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Can You Take Your Insulin After You Eat?

Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Almost everyone has heard of Insulin. You probably know that people with type 1 diabetes need to inject themselves with insulin to survive, and must constantly monitor the amount of sugar they eat. But what do you really know about insulin? What is its purpose in the body, and why do we need it? How does it relate to our diets? What happens when things go wrong with it? And why should anyone who doesn’t have diabetes give a hoot? Insulin is one of the most important hormones in the human body, and yet most people don’t really understand why our bodies make it or how what we eat affects the levels of insulin we produce. More so than any other hormone, our diet is key in regulating insulin levels, and thus a number of biological processes. As you’ll soon see, everyone should think about how what they eat impacts their body’s insulin release to be at their happiest and healthiest. Why We Need Insulin Every living thing requires energy to survive. In cells, energy is stored and shuttled around using a molecule called Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, or ATP. Whenever the cell then has an energy-requiring reaction, enzymes can use the energy stored in ATP’s phosphate bonds to fuel it. Cells rely on ATP to survive, and to create ATP, they rely on glucose. All cells, from bacteria and fungi to us, take glucose and use it to generate ATP by a process called Oxidative Phosphorylation. First, glucose is converted to an intermediate molecule called pyruvate via a process called glycolosis. As long as there is oxygen around, this pyruvate is further converted to Acetyl CoA, which enters a cycle of reactions called the Citric Acid Cycle. This takes the carbon to carbon bonds and uses them to create high energy electrons, which are then passed down a chain of enzymes which use the e Continue reading >>

Is Mealtime Insulin Right For Me?

Is Mealtime Insulin Right For Me?

Diabetes & Insulin In diabetes, your body does not make enough insulin or use it properly. This causes your blood sugar to go too high. Oral medications, like metformin, may help your body to use insulin more efficiently. Other oral medications can help your body make more insulin. However, these medicines often work for only a few years. When the oral medications stop working, you will need to give yourself background and/or mealtime insulin shots to help control your blood sugar. If you need insulin, it does not mean that you have failed. It is just a part of diabetes. Background insulin can help control your blood sugar when you are not eating. However, it does not cover the carbs that you eat at meals. If the dose of background insulin is raised to cover spikes in blood sugars that happen after you eat, your body will have too much insulin in between your meals and while you sleep. This can cause your blood sugar to go too low. This is called hypoglycemia. If you have high blood sugars after meals, this can cause tiredness, irritability, blurry vision, more frequent urination and thirst. Over time, high blood sugars can damage your feet, hands, and eyes. By adding mealtime insulin you can better match the insulin to what your body would produce if you did not have diabetes. This will help prevent both low and high blood sugars so that you feel better and get less damage from the diabetes. What is Insulin? Natural insulin is made from the pancreas to match what the body needs so your blood sugar stays in a normal range. The pancreas makes some amount of insulin all the time, called background or basal insulin. Background insulin helps to supply fuel to your muscles and controls the glucose that is released from your liver. Every time you eat, the pancreas releases a Continue reading >>

Missing Meals? Avoid Dangerous Blood Sugar If You Have Diabetes

Missing Meals? Avoid Dangerous Blood Sugar If You Have Diabetes

Skipping a meal is typically no big deal. But if you have  diabetes , missing meals can throw off the important balancing act between food intake and medication. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy The result is blood sugars that are too low (hypoglycemia) or too high (hyperglycemia) — and that’s dangerous. “If you take medications for diabetes that can cause low blood sugars, you should try not to skip meals,” says registered dietician Dawn Noe. “If you’re just not up to eating on a regular schedule, talk to your doctor about diabetes medications that won’t cause low blood sugars,” she says.  When you’re ill or just don’t feel like eating much, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels more closely than ever. How often depends on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and what medications you take. For type 1 diabetes: Be sure to monitor your blood sugar before meals and before bedtime, typically four times per day, says diabetes specialist Bartolome Burguera, MD . Beyond that, check your blood sugars if you notice symptoms of low blood sugar. Those symptoms include: For type 2 diabetes: If you are taking a sulfonylurea medication, check your blood sugars at least twice a day — in the morning and at bedtime. “It’s important to keep in mind that sulfonylureas may cause blood sugar to drop during the day if you don’t eat anything after taking your medication,” Dr. Burguera says. If your only treatment is metformin, you may not need to check your blood sugar more than once a day. This medication doesn’t typically cause hypoglycemia. It is important to be aware of the symptoms Continue reading >>

Why Do You Administer Insulin Before Meals & Not After?

