Thursday, April 25, 2024

What To Do If You Take Too Much Insulin

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What Causes High Morning Blood Sugars

Can Diabetics Take Too Much Insulin?

Two main culprits prompt morning highs: the dawn phenomenon and waning insulin. A third, much rarer cause, known as the Somogyi effect, may also be to blame.

The occasional morning high will have little impact on your A1C, a measure of your average blood sugar levels over time that indicates how well managed your diabetes is. But if those highs become consistent, they could push your A1C up into dangerous territory.

When Should I Take Insulin

You and your doctor should discuss when and how you will take your insulin. Each persons treatment is different. Some people who use regular insulin take it 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Some people who use rapid-acting insulin take it just before they eat.

Types of insulin:

  • Rapid-acting insulin starts working in about 15 minutes. It lasts for 3 to 5 hours.
  • Short-acting insulin starts working in 30 to 60 minutes and lasts 5 to 8 hours.
  • Intermediate-acting insulin starts working in 1 to 3 hours and lasts 12 to 16 hours.
  • Long-acting insulin starts working in about 1 hour and lasts 20 to 26 hours.
  • Premixed insulin is a combination of 2 types of insulin .

Whats The Link Between Diabetes And Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is most common, by far, in people with diabetes. Treatment for the diseaseoften involves taking medication to increase insulin. Hypoglycemia can develop if things like food, exercise and diabetes medications are out of balance.

Common pitfalls for people with diabetes include:

  • Being more active than usual.
  • Drinking alcohol without eating.
  • Eating late or skipping meals.
  • Not balancing meals by including fat, protein and fiber.
  • Not eating enough carbohydrates.
  • Not timing insulin and carb intake correctly .

Also, if someone with diabetes uses the wrong insulin, takes too much or injects it incorrectly, that can cause hypoglycemia.

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Does Everyone Have Symptoms From Hypoglycemia

Some people dont have symptoms or dont notice them. Healthcare providers call that situation hypoglycemia unawareness. People with such a challenge arent aware when they need to do something about their blood sugar. Theyre then more likely to have severe episodes and need medical help. People with hypoglycemia unawareness should check their blood sugar more often.

Taking Medications That Cause Insulin Resistance

How Fat Kills Insulin

Occasionally it may be necessary to take medications, such as steroids or niacin, that lead to insulin resistance.

The solution: Work with your diabetes team to adjust your insulin dose to maintain glucose control.

Any decrease in your customary activity can decrease your insulin sensitivity and increase your insulin requirements.

The solution: Monitor your blood sugar levels closely and adjust your insulin replacement accordingly.

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Intentional Overdose As A Method Of Suicide

Overdosing insulin has been used as a method of attempted suicide by both people with diabetes and non-diabetics. Because people with diabetes face an increased risk of depression, its important to note that overdosing insulin is not a smooth or guaranteed death.

Instead, in many cases, your liver saves you by releasing a large dose of glycogen which is converted into glucose .

However, that doesnt mean a full recovery is guaranteed either. Many patients who attempt suicide by insulin overdose suffer long-term neurological damage that can affect their speech and motor skills.

If you are contemplating or planning suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline immediately: 1-800-273-8255, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What If The 15

If you dont feel better after three tries, or if your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider or 911. Healthcare providers can use a medication called glucagon. They inject it with a needle or squirt it up your nose. Glucagon is also available for home use. Your healthcare provider can prescribe it and teach a family member or friend how to use it in the event of severe hypoglycemia.

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What Happens If You Inject Too Much Insulin

Health Medications & Vitamins Side Effects WebMD explains that it is appropriate to treat most insulin overdoses at home. The patient must first check her blood sugar. It is recommended that the patient drink four ounces of regular soda or juice and eat a piece of hard candy or a glucose tablet. If the patient has not eaten a meal, this should be done immediately. Consuming 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates usually raises the blood sugar level. The patient is advised to rest and recheck the blood sugar level after 15 to 20 minutes. If it is still low, recommendations include consuming another 15 to 20 grams of fast-acting sugar. According to WebMD, it is important for the patient to watch out for any symptoms of low blood sugar for several hours after the insulin injection. If further symptoms arise, the patient should check her blood sugar level and continue to snack if it remains low. Persistent or severe hypoglycemia symptoms or a blood sugar level that remains low for two hours or more requires prompt medical attention. Learn more about Side EffectsContinue reading > >

Symptoms Of An Insulin Overdose

Is It Possible to Overdose by Taking Too Much Insulin?

