Friday, May 20, 2022
HomeEditor PicksCan You Take Insulin After You Eat

Can You Take Insulin After You Eat


Sometimes I Forget To Take My Insulin Before I Eat Should I Go Ahead And Take My Shot After I Eat

Diabetes & Insulin: Can I skip meals?

A: You can take your insulin after your meal, but the dose may need to be adjusted depending on how much time has elapsed betweem your meal and the time you remembered to take the insulin. If little time has passed and you remember to take the insulin right after you have eaten, it is usually safe to take your pre-meal dose. If, however, you remember 1 to 2 hours after your meal, the dose will usually need to be adjusted to a lower amount to protect you from unwanted low blood glucose levels 3 to 4 hours after the meal. How much of an adjustment you make is something that should be discussed with your primary care provider, your endocrinologist or your diabetes educator.Continue reading > >

For Moderate To Severe Insulin Overdoses: Blood Sugars Below 50 Mg/dl

There are two things you can and should do if you feel youve taken a significant overdose of insulin or youre suffering from severe hypoglycemia:

Use a glucagon kit

Aglucagon kit can save your life and is prescribed by your doctor. Be sure to keep it in an easy-to-reach location that others in your household or office know about. A glucagon kit works by giving you an injection of glucagon which is a hormone that tells your liver to release stored glucose . This large dump of glucose from your liver can save your life, or at least prevent seizures in someone who is already unconscious.


or get someone to drive you to the ER immediately

If youve taken a serious overdose of insulin or your blood sugar is crashing and you do not have a glucagon kit, call 911 immediately. If youre caring for someone else who has taken an overdose of insulin and they are unresponsive and unable to chew or swallow, you absolutely need to call 911. The emergency medics will give dextrose intravenous to hopefully revive the person suffering from a severe insulin overdose.

If you take insulin, you are at risk of experiencing an insulin overdose nearly every day of the week because juggling insulin doses with the many other variables that affect blood sugar levels is a complicated game. The more you observe how much insulin you need with certain meals and with meals that occur right before exercise, the more you can prevent overdosing.

Forgetting Blood Sugar Checks

Checking your blood sugar levels regularly helps you stay tuned in to how your body responds to your medications, food, and lifestyle habits, Dr. Port says. It can help you and your doctor determine the right amount of basal and bolus insulin to take. Fasting blood sugar levels reflect how basal insulin is working in the background, whereas pre-meal and evening blood sugar levels are a better barometer of how the bolus insulin dosing is matching up with your food and carbohydrate intake. “Many people stop checking their blood sugar because they dont feel badly,” Port says. Or, despite having symptoms of high or low blood sugar, they simply ignore the fact that their diabetes may be out of control, she adds.

Smart strategies to stay on top of your blood sugar testing routine include choosing a glucose meter that works for your lifestyle, keeping the meter where its easy to get to and use, and finding ways to remind yourself to do the checks. It can be a note on your refrigerator, an alarm on your phone, or some other device that prompts you to use it whatever works for you. You might also be eligible to use a continuous glucose monitor, a special device placed just under the skin that tracks blood sugar readings continuously and sends this information to a reader or to a phone app. Most devices require minimal or no calibration with finger stick blood glucose readings and can typically be worn for up to 7 to 14 days, depending on the brand.


Recommended Reading: Low A1c In Nondiabetic

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.

How Insulin Medicine Is Made

Can You Take Insulin After A Meal?

Insulin is made in different ways. You and your healthcare team will discuss which insulin you can take.


  • Human insulin this is synthetic and made in a laboratory to be like insulin made in the body.
  • Analogue insulin the insulin molecule is like a string of beads. Scientists have managed to alter the position of some of these beads to create genetically engineered insulin known as analogues.
  • Animal insulin This isnt used much anymore, but some people find that insulin from animals works best for them. It is usually from a cow or pig.

Recommended Reading: Type 1 Diabetes A1c Range

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 .

Effect Of Other Factors On Postprandial Glucose Control

When interpreting data from the described studies, it is important to consider other factors that can adversely affect postprandial glycaemia and potentially skew results.

Gastric emptying rate is also an important variable that can influence postprandial glycaemia in both people with and without diabetes, with significant interindividual variability. Premeal glucose affects gastric emptying, with hyperglycaemia causing a physiological slowing, as may meal composition and other concomitant medication such as glucagonlike peptide1 receptor agonists , , . People with gastroparesis may also need a different bolus profile, such as a dualwave or a squarewave, to mimic the delayed gastric absorption of carbohydrate . One study examined the intraindividual variability in postprandial glucose excursions in a small cohort of people with Type 1 diabetes on MDI, using standardized test meals with either insulin lispro or regular human insulin . The intraindividual coefficients of variance of the mean glucose excursions after the meals were significant, and also lower with insulin lispro, at most time points: 1 h, 66% vs 71% 2 h, 49% vs 69% 4 h, 66% vs 75% and 5 h, 49% vs 72% .


