Insulin Doses Need To Be Raised Or Lowered:
- Throughout life as you grow
- For different activities
- For foods that may affect your blood sugar differently
- When you are sick
The information on the following pages may be hard to learn. Learning to change insulin doses can take time. It is important to learn this because changing insulin doses at home when needed and between diabetes appointments will help to control your blood sugar.
It is better to prevent high blood sugars than to chase them with extra insulin at the time of the high. It is better to prevent low blood sugars than to chase them with extra quick-acting carbohydrate.
Your certified diabetes educator will teach you how to change your insulin doses to prevent high or low blood sugar. We will help you by phone or email for several months after you find out you have diabetes. After you learn to change insulin doses without our help, we are still here to help you when you need.
Do Check Your Blood Sugar Regularly And Write Down Each Measurement
Your insulin treatment involves much more than injecting insulin. You need to check your blood sugar level regularly using a blood glucose monitor. The constant need to test your blood sugar can feel like a burden, but its a crucial part of your diabetes care plan.
Blood sugar measurements can change depending on your stress level, how much exercise youre getting, illness, changes in your diet, and even hormonal changes during the month. Major changes could mean that you have to adjust your insulin dose.
Write down each measurement or record it in an app on your phone to show to your doctor. Your doctor needs this information to determine how much insulin is right for you.
You’ll Need To Calculate Some Of Your Insulin Doses
You’ll also need to know some basic things about insulin. For example, 40-50% of the total daily insulin dose is to replace insulin overnight.
Your provider will prescribe an insulin dose regimen for you however, you still need to calculate some of your insulin doses. Your insulin dose regimen provides formulas that allow you to calculate how much bolus insulin to take at meals and snacks, or to correct high blood sugars.
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First Some Basic Things To Know About Insulin:
- Approximately 40-50% of the total daily insulin dose is to replace insulin overnight, when you are fasting and between meals. This is called background or basal insulin replacement. The basal or background insulin dose usually is constant from day to day.
- The other 50-60% of the total daily insulin dose is for carbohydrate coverage and high blood sugar correction. This is called the bolus insulin replacement.
Bolus Carbohydrate coverage
The bolus dose for food coverage is prescribed as an insulin to carbohydrate ratio.The insulin to carbohydrate ratio represents how many grams of carbohydrate are covered or disposed of by 1 unit of insulin.
Generally, one unit of rapid-acting insulin will dispose of 12-15 grams of carbohydrate. This range can vary from 6-30 grams or more of carbohydrate depending on an individuals sensitivity to insulin. Insulin sensitivity can vary according to the time of day, from person to person, and is affected by physical activity and stress.
Bolus High blood sugar correction
The bolus dose for high blood sugar correction is defined as how much one unit of rapid-acting insulin will drop the blood sugar.
Generally, to correct a high blood sugar, one unit of insulin is needed to drop the blood glucose by 50 mg/dl. This drop in blood sugar can range from 30-100 mg/dl or more, depending on individual insulin sensitivities, and other circumstances.
How Much Insulin Should I Take: Basal
For your basal dose, youll usually inject a set amount of insulin each day. The Diabetes Education and Research Center gives a formula for a general idea of how many units are needed.
The DERC first suggests calculating your total daily dose , which is the amount of insulin for your bolus and basal doses combined per day. This is calculated by dividing your weight in pounds by 4.
Then, the DERC proposes that the basal dose should be half of the total daily dose. Thus: total daily dose ÷ 2 = basal dose.
However, this is only a proposed general guideline. For a personal idea of your basal dose, you should be advised by your healthcare team, who will take other factors into account, such as the kind of insulin youre using.
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Factors That Speed Insulin Absorption
Variation in insulin absorption can cause changes in blood glucose levels. Insulin absorption is increased by:
- injecting into an exercised area such as the thighs or arms
- high temperatures due to a hot shower, bath, hot water bottle, spa or sauna
- massaging the area around the injection site
- injecting into muscle this causes the insulin to be absorbed more quickly and could cause blood glucose levels to drop too low.
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.
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How Long After Insulin Should I Eat
Few people have diabetes of type 1 and some have type 2 diabetes, in both cases, intake of insulin is necessary to maintain the blood sugar level in a specific range. Normally, the food an individual eats decides the quantity of sugar that enters the bloodstream and how much time it takes to enter it. But, when you eat your food as a diabetic patient, plays a crucial role.
It is also important to note that rapid-acting insulin should be given before 15 minutes of the meal. Usually, your respective doctor prescribes the quantity of insulin. If you had taken a rapid insulin shot, you must eat after 15 to 10 minutes without any delay to control the sugar level. In the case of regular insulin, it is still effective if the wait is for more than 30 minutes.
People find difficulty in managing both the meals and regular insulin injections and usually end up eating at an unusual time. In those cases, it is difficult to achieve good results. As rapid insulin should be taken before a couple of minutes of the meal, it is more effective and often advised by the doctor.
In an ideal treatment, the working speed of insulin would be directly proportional to the rise in blood sugar meal per meal. Most individuals with diabetes take at least 2 shots and some people may also need 4 to 5 shots per day. One should be careful while using rapid-acting insulin. Even sometimes doctors prescribe to combine both rapid-acting and regular insulin.
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How Protein And Fats Affect Carb Counting And Insulin Dosing
It is also important to know that although proteins and fats do not have a direct effect on carbohydrates, they do affect the way carbohydrates are absorbed. A food that contains carbohydrates in addition to a high protein or fat content will be absorbed more slowly but the effect will be longer, that is, it will not generate such a high glucose peak but it will last longer. You may need to adjust your ratios as you learn how various meals impact you.
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.