Why Do You Administer Insulin Before Meals & Not After?

Your doctor prescribes medicinal insulin to replace or supplement your body's naturally occurring insulin. The goal with medicinal insulin is to mimic the normal patterns of insulin secretion as closely as possible. Depending on what type of insulin you take, administration may occur before or after meals, or at other times during the day. Always follow your doctor's instructions about when to administer your insulin to prevent extreme highs and lows in your blood sugar level. Video of the Day Your pancreas normally secretes a background amount of insulin throughout the day and greater amounts after meals in response to increasing blood sugar. Different types of medicinal insulin mimic either background or post-meal insulin secretion. Background, or basal, insulins are intermediate- or long-acting and include glargine, detemir and NPH. Mealtime insulins are rapid- or short-acting and include regular, lispro, glulisine and aspart. The timing of administration of the different types of insulin depends on how quickly the drug enters your bloodstream, when the peak levels occurs and how long the medication remains active in your body. Rapid-Acting Insulin Insulin glulisine, lispro and aspart are rapid-acting, mealtime insulins. These drugs begin working within 15 minutes of administration and mimic the insulin increase that occurs when you eat. You typically take insulin glulisine within 15 minutes before a meal or within 20 minutes after you begin eating. With insulin lispro, you administer your injection within 15 minutes before a meal or immediately afterward. If you take insulin aspart, your doctor will likely advise you to take the drug 5 to 10 minutes before meals. Administering rapid-acting insulin close to mealtime ideally means the drug enters your bloodstream at r Continue reading >>

About Fast-acting Mealtime Insulin

About Fast-acting Mealtime Insulin

What is mealtime insulin? Mealtime insulins are fast-acting insulins that are taken immediately before or after meals. As you eat, your blood sugar naturally goes up, or “spikes.” Humalog® (a fast-acting insulin) works to manage those blood sugar spikes and may help keep your sugar levels in balance. Humalog should be taken within 15 minutes before eating or right after eating a meal. People who take Humalog will usually continue to take longer-acting insulin to help manage blood sugar levels at night and between meals. Taking mealtime insulin in addition to longer-acting insulin may help to control blood sugar levels throughout the day. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is the most common side effect of Humalog that may be severe and cause unconsciousness (passing out), seizures, and death. Test your blood sugar levels as your doctor instructs. Talk to your doctor about low blood sugar symptoms and treatment. The orange area shows how blood sugar levels typically rise after meals. The pattern of insulin action may vary in different individuals or within the same individual. Comparing types of insulin Take a look at our overview below to find out about the different types of insulin. You’ll notice that there are differences in when the types of insulin reach your bloodstream, when they “peak” in your body, and how long they can last (length of time the insulin keeps lowering your blood sugar). Fast-acting insulin (also called rapid-acting) is absorbed quickly and starts working in about 15 minutes to lower blood sugar after meals. Humalog fast-acting insulin should be taken 15 minutes before eating or right after eating a meal. Depending on the type of diabetes you have, you may need to take Humalog with a longer-acting insulin or oral anti-diabetes medication. Continue reading >>

Do I Take Insulin Before Or After A Meal?

Do I Take Insulin Before Or After A Meal?