Early symptoms of an insulin overdose are the same as symptoms of low blood sugar:

  • Color draining from the skin
  • Feeling weak or having no energy
  • Blurred/impaired vision
  • Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue, or cheeks
  • Nightmares or crying out during sleep

Severe hypoglycemia from an insulin overdose can lead to:

  • Being unable to talk, chew, or swallow
  • Losing consciousness because your brain isnt getting the glucose it needs to function
  • Seizures because your brain isnt getting the glucose it needs to function
  • Death because every part of your part requires glucose in order to function

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Know That When You Check Your Blood Sugar The Number Tells Us How Well Your Last Dose Of Insulin Worked

For example, meal rapid-acting insulin peaks in 1 to 2 hours and lasts 3 to 4 hours. Your blood sugar taken 2 hours after the meal tells us how well the peak of the insulin covered the peak of the blood sugar after you ate. Your blood sugar taken before the next meal tells us how well the insulin worked during the time your carbohydrate was breaking down.

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How Can I Prevent Hypoglycemic Episodes

The key to preventing hypoglycemic events is managing diabetes:

  • Follow your healthcare providers instructions about food and exercise.
  • Track your blood sugar regularly, including before and after meals, before and after exercise and before bed.
  • Take all your medications exactly as prescribed.
  • When you do have a hypoglycemic event, write it down. Include details such as the time, what you ate recently, whether you exercised, the symptoms and your glucose level.

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When You Take Too Much Insulin This Is What Happens

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that makes it possible for the body to turn glucose into energy. It also helps keep blood glucose levels in balance. When the body cannot use insulin properly or make enough of it, it is called diabetes. With Type 1 diabetes, the body does not properly make insulin. In people with Type 2 diabetes, the body needs more insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal, but the pancreas becomes overworked over time and cannot do its job properly .

People with Type 1 diabetes must use insulin injections. For those with Type 2 diabetes, a change in lifestyle and diet can help control glucose levels. However, when those changes do not work for Type 2 patients, insulin supplements can help. Different types of insulin are prescribed, according to several factors including age, activity level, and how long it takes the body to absorb and metabolize insulin. Insulin is usually administered with a syringe or a pump, per Healthline.

Conditions Associated With High Insulin

Excess Sugar Consumption: Is it Ruining Your Health?

High insulin may occur in isolation. In many cases, it is combined with other health conditions.

Most commonly, high insulin levels signify the presence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance over a long period of time may cause type 2 diabetes, or diabetes mellitus. Individuals with type 2 diabetes either have too much insulin that the body isnt responding to, or the body produces too little insulin. Type 1 diabetes is sometimes associated with high insulin, though this is less common.

Hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are also connected to other indicators of metabolic dysfunction. Many individuals with high insulin and insulin resistance also suffer from conditions like fatty liver disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, high blood glucose levels, and systemic inflammation.

Individuals with high insulin may also have polycystic ovary syndrome . PCOS is a hormonal condition that affects women and causes symptoms like irregular periods, excess hair growth, and infertility. High testosterone levels, high insulin levels, and insulin resistance are indicators of PCOS.

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What If It Goes Untreated

Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy.

When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.

Ketoacidosis is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment. Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath

Talk to your doctor about how to handle this condition.

What Can Cause An Insulin Overdose

Insulin overdoses can occur for a number of reasons. Some common reasons are listed below:

  • Miscalculating the carb content of a meal
  • Missing out or delaying a scheduled meal or snack after having injected
  • Accidentally injecting twice for the same meal or snack
  • Accidentally injecting the dosage number of a different meal
  • Accidentally injecting the wrong insulin for example injecting your rapid acting insulin instead of your long acting insulin
  • Having difficulty seeing the numbers or gradation on an insulin pen or syringe

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Insulin Overdose Safety And Suicide

Insulin is a medication. People should keep it out of the reach of children and only use it according to a doctors instructions. If a person takes too much insulin or takes it when they do not need it, it can be fatal.

Occasionally, a person will use insulin in an their life. If a person shows signs of severe depression or suicidal thoughts, they or a loved one should seek medical help or contact the National Suicide Helpline.

How Is Hypoglycemia Treated

Gave Too Much Insulin

The treatment of hypoglycemia depends upon its cause. If youre otherwise healthy and you notice occasional hypoglycemia-like symptoms, try eating a diet thats lower in simple sugars and/or try cutting down on your caffeine intake. If this doesnt make the symptoms go away, be sure to talk with your doctor.

