is skimmed off and dissolved in hot acid alcohol. When the precipitate has completely dissolved, 10 volumes of warm alcohol are added. The solution is then neutralized with NaOH and cooled to room temperature, and kept in a refrigerator at 5oC for two days. At the end of this time the dark coloured supernatant alcohol is decanted off. The alcohol contains practically no potency. The precipitate is dried in vacuo to remove all trace of the alcohol. It is then dissolved in acid water, in which it is readily soluble. The solution is made alkaline with NaOH to PH 7.3 to 7.5. At this alkalinity a dark coloured precipitate settles out, and is immediately centrifuged off. This precipitate is washed once or twice with alkaline water of PH 9.0 and the washings are added to the main liquid.
It is important that this process be carried out fairly quickly as Insulin is destroyed in alkaline solution. The acidity is adjusted to PH 5.0 and a white precipitate readily settles out. Tricresol is added to a concentration of 0.3% in order to assist in the isoelectric precipitation and to act as a preservative. After standing one week in the ice chest the supernatant liquid is decanted off and the resultant liquid is removed by centrifuging. The precipitate is then dissolved in a small quantity of acid water.
A second isoelectric precipitation is carried out by adjusting the acidity to a PH of approximately 5.0. After standing over night the resultant precipitate is removed by centrifuging. The precipitate, which contains the active principle in a comparatively pure form, is dissolved in acid water and the hydrogen ion concentration adjusted to PH 2.5. The material is carefully tested to determine the potency and is then diluted to the desired strength of 10, 20, 40 or 80 units per c.c. Tricresol is added to secure a concentration of 0.1 percent. Sufficient sodium chloride is added to make the solution isotonic. The Insulin solution is passed through a Mandler filter. After passing through the filter the Insulin is retested carefully to determine its potency. There is practically no loss in berkefelding. The tested Insulin is poured into sterile glass vials with aseptic precautions and the sterility of the final product thoroughly tested by approved methods.”
Good luck, have fun with that folks!
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