Question Originally asked by Community Member elainenakamura Do I Take Insulin Before Or After A Meal? How soon after a meal should I take insulin? I don’t know whether I should take it before or after, actually. Can anyone help? Answer Elaine- Hello! What kind of insulin are you taking? You should find out from your physician when the best time for you to take your insulin would be. When I was taking shots (insulin) I would give myself a shot before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner and I would give myself lantus before bed. We all have different requirements. Your physician would be able to answer this questions a lot better than I could. You can read more about how insulin works, and other useful information at this link. Cherise Community Moderator You should know Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Answered By: Cherise Nicole Continue reading >>

Delayed Or Early Meals

Delayed Or Early Meals

If your daily meal plan calls for an evening snack and the delayed meal is your supper, you can reverse the order of the snack and supper. For optimal glycemic control, people with diabetes should stick to the same meal schedule every day. Obviously, in some situations, it is difficult to keep to the regular schedule; for example, when something unexpected happens, a restaurant outing, or a meal with friends. People with diabetes at risk of hypoglycemia should make a few adjustments when a meal is either delayed or eaten earlier than planned. This primarily concerns people being treated with: What to do when a meal is delayed? If your meal is delayed, here are some suggested adjustments you can make to prevent hypoglycemia and stave off hunger. Consult a healthcare professional to be sure that these measures are right for you. For a meal delayed by about an hour: Have a snack containing approximately 15 g of carbohydrates (1 exchange of starches or fruit) at your normal meal time. You should subtract this 15 g of carbohydrates, or exchange, from your next meal to stay within your daily meal plan. For a meal delayed two or three hours: Have a snack containing 15 g to 30 g of carbohydrates (1 to 2 exchange of starches or fruit) and some protein (e.g.: 30 g or 1 ounce of cheese) at your normal meal time. You should subtract this snack from your meal count. If your daily meal plan calls for an evening snack and the delayed meal is your supper, you can reverse the order of the snack and supper. Take your antidiabetic medication or insulin injection with the delayed meal, except if your antidiabetic medication must be taken at the same time every day, with or without food. For more information about this, consult your doctor or pharmacist. And if the meal is early? If your me Continue reading >>

Faqs On Taking Insulin With Meals

Faqs On Taking Insulin With Meals

Many people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes take mealtime insulin. But that doesn’t mean you’ve failed at managing your condition. Mealtime insulin is simply another way to help control your blood sugar and prevent diabetes complications. Check out the answers to some commonly asked questions about mealtime insulin. How is mealtime insulin different from other insulin? All types of insulin help your body control blood sugar. But some types of insulin work faster or last longer than others. When you take it before you eat, mealtime insulin works quickly to control the spike in blood sugar after a meal. The lean protein from this pan-roasted chicken can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. 2017 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement. How do I make sure to take the right dose? Your doctor will tell you what dose to start with, but you’ll need to adjust how much you take based on your blood sugar readings. A few hours after you give yourself mealtime insulin and eat, check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is high, take more insulin before that meal the next day. If your blood sugar is low, take less mealtime insulin. The Endocrine Society offers online charts show how much you should adjust your dose based on your blood sugar reading. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines. Ask your doctor what he or she recommends for you. I don’t like carrying around vials and syringes. Do I have any other options to take my mealtime insulin? Yes. Alternatives to syringes include insulin pens, insulin pumps, and inhalable insulin. Insulin pens are either prefilled with insulin or ha Continue reading >>

