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.
Insulin Amounts Made Easy
Most people with diabetes will probably say that calculating your insulin is no walk in the park so much so that we have a blog post dedicated to 11 things that are as hard as calculating your insulin dosage.
With more people using insulin nowadays, its important to get help with calculating that important but tricky insulin dosage.
We hope that these formulas will have given you a general idea of how insulin is calculated, and help you in the process of determining your own dosage. We also hope that Hedia will turn the bore of those calculations into more free time for you!
Got a question about Hedia? Contact us at or with our phone number +45 7174 1663.
How Do I Take Insulin
Insulin is normally injected under the skin with a very small needle. It can also be taken with an insulin pen. Your doctor will teach you exactly how to inject insulin, but here are the basics:
Wash your hands.
Take the plastic cover off the insulin bottle and wipe the top of the bottle with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
Pull back the plunger of the syringe, drawing air into the syringe equal to the dose of insulin that you are taking . Put the syringe needle through the rubber top of the insulin bottle. Inject air into the bottle by pushing the syringe plunger forward. Turn the bottle upside down.
Make sure that the tip of the needle is in the insulin. Pull back on the syringe plunger to draw the correct dose of insulin into the syringe .
Make sure there are no air bubbles in the syringe before you take the needle out of the insulin bottle. If there are air bubbles, hold the syringe and the bottle straight up, tap the syringe with your finger and let the air bubbles float to the top. Push on the plunger of the syringe to move the air bubbles back into the insulin bottle. Then withdraw the correct insulin dose by pulling back on the plunger.
Clean your skin with cotton dipped in alcohol . Grab a fold of skin and inject the insulin under the skin at a 90-degree angle . PICTURE 2.
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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.
Total Daily Insulin Requirement:
= 500 ÷ TDI = 1unit insulin/ 12 g CHO
This example above assumes that you have a constant response to insulin throughout the day. In reality, individual insulin sensitivity varies. Someone who is resistant in the morning, but sensitive at mid-day, will need to adjust the insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio at different meal times. In such a case, the background insulin dose would still be approximately 20 units however, the breakfast insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio might be breakfast 1:8 grams, lunch 1:15 grams and dinner 1:12 grams.
The insulin to carbohydrate ratio may vary during the day.
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Do Tell Friends And Family That Youre Taking Insulin
Its a good idea to teach your friends, colleagues, and family members about insulin and its potential side effects. If you do end up taking too much insulin and having a hypoglycemic episode, they should know how to help.
If you become unconscious, a friend or family member can give you a shot of glucagon. Talk with your doctor about keeping a supply of glucagon on hand and learning when and how to use it.
When Should I Test My Blood Sugar
You may need to check your blood sugar several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving, and when you think your blood sugar levels are low.
Everyone is different, so ask your doctor when and how often you should check your blood sugar. If youre sick, youll probably need to test your blood sugar more often.
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How Much Insulin Is Too Much
Insulin has a narrow therapeutic index, which means there is a fine line between a beneficial dose and a harmful one.
Its possible to overdose on insulin. In a review of insulin overdoses, excess dosages were reported as being anywhere from 26 to 4,800 units . Some of these were accidentally administered, which helps explain why the number is so high.
Its important to know the symptoms of hypoglycemia in case you ever inject too much insulin. These include:
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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What Is An Intensive Insulin Regimen
Intensive insulin regimens attempt to mimic the bodys normal pattern of insulin secretion, and deliver replacement insulin using the concepts of basal and bolus insulin coverage.
When you are intensively managed with insulin your medical provider will prescribe an insulin regimen for you, but these are the general principles:
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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Dont Switch Your Insulin Dose Or Stop Taking It Without Seeing Your Doctor First
Switching your insulin medication or changing the dose without asking a doctor can put you at risk for serious side effects and complications.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you should be seeing your doctor or endocrinologist for a checkup roughly every 3 to 4 months. At your appointment, your doctor can assess your individual insulin needs and give you proper training on new doses or dosing methods.
What Is An Insulin Reaction
If youre going to use rapid-acting insulin, you need to be aware of insulin reactions and how to treat them. Rapid-acting insulin begins to work very quickly. So while you and your doctor are working to find the right dosage of this insulin, you may have some insulin reactions.
Hypoglycemia is the name for a condition in which the level of sugar in your blood is too low. If you use insulin, your blood sugar level can get too low if you exercise more than usual or if you dont eat enough. It also can get too low if you dont eat on time or if you take too much insulin. Most people who take insulin have insulin reactions at some time. Signs of an insulin reaction and hypoglycemia include the following:
- Feeling very tired.
