How Insulin Works
Insulin is a hormone in the body. Like all hormones, it's produced by a gland, in this case the pancreas. Specifically, insulin is produced by certain cells in the pancreas called "beta" cells. Your body uses insulin to move the sugar (glucose) obtained from food from the bloodstream into cells throughout the body, which then use the sugar for energy.
People with diabetes don't make enough insulin. Luckily, several types of insulin products available allow us to replace the insulin the pancreas can't make. Because insulin is a protein, it can't be taken by mouth. It would be digested, just like the food you eat. That's why insulin is taken by injection (a shot). Over the last decade, several new types of insulin have been developed to meet the different needs of people with diabetes.