How Can I Keep My Blood Sugar Level From Getting Too High Or Too Low
You need to check your blood sugar level regularly using a blood glucose monitor. Your doctor or his or her office staff can teach you how to use the monitor. Youll need to write down each measurement and show this record to your doctor. He or she will use this information to decide how much insulin is right for you.
Blood sugar measurements can vary depending on your lifestyle. Stress levels, how often you exercise, and how fast your body absorbs food can affect measurements. Hormonal changes related to puberty, menstrual cycles, and pregnancy can, too. Illness, traveling, or a change in your routine may mean that you have to monitor your blood sugar level more often.
How Do I Check My Blood Sugar
You use a blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar. This device uses a small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. You can get the meter and supplies in a drug store or by mail.
Read the directions that come with your meter to learn how to check your blood sugar. Your health care team also can show you how to use your meter. Write the date, time, and result of the test in your blood sugar record. Take your blood sugar record and meter to each visit and talk about your results with your health care team.
How Do I Prevent Hyperglycemia
- Exercise to help lower blood sugar. Work with your healthcare provider to make a daily activity plan.
- Follow your meal plan if you have one. Learn how carbohydrates impact your blood sugar, and work with your diabetes care team to find the best meal plan for you.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Dont smoke.
- Limit drinking alcohol. Alcohol can raise blood sugar levels, but can also cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. Work with your provider to determine how much is safe to drink.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/11/2020.
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Avoiding Injection Bruises And Lumps
Bruising can happen when you catch a tiny blood vessel under the skin where you have injected. It is quite normal for this to happen occasionally when you are injecting regularly and youre not doing anything wrong.
If you are concerned, you could make an appointment with your diabetes specialist nurse who will be able to do a review of your injection technique. In some cases, bleeding and bruising can be reduced by something as simple as using a different sized needle or changing your needle after each injection.
Some people notice hard lumps that can form if you inject in the same place too often. This might be lipohypertrophy , or could be something called cutaneous amyloidosis. These lumps can stop the insulin from working properly, so make sure you rotate where you inject and choose a different spot each time. If you notice any lumps, especially if they’re not going away, speak to your healthcare professional for more advice.
Other side effects from injecting a lot can be itching, rashes and other skin irritations. Changing where you inject helps with this too. You can also get treatments from your local pharmacy that can will help with the irritation.
Why Do I Need To Take Insulin
All people who have type 1 diabetes and some people who have type 2 diabetes need to take insulin to help control their blood sugar levels. The goal of taking insulin is to keep your blood sugar level in a normal range as much as possible. Keeping blood sugar in check helps you stay healthy. Insulin cant be taken by mouth. It is usually taken by injection . It can also be taken using an insulin pen or an insulin pump.
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Insulin Dos And Donts
Insulin therapy plays a crucial role in managing your blood sugar and can help you prevent diabetes complications.
You may need to take a single type of insulin or a combination of multiple types of insulin throughout the day. This depends on several lifestyle factors, your diet, and how well your blood sugar is controlled between meals.
Using insulin can be tricky sometimes. Here are some dos and donts to pay attention to as you learn how to effectively manage your diabetes with insulin.
How Do I Pay For These Tests And Supplies
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans pay for the A1C test and some of the cost of supplies for checking your blood sugar. Check your plan or ask your health care team for help finding low cost or free supplies. Ask your health care team what to do if you run out of test strips. For more information about Medicare and diabetes, go to .
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How To Prevent High Blood Sugar
The best way to treat high blood sugar is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Not only does this help to avoid a potential emergency, but it also reduces the likelihood of experiencing diabetic complications. Patients with diabetes can prevent high blood sugar by taking some of the following measures:
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Essential Foods To Help Control Blood Sugar Levels
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What Do I Need To Know About Insulin Treatment For Diabetes Mellitus
In diabetic dogs, the main treatment for regulating blood glucose is giving insulin by injection. Dogs with diabetes mellitus typically require two daily insulin injections as well as a dietary change. Although a dog can go a day or so without insulin and not have a crisis, this should not be a regular occurrence treatment should be looked upon as part of the dog’s daily routine. This means that you, as the dog’s owner, must make both a financial commitment and a personal commitment to treat your dog. If you are out of town or go on vacation, your dog must receive proper treatment in your absence.
There is a newer glucose monitoring system that can measure glucose continuously over several days. Talk to your veterinarian to see if this is right for your dog.
Consistent treatment is a vital component of the proper management of the diabetic dog. Your dog needs consistent administration of insulin, consistent feeding, and a stable, stress-free lifestyle. Your dog should live indoors to minimize uncontrollable variables that can disrupt regulation. The most commonly used insulins are Vetsulin®, Caninsulin®, Humulin®N, and Detemir . Your veterinarian will determine the best insulin for your dog.
Always Choosing The Same Spot To Inject Insulin
Insulin is absorbed at different rates depending on where you inject it. It enters your blood fastest when you inject it into your abdomen, a little more slowly when you inject it into the upper arms, and even more slowly when you inject it into the thighs and buttocks, according to the ADA. Youll get the best results by injecting your basal or bolus insulin into the same general body area, but rotating the side of the body where you inject if from day to day. Injecting insulin in the same spot over and over can cause hard, fatty lumps to form. These lumps don’t absorb insulin well. “You could be injecting your usual dose of insulin into one of these areas but potentially 50 percent or less of the insulin is absorbed,” Port says. She recommends checking for these hard lumps from time to time.
For more on how to use insulin properly, check out Diabetes Daily’s article “Habits of a Great A1C: Insulin Use Strategies”!