The site at which s.c. insulin is injected can also affect the PK characteristics of insulin. Abdominal injecting of rapidacting insulin analogues results in the highest concentration of insulin at the earliest time when compared with insulin administration in the arm, thigh or buttocks .

Also Check: Alpha Cell Glucagon

What Is Insulin And Why Do I Need It

Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of blood sugar in your body. People with diabetes may not have enough insulin or may not be able to use it properly. The sugar builds up in the blood and overflows into the urine, passing out of your body unused. Over time, high blood sugar levels can cause serious health problems.

All people with type 1 diabetes, and some people with type 2 diabetes, need to take insulin to help control their blood sugar levels. The goal in treating diabetes is to keep the blood sugar level within a normal range.

What You Can Drink With Meals

Insulin Resistance Symptoms (WHY YOU CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT!)

Add a low-calorie, low-sugar drink or choose water. Proper hydration is essential to helping your body remove excess sugar.


Some drinks that are good for keeping your blood sugar level low include:

  • Unsweetened tea
  • Unsweetened coffee
  • Sparkling water or club soda
  • Flavored water or sparkling water without added sugar
  • Diet soda or other diet drinks

Also Check: Normal A1c For Type 2 Diabetes

Not Drinking Enough Water

It’s not just what you eat, but also what you drink or don’t drink that can change the effectiveness of insulin. “Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water helps your kidneys flush out extra sugar floating around in your bloodstream,” Port explains. “It also helps medications like insulin work better, by helping to maintain good blood flow so the medicine can reach the tissues and cells where theyre needed most.” To remind yourself to drink water throughout the day, carry a refillable water bottle around with you. Use it a lot. And skip the sports and performance drinks, says Port, since they usually just give you more sugar.

Benefits And Dangers Of An Insulin Response

The rise in insulin after eating helps move sugar into body tissues, and therefore keeps your blood sugar from getting too high.

Note from Luke: Think of insulin as a traffic cop. It tells the blood sugar where to go. In normal and healthy individuals the glucose fuels your nervous system, red blood cells, brain and muscle tissue. With optimal amounts and good insulin sensitivity, glucose fuels your nervous system and is burned off as energy. With too much or poor insulin sensitivity your muscle don’t readily grab the glucose and it goes to where it’s always welcome: fat stores.


But the release of insulin can have negative effects. Too much insulin, for instance, can stress the pancreatic cells that secrete insulin. And this added stress might cause the exhausted cells to stop releasing insulin normally or, in the worst cases, to die. These outcomes are particularly dangerous, as your body needs insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

A diet high in refined carbohydrates, low in fiber and protein can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. When you are constantly stimulating insulin and causing huge blood sugar swings, eventually your muscles become less sensitive to it’s effects. So to get the muscle to absorb the glucose you need more insulin, then more and then more. Pretty soon the muscle doesn’t really respond to insulin and much of the glucose is stored as bodyfat and even sometimes in the liver, leading to fatty liver disease.

Recommended Reading: What Is A Normal A1c For A Non Diabetic

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Glucose

Signs of low blood sugar vary from person to person and can even be various from one episode to the next. You might experience particular signs the first time your blood sugar dips, and different signs the next time. The most frequent mild to moderate symptoms of low blood sugar include:

jitters or shaking


More severe signs of hypoglycemia include:.

inability to eat or drink. seizures. unconsciousness. Sometimes, a condition called hypoglycemia unawareness can establish after regular episodes of low blood sugar. This takes place due to the fact that the body gets used to low blood sugar, so symptoms end up being harder to determine.

Hypoglycemia unawareness can be dangerous, as it lowers the opportunity for dealing with low blood sugar level and increases the probability of serious hypoglycemia. For moderate to moderate symptoms, you can usually take actions yourself to get your levels into the regular variety. For severe signs, its essential to get immediate medical support. Also check Anxiety and anxious meaning.

When Do I Take Rapid

Insulin Injections for Diabetes 101: How &  Where to Inject ...

You should inject rapid-acting insulin no more than 15 minutes before you eat. Your doctor will tell you how much insulin to inject. Remember, you should not wait more than 15 minutes to eat after you take this insulin shot.

Rapid-acting insulin can be more convenient to take than regular insulin. With regular insulin, you inject the insulin and then wait 30 to 60 minutes before eating. Many people find it hard to time their meals around regular insulin injections. Sometimes they end up eating too soon or too late. Then they dont achieve the best blood sugar control. Since rapid-acting insulin is taken so close to mealtime, it may help you control your blood sugar more effectively.