Ask D'mine: Revisiting The Missed Insulin Shot Question

Ask D'mine: Revisiting The Missed Insulin Shot Question

Need help navigating life with diabetes? Ask D'Mine! That would be our weekly advice column, hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and clinical diabetes educator Wil Dubois This week, Wil takes another look at a common question often posed by those of us in the Diabetes Community: What do I do if I miss an insulin dose? Happens to us all, at times, and it's always good to refresh our knowledge. {Got your own questions? Email us at [email protected]} Pete, type 2 from Florida, writes:I have been struggling with diabetes for 5 years. I will sometimes fail to do my shot before dinner and wonder if I should take the 40 units when I remember? Or wait and take it before bedtime? I am looking for guidance. I am tying to find a path that works. [email protected] D’Mine answers: One of the universal things we insulin users suffer from — no matter what type of diabetes we have or what type of insulin we take — is the missed shot. Yep, when it comes to life on insulin, the old rodeo adage of it’s not a matter of if you get hurt; it’s only a matter of when you’ll get hurt can be translated directly into diabetes: It’s not a matter of if you will miss a shot; it’s only a matter of when you will miss a shot. We talked about this briefly a while back, but it’s such a universal problem that’s so much more complicated than it looks on the surface, that I think it’s worth revisiting today. So here’s Professor Wil’s quick course on the inevitable missed shot dilemma: Types of Insulin There are two main kinds of insulin: The fast ones and the slow ones. We’ll start slow. Actually, no. I changed my mind. We’ll start fast, because the answer for a missed fast-acting insulin shot is, well, faster. The fast insulins are Apidra, Humalog, and Novolog. One member o Continue reading >>

Diabetes: How To Use Insulin

Diabetes: How To Use Insulin

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website. What is insulin, and why do I need it? Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of blood sugar (also called glucose) 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 box below lists the different types of insulin.) The goal in treating diabetes is to keep the blood sugar level within a normal range. Do I need to monitor my blood sugar level? Yes. You need to check your blood sugar level regularly using a blood glucose monitor. Your doctor or the office staff can teach you how to use the monitor. You'll need to write down each measurement and show this record to your doctor, so your doctor can tell you how much insulin to take. How often will I need to take insulin? Your doctor will give you a schedule. Most people with diabetes need at least 2 insulin shots a day. Some people need 3 or 4 shots for good blood sugar control. When should I take insulin? If you take Regular insulin or a longer-acting insulin, you should generally take it 15 to 30 minutes before a meal. If you take insulin lispro (brand name: Humalog), which works very quickly, you should generally take it less than 15 minutes before you eat. What is different Continue reading >>

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

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

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 >>

Diabetes Patients Can Eat Immediately After Taking Insulin

Diabetes Patients Can Eat Immediately After Taking Insulin

People with type 2 diabetes no longer have to wait to eat after taking insulin…. People with type 2 diabetes are sometimes told to wait after using insulin for the drug to work its way into the body before they can begin eating, but a new study from Germany indicates that it is not necessary to wait. In a group of about 100 diabetics, researchers found that blood sugar levels remained steady regardless of whether or not participants left a 20 to 30-minute gap between using insulin and eating a meal. The diabetics overwhelmingly preferred being able to eat right away, too. The result of the study can lead to better adherence and satisfaction. Injectable insulin is available for diabetics in a newer fast-acting form, but it’s expensive and many still use human insulin, which takes some time to become active in the body. So doctors often recommend waiting to eat after using human insulin to prevent blood sugar spikes. Not all experts think waiting is necessary, though, according to the researchers led by Nicolle Mueller of Universitätsklinikum Jena. To see what difference it makes, Mueller and her colleagues randomized type 2 diabetics into two groups. For four weeks, one group of 49 people waited 20 minutes to eat after using human insulin. Then they switched to eating immediately after injecting insulin for another four weeks. A second group of 48 diabetics did the same in reverse order, eating immediately after injection for the first four weeks, then observing a waiting period for the next four. Using a blood test that measures average glucose levels over time, the researchers found that all the participants had generally higher than ideal blood sugar levels but the difference in those levels between periods when they waited or didn’t wait to eat after insulin i Continue reading >>