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How To Calculate Insulin Dosing For Meals
When living with diabetes, your body is unable to produce enough insulin or use it effectively to keep your glucose within normal levels, especially after eating. For people with Type 2 diabetes who take insulin, knowing how much insulin to take before meals can reduce spikes after eating.
In this article, well explain:
- How to calculate your insulin dosages based on your meals
- Terms such as insulin-to-carb ratio and the insulin sensitivity factor
- How to approximate insulin dosing using the Plate Method
- Questions to ask your doctor about carb counting and insulin
But before we begin, please make sure you speak with your doctor before making any changes to your medication. New to learning about mealtime insulin? Check out our guide here, first.
Why Do I Have To Wait That Long To Eat After Insulin
Both rapid-acting and regular insulin should be taken before meals. Though there is a certain time limit after the meal within which you can take insulin, it is strictly restricted to avoid taking insulin after food. Because once you start to eat, your bodys blood sugar level starts to rise which does not allow insulin to do its work.
To get a proper result from insulin, it should be injected before 30 minutes of your meal. But the amount of insulin to intake depends on the number of carbohydrates you are going to eat after the respective insulin. Hypoglycemia is the name of the case when your bodys blood sugar level goes below normal.
And when you miss the insulin shot before meals, it results in hypoglycemia in such cases, blood sugar level goes below the normal level leading to a risky situation. Similarly, waiting too long or more than a specific time to eat after insulin too, tends to lower the level. To avoid such spikes maintaining a regular time is suggested.
If you have been using insulin and exercising more than usual, or limiting the meal would affect a lot in individual. It may also occur if you take too much insulin in a day. The front and side part of the thighs, upper arm, and abdomen are recommended places to inject insulin.
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How Much Insulin To Take For Type 2 Diabetes: A Helpful Guide
Well over 30 million people live with diabetes in the United States. That comes out to about one in every ten Americans.
A large portion of the people with diabetes depend on insulin to control their blood sugar. Unfortunately, taking insulin is not nearly as simple as just popping a pill in the morning and before bed.
Health care workers, diabetics, and their close family should know to calculate how much insulin to take. We created a guide to help you understand. Read ahead to learn more about taking insulin.
Exact Answer: After 15
Insulin is the best way to prevent or avoid complications in diabetes. It manages the blood sugar level when a diabetes patient cannot make needed insulin or when cannot use it properly. It allows the glucose to break down and use in the form of energy. Depending on the type of diabetes, you may need to take a different type of insulin in a day.
This generally depends on several factors like diet, blood sugar level between the meals, and so on. Usage of insulin may be risky sometimes. Following a regular schedule of your mealtime and insulin would help to maintain the proper blood sugar level.
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How To Find Blood Glucose Patterns
Many different things can make blood glucose go up or down, like exercise, food, or stress.
Look for patterns in the blood glucose numbers.
-Are they below target range? Are they below target at a certain time of day?
-Are they above target range? Are they above target at a certain time of day?
-Is there no clear pattern?
Look for other things that may make blood glucose numbers out of range unexpectedly. These may not be good reasons to change an insulin dose.
A change in the insulin dose may be needed if:
-You are using the correction factor often.
-You are treating low blood glucose often.
B: Increase Your Bolus Insulin Dose
You know to increase the bolus insulin dose if your blood glucose has been above target for 3 days in a row. Now you need to know when and how much to change it. Changing this dose is based on your Insulin to Carb Ratio.
- First, know your current Insulin to Carb Ratio. Your Insulin to Carb Ratio is _____.
- Next, use the chart below to know when to increase your bolus insulin dose.
|Results of Blood Glucose Test||Increase Insulin:|
|Abovebefore bedtime||At dinner|
- Last, use the scale below to DECREASE your Insulin to Carb Ratio by one levelfrom your current ratio. Decreasing your Insulin to Carb Ratio means you will be giving more insulin.
1:50 –> 1:45 –> 1:40 –> 1:35 –> 1:30 –> 1:25 –> 1:22 –> 1:20 –> 1:18 –> 1:15 –> 1:12 –> 1:10 –> 1:8 –> 1:7 –> 1:6 –> 1:5
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Taking Charge Of Your Health
Diabetes doesnt have to control your life. Do something nice for yourself by taking care of your blood sugar and being responsible with your insulin.
You learn to calculate how much insulin to take and when. This helps you become more independent and helps decrease your risk of complications.
Visit the blog for more articles about diabetes and other health care issues.
Dont Wait More Than 15 Minutes To Eat After Taking A Mealtime Insulin
Rapid-acting insulins were designed to be taken right before you eat to help you control your blood sugar more effectively.
As the name suggests, rapid-acting insulin starts to work rapidly in the bloodstream. If you wait too long to eat, your blood sugar can actually end up getting too low. This puts you at risk for hypoglycemia.
If, for some reason, you cant eat a meal after youve already taken your mealtime insulin, you should carry around glucose tablets, juice, non-diet soda, raisins, or hard candies to avoid hypoglycemia.
Calculating the right dose of mealtime insulin can be complicated at first, especially if you dont know how many carbohydrates youre going to be eating at your next meal.
Try not to panic if you realize you took too much or too little insulin.
If you think youve taken too much insulin, eat some rapidly-absorbed carbs, like juice or glucose tabs. Also, you may want to call your doctor.
If youve taken a lot more than you need , have a friend or family member get you to a hospital. You may need to be observed for severe low blood sugar.
If you think youve taken too little insulin, or you completely forgot to take it at all before your meal, measure your blood sugar. If it gets too high, you may need to take a short or rapid-acting insulin as a corrective measure to lower your blood glucose levels. If youre at all unsure about the dose, seek advice from your doctor or diabetes care team.
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