Don’t Miss: Can Type 2 Diabetics Eat Bananas

What Is Different About Insulin Lispro

Insulin lispro is a new type of insulin. It starts working sooner than other insulin types. It also reaches peak activity faster and goes away sooner. Insulin lispro helps keep your blood sugar level from going too high after you eat. To keep your blood sugar level steady, your doctor will probably prescribe either a longer-acting insulin or another drug for you to take each day in addition to the insulin lispro.

If you need to mix insulin lispro with a longer-acting insulin, it’s best that you mix insulin lispro only with Humulin U or Humulin N, which are brand names for certain longer-acting insulins. Insulin lispro should always be drawn into the syringe first. This will keep the longer-acting insulin from getting into the insulin lispro bottle.

Types of insulin

Each type of insulin works at a different speed and lasts for a different length of time.

  • Quick-acting, such as insulin lispro , begins to work very quickly and lasts for 3 to 4 hours.

  • Short-acting, such as Regular insulin, starts working within 30 minutes and lasts about 5 to 8 hours.

  • Intermediate-acting, such as NPH or Lente insulin, starts working in 1 to 3 hours and lasts 16 to 24 hours.

  • Long-acting, such as Ultralente insulin, doesn’t start to work for 4 to 6 hours, but lasts 24 to 28 hours.

  • NPH and Regular insulin mixture, two types of insulin mixed together in 1 bottle, starts working in 30 minutes and lasts 16 to 24 hours.

What Happens If You Stop Taking Insulin Suddenly

Very quickly, severe hyperglycemia sets in. That is high blood sugar that leads to a state called DKA, short for diabetic ketoacidosis, which untreated leads to death. If you have any residual insulin at all in your system, it can help hold off DKA even when your blood sugar level is high, according to Dr.


Recommended Reading: Which Pancreatic Cells Release Insulin And Glucagon

How Long After Taking Insulin Do You Wait To Eat

What are you eating? Hi GI food spikes blood glucose withing minutes and it takes an hour for ‘rapid acting’ bolus insulin to peak. Try injecting sooner and/or eating less carb with meals and see what happens. It is all trial-and-error.The diagram below is for Lispro.

gsmergss said:Tonight I had 3/4 of a cup of Honey Bunches of Oats. Probably not the best choice for cereals, but there wasn’t much to eat and I just wanted something quick. My ratio is 1 unit per 10 carbs and I measured out about 32 carbs worth using my food scale, so I took 4 units. I spiked. Hopefully coming down soon.

gsmergss said:Hey everyone, just kind of taking a little survey for myself. How long after taking insulin do you wait to eat? I am noticing that I am waiting the recommended 10-15 after taking my Novolog, and my bloodsugar STILL seems to go super high. I have been struggling with this a lot lately. Not sure if I should try waiting longer, but then I risk my blood sugar dropping quickly. Trying to find the best balance. Been struggling the past year or so. My A1C was 6.4 today at the doctor’s but I’m still getting pretty high highs even after taking is enough insulin AND waiting at least 10 mins before eating. Thoughts? Anything helps.

Evidence From Clinical Studies

Eating NO Carbs and Taking NO Insulin as a Type 1 Diabetic

Conflicting literature exists on optimal prandial bolus timing in clinical practice. Two studies in particular favour injection of prandial insulin 1520 min before eating. Cobry et al. carried out a crossover study in 23 young people with Type 1 diabetes on insulin pump therapy. The trial had three treatment arms: delivering an insulin glulisine bolus by insulin pump 20 min prior to a meal , immediately before the meal or 20 min after meal initiation . At 60 min, the 20 min arm showed significantly lower glycaemic excursions than both the 0 min arm and the +20 min arm . At 120 min after meal initiation, the 20 min arm likewise showed significantly lower BG values than both the 0 min and +20 min arms . Peak BG levels were also significantly lower in the 20 min arm compared with the 0 min arm and in the +20 min arm compared with the 0 min arm and the +20 min arm . No difference in BG readings was observed when insulin was administered immediately prior to the meal compared with 20 min postmeal. Hypoglycaemic episodes recorded were highest in the +20 min arm compared with the 0 min and 20 min arms , respectively .

Mean blood glucose levels after meal initiation in three treatment arms: Pre: delivering an insulin glulisine bolus by insulin pump 20 min prior to a meal Start: immediately before the meal and Post: 20 min after meal initiation . Figure reproduced from Cobry et al. Diabetes Technol Ther 2010 12: 173137 .

Don’t Miss: Can Type 2 Diabetics Eat Bananas


RELATED ARTICLES

Popular Articles