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What Will Happen If You Take Too Much Insulin?

Insulin Overdose: Signs And Risks

Insulin Overdose: Signs And Risks

Before the discovery of insulin, diabetes was a