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How Do I Store Insulin
Store unopened insulin in the refrigerator between 2Â°C and 8Â°C . Protect from temperature extremes such as freezing or higher temperatures greater than 30Â°C or 86Â°F. Protect from direct sunlight. Some brands of opened insulin may be stored at room temperature and other brands require refrigeration, so refer to the label on your specific bottle of insulin for exact recommendations.
How Do I Inject The Insulin
Generally, you will want to inject insulin as the dog is eating her meal because it is critical that insulin be given with a meal. Some dogs need a second person to hold them steady initially.
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How Is Insulin Therapy Used To Treat Diabetes
People with type I diabetes require insulin therapy because their body does not produce insulin at all, whereas people with type II diabetes require insulin therapy because their inherent insulin is less effective due to insulin resistance.
Insulin is categorized according to how fast they work and how long their effects can last:
- Rapid-acting: Produces effects within minutes and lasts for a couple of hours. Examples: lispro and aspart
- Regular or short-acting: Produces effects within 30 minutes and lasts up to 3-6 hours. Examples: Novolin and Velosulin
- Intermediate-acting: Can take 2-4 hours to work and can last up to 18 hours. Examples: Neutral Protamine Hagedorn
- Long-acting or basal: Can work for 24 hours. Examples: degludec, detemir, and lantus
- Pre-mixed: Examples: Novolog and Humalog mix
Your doctor determines the correct type of insulin to prescribe by considering the following factors:
- Response to a particular type of insulin (time it takes to absorb and its effectiveness
- Ability to monitor blood sugar throughout the day
How Much Insulin Should I Take For Low Blood Sugar
Insulin will lower your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is already low, you shouldnt inject more insulin.
Signs that your blood sugar is too low include sweating, dizziness, blurred vision, and significant fatigue. If this happens, try to consume rapid-acting carbohydrates, like sugared sodas, fruit juice, or glucose tablets, to get your blood sugar levels back up quickly.
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How Do I Calculate How Much Insulin To Take
In people who do not have diabetes, their bodies release insulin in response to the foods they eat. This is because many foods contain carbohydrates. Some examples include bread, sweets, fruits, and even vegetables.
Your body breaks carbohydrates down into smaller building blocks, like glucose. You need insulin to use this glucose for energy. If your body cannot make or use insulin effectively, youll need to inject it to process your food for energy.
Calculating how much insulin to take is usually based on two considerations:
- Basal insulin dose. A basal insulin dose is an amount that you give yourself daily regardless of the foods you eat.
- Bolus insulin dose. A bolus insulin dose helps correct or anticipate the carbohydrates you eat throughout the day. You will usually correct this with a bolus dose of rapid-acting insulin.
Anticipating a bolus dose is where insulin administration can get tricky. When you give yourself insulin, you are estimating how many units of insulin it will take to process the carbohydrates you eat.
The University of California, San Francisco states that, as a general rule, 1 unit of insulin will process anywhere from 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrates and lower your blood sugar by about 50 milligrams per deciliter .
Since the human body is so complex, not all people will process insulin the same way. Factors like time of day, stress levels, and physical activity can make these numbers more difficult to predict.
First Check Your Ketones
In people with type 1 diabetes, high blood sugars can put you at risk of developing ketones. Blood sugar levels over 250 mg/dL with too little insulin can quickly turn into diabetic ketoacidosis if it continues to rise.
Test your urine for ketones, and contact your doctor or visit an urgent care facility if you measure with moderate to large ketones. When large ketones are present, correcting a high blood sugar with insulin via pump or injection wont be effective. Instead, youll likely need intravenous fluids for a few hours to restabilize.
If you only have moderate ketones or less, you may be able to correct with insulin at home but youll likely need a larger dose than normal. Contact your healthcare team if you test positive for ketones and are unsure of how to safely manage the situation.
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About Insulin Pen Needles
Use a new insulin pen needle each time you give yourself an injection. Insulin pen needles have 4 main parts .
- A protective tab. This helps keep the needle clean. Youll need to remove this before attaching the needle to the insulin pen.
- An outer needle cap. This covers the needle before and after its used.
- An inner needle cap. This helps keep the needle clean before its used.
- A needle. This is how the injection is given into the skin.
Figure 2. Parts of an insulin pen needle
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Making Unhealthy Food Choices
People with diabetes should limit sugary foods, such as juice, soda, or candy, to only when they are treating low blood sugar,” Port says. Foods high in sugar or refined carbohydrates, and sugary drinks, will quickly raise blood sugar levels, and won’t match up with a bolus insulin dose thats been measured for you based on eating meals of a similar size and carbohydrate content throughout the day.
Make it a habit to choose less processed sources of carbohydrates, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, and balance out your meals with lean protein and healthy fats to help keep your blood sugar stable. One way to think about healthier foods and cut back on carbs, Port says, is to choose those that come from the earth or the ground, and havent been processed much. I like to use the example of eating an apple versus eating applesauce, or even drinking apple juice . The closer you can get to the simple apple, which isnt processed at all, the better.
Keeping a food journal can help you and your doctor look for patterns, and understand how your food choices are affecting your blood sugar.
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How Many Units Of Insulin Do I Need For 400 Blood Sugar
In a healthy individual, one unit of insulin should cause their blood sugar level to drop 30-50 mg/dL, However, the number of units of insulin needed for people with diabetes depends on factors such as:
- Type of insulin
- Site of injection
- Use of oral diabetes medications
- Comorbid conditions such as kidney failure, untreated hypothyroidism, or which temporarily increase insulin resistance
- Time since your last carb-rich meal
Theoretically, to reduce 400 mg/dL blood sugar to about 100 mg/dL, you would need at least 10 units of insulin. However, depending on your weight and other factors, a higher dose of insulin is almost always required.