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Prognosis Of Severe Acute Insulin Poisoning

Prognostic factors in insulin poisoning are subject to debate. It is generally accepted that the severity of intoxication should be assessed based on clinical findings rather than on any speculated amount of self-injected insulin . The interval between insulin self-injection and initiation of therapy and the duration of the hypoglycaemic coma were proposed to be relevant prognostic factors . Our findings were consistent with the reported literature in that we identified two independent outcome predictors: delayed initiation of dextrose infusion and duration of mechanical ventilation . Interestingly, as in our study, the dose and type of insulin were found to be closely related to the duration but not to the severity of hypoglycaemia . It should be noted that patients may become hypoglycaemic much later than predicted based on the conventional duration of action of insulin preparations .

How To Prevent An Insulin Overdose

There are things you can do to prevent an overdose:

Keep a consistent schedule. Itâll make it much easier for you to stay on track.

Eat something at every mealtime. Even if you’re not hungry, have some bread, a glass of skim milk, or a small serving of fruit. Never skip meals when you’ve taken insulin.

Be prepared. Expect that you’ll have insulin complications at some point. Pack hard candies in your bag and your partner’s. Keep some in the car and in your travel bag, too.

Make sure friends and family know the way you react to hypoglycemia. Itâll help them take action if your low blood sugar levels make you confused.

Wear a medical alert bracelet. Make sure it says you use insulin.

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How Much Insulin Is Too Much To Take For High Blood Sugar

Ideally, you should be able to correct your blood sugar with an appropriate insulin dose. How much insulin is too much varies based on how sensitive your body is to insulin.

If you have higher-than-expected blood sugar , you should check your urine for ketones. The presence of ketones suggests your bodys cells are having trouble getting enough glucose. You could be at risk for a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis if you have ketones in your urine.

In this instance, you need extra help correcting your blood sugar. You should seek emergency medical attention instead of trying to keep injecting insulin to lower your blood sugar.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of High Insulin

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High insulin and insulin resistance may not have any symptoms initially, though there may be signs that your metabolism isnt working as it should. Over time, high insulin and insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes, which exhibits several symptoms.

Here are a few signs associated with high insulin levels and insulin resistance:

  • High fasting blood sugar levels
  • Accumulation of abdominal fat
  • Infections that occur frequently or are slow to clear
  • Increased urination

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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.

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Your Family And Friends Should Do The Following:

If you are unconscious, they must immediately contact emergency services.When you are alert enough to follow instructions, they must give you a sweet juice to drink. However, if your symptoms still dont improve over the next hour, they must call emergency services.They must inject you with an insulin antidote, glucagon. Ask your doctor if you need to keep a glucagon at home, if you are susceptible to low blood sugar.

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Do I Need To Monitor My Blood Sugar Level

Yes. Monitoring and controlling your blood sugar is key to preventing the complications of diabetes. If you dont already monitor your blood sugar level, you will need to learn how. Checking your blood sugar involves pricking your finger to get a small drop of blood that you put on a test strip. You can read the results yourself or insert the strip into a machine called an electronic glucose meter. The results will tell you whether your blood sugar is in a healthy range. Your doctor will give you additional information about monitoring your blood sugar.

Treating An Overdose Of Long

What to do if I took too much insulin (Lantus, Tresiba, Basaglar, Novolog, Humalog, etc.)?

If you have given too high a dose of long-acting insulin, this could affect you for up to 24 hours.

How you prevent a hypo will depend on how big the overdose was. If the overdose was large, such as a double dose, take carbohydrate to raise your sugar levels and call your health team or out-of-hours service for advice.

If the overdose was smaller, such as up to 5 units too much, take more carbohydrate than usual and aim to keep your sugar levels higher than normal over the next 24 hours to prevent a hypo occurring.

Test regularly through the day and at any time you think you may feel hypo

Take plenty of carbohydrate before sleeping. It is better to wake up with higher sugar levels than risking a hypo overnight. Dont risk going low. If you cannot be certain that hypos will be avoided, call your health team or out-of-hours service.

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High Blood Glucose: Diabetic Ketoacidosis

If your insulin level is too low, your blood glucose could become so high that it is unsafe. You might develop a serious problem called diabetic ketoacidosis . This usually happens in people with Type 1 diabetes and those with glucose levels over 500.

If you have DKA, chemicals called ketones start to make a lot of acid in your body. The acid and high blood glucose can make you very sick. You might also become dehydrated . You can prevent DKA by carefully giving yourself the correct insulin dose every day.

If you have any of the following symptoms of DKA, get to your local emergency department right away. You need to be treated with insulin and fluids that are given to you through an IV :

  • Dry mouth, eyes or skin
  • Feeling very weak or tired
  • Fruity-smelling breath
  • Stomach pain, nausea or vomiting

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