Insulin Treatment

Insulin Treatment

Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas, which lies just behind your stomach. It helps our bodies use glucose for energy. Everyone with Type 1 diabetes and some people with Type 2 diabetes need to take insulin – either by injection or a pump – to control their blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels). Injecting insulin Insulin is injected using a syringe and needle, or an insulin pen or needle. The needles used are very small as the insulin only needs to be injected under the skin (subcutaneously) – not into a muscle or vein. Once it's been injected, it soaks into small blood vessels and is taken into the bloodstream. As your confidence grows and you become more relaxed, injections will get easier and soon become second nature. The most frequently used injection sites are the thighs, buttocks and abdomen. You may be able to inject into your upper arms, but check with your diabetes team first as this isn't always suitable. As all these areas cover a wide skin area, you should inject at different sites within each of them. It is important to rotate injection sites, as injecting into the same place can cause a build up of lumps under the skin (also known as lipohypertrophy), which make it harder for your body to absorb and use the insulin properly. The three groups of insulin There are three groups of insulin – animal, human (not from humans but produced synthetically to match human insulin) and analogues (the insulin molecule is like a string of beads; scientists have managed to alter the position of some of these beads to create 'analogues' of insulin). Nowadays, most people use human insulin and insulin analogues, although a small number of people still use animal insulin because they have some evidence that they otherwise lose their awareness of Continue reading >>

Indications And Usage

Indications And Usage

Understanding Mealtime Insulin Most people with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes take mealtime insulin to control their diabetes. As you may have already figured out, mealtime insulin is insulin taken with meals. Of course, take your dose as instructed by your health care team. Mealtime insulin is also known as fast-acting or bolus insulin. NovoLog® is a fast-acting mealtime insulin that is used in addition to a long-acting (basal) insulin. For many people with type 1 diabetes, NovoLog® is used in an insulin pump to provide both the necessary basal and bolus insulin coverage. Learn more about using NovoLog® in a pump by clicking here. While long-acting basal insulin helps you control blood sugar between meals and during sleep, it may not be enough to help your body handle blood sugar spikes that happen after eating. That’s why your health care provider may have prescribed a mealtime insulin for you. It may give you the extra help you need to manage blood sugar spikes that happen when you eat. It works quickly to help control blood sugar at mealtime. Fast-acting insulin analogs go to work quickly. So, you will need to eat a meal within 5 to 10 minutes after taking NovoLog®. Managing your blood sugar with mealtime insulin can help lower your A1C (a measure of blood sugar control over 2 to 3 months) when taken with a long-acting insulin. And, if you need to add mealtime insulin to your diabetes care plan, you are not alone. In fact, in 1 study of people with type 2 diabetes, after 1 year of long-acting therapy, 8 out of 10 people were not at A1C goal of less than 6.5% and needed to add mealtime insulin to help them reach their target A1C goal. Remember, adding mealtime insulin doesn’t mean you did anything wrong in your diabetes care. It just me Continue reading >>

Fast-acting Insulin

Fast-acting Insulin

Even when you think you’re doing everything right with your diabetes care regimen, it can sometimes seem like your blood glucose levels are hard to control. One potential source of difficulty that you may not have thought of is how you time your injections or boluses of rapid-acting insulin with respect to meals. Since the first rapid-acting insulin, insulin lispro (brand name Humalog), came on the market in 1996, most diabetes experts have recommended taking it within 15 minutes of starting a meal (any time between 15 minutes before starting to eat to 15 minutes after starting to eat). This advice is based on the belief that rapid-acting insulin is absorbed quickly and begins lowering blood glucose quickly. However, several years of experience and observation suggest that this advice may not be ideal for everyone who uses rapid-acting insulin. As a result, the advice on when to take it needs updating. Insulin basics The goal of insulin therapy is to match the way that insulin is normally secreted in people without diabetes. Basal insulin. Small amounts of insulin are released by the pancreas 24 hours a day. On average, adults secrete about one unit of insulin per hour regardless of food intake. Bolus insulin. In response to food, larger amounts of insulin are secreted and released in two-phase boluses. The first phase starts within minutes of the first bite of food and lasts about 15 minutes. The second phase of insulin release is more gradual and occurs over the next hour and a half to three hours. The amount of insulin that is released matches the rise in blood glucose from the food that is eaten. In people with normal insulin secretion, insulin production and release is a finely tuned feedback system that maintains blood glucose between about 70 mg/dl and 140 mg/d Continue reading >>

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