- Being unable to speak or think clearly.
- Losing muscle coordination.
- Suddenly feeling like youre going to pass out.
- Becoming very pale.
- Losing consciousness.
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The Basics Of High Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a problem with your body that causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. This is also called hyperglycemia.
When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin then helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use. In a person with diabetes, there is a problem with insulin. But, not everyone with diabetes has the same problem.
There are different types of diabetestype 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. If you have diabetestype 1, type 2 or gestationalyour body either doesnt make enough insulin, cant use the insulin well, or both.
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What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
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What To Eat When You Have Low Blood Sugar
When your blood sugar dips, it can leave you feeling hungry, shaky, and lightheaded. This can happen to anyone who hasnt eaten in several hours. When blood sugar drops below normal levels, its called hypoglycemia. In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening complication of diabetes medication, other health problems like infection, or inadequate caloric intake.
You can lower your chances of low blood sugarand treat it when it occurswith some simple steps.
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What Is The 1500 Rule For Blood Sugar
The 1500 rule applies to using fast acting insulin to do corrections. The 1800 rule applied to doing this with Regular. Basal insulin is not intended to bring blood sugar down and we need to use dosages that keep BG at a constant level.
How many units of insulin for 30 grams of carbs?
So lets say you ate 30 grams of carbohydrates. That would give us: 10 units for every 30 grams, therefore a 1:3 ratio. In other words, 1 unit of insulin for every 3 grams of carbs. Now once you know this ratio, you can adapt/modify it for varying amounts of carbohydrates at meals.
How is the correction dose of insulin calculated?
To account for this, correction dose will depend on your personal insulin sensitivity factor . If unknown, this can be estimated as Insulin sensitivity factor = 1800/TDID.
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Taking Insulin With Meals
If you take insulin at meals, it is essential to match food intake with insulin while also accounting for physical activity. According to the ADA, exercise naturally lowers blood sugar, so if you’re working out, you may need to consider that.
“Some people recommend matching insulin to carbohydrate counts,” said Dr. Buse. “Others suggest eating a set serving of carbohydrates at each meal for a particular dose of insulin.”
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Lets Look At An Example
Lets say that you check your blood sugar before a meal and its 170. Youll need 1 unit to adjust to your target of 120.
If you plan to eat a meal that has 60 grams of carbohydrates, youll need to give yourself 6 units of insulin to adjust for your meal.
This means youll need 7 units total.
If your child needs help learning to calculate their insulin needs, Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta has created a helpful worksheet just for this.
Remember, there are two components to insulin correction:
- your blood sugar levels before your meal
- corrections for the carbohydrates you eat
Combine both of these when considering how much insulin to inject.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels
Signs of high blood sugar levels include:
- Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
- Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isnt enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
- Feeling tired: Because the body cant use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
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Your Insulin Regimen Will Include:
Basal Insulin Dose Chart
For this chart, well assume that your premeal blood sugar target is 120 mg/dL and that 1 unit will decrease your blood sugar by 50 points.
If your blood sugar is below 60, do not administer insulin. Instead, you should immediately consume 15 grams of carbohydrates.
If your blood sugar is 300 and above, check your ketones and contact your doctor immediately.
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Example #: Formulas Commonly Used To Create Insulin Dose Recommendations
This example illustrates a method for calculating of your background/basal and bolus doses and estimated daily insulin dose when you need full insulin replacement. Bear in mind, this may be too much insulin if you are newly diagnosed or still making a lot of insulin on your own. And it may be too little if you are very resistant to the action of insulin. Talk to your provider about the best insulin dose for you as this is a general formula and may not meet your individual needs.
The initial calculation of the basal/background and bolus doses requires estimating your total daily insulin dose:
Insulin Dosages On A Flexible Dose Therapy
If you are on a flexible insulin therapy , you will need to inject an appropriate dose to ensure your blood glucose levels dont go either too high or go too low.
When you start on insulin, your diabetes team should give you guidance on how much insulin to take. Insulin requirements will typically vary from meal to meal and can be influenced by a variety of factors see below for more information on these factors.
Blood glucose testing will play a useful role in helping you to judge how much insulin to take.
People on a flexible insulin therapy should test their blood regularly to help support dosing decisions and to help prevent hypoglycemia
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