Insulin injection, if you’ve never done it, takes two hands. One hand holds the insulin injector. The other hand pinches the skin, to form a bulge so the hormone enters fat under the skin while avoiding muscle, where it can be absorbed quickly enough to cause a seizure.

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that regulates sugar in the blood.

“Normally, you have an automatic pancreas,” says Shawn Michels, a University of Wisconsin–Madison student and diabetic who has invented an add-on to insulin injectors, “but my pancreas is manual so I have to give myself injections when I want to reduce my blood sugar levels or eat food with carbohydrates.”

By definition, Type 1 diabetics do not make insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the body does not respond properly to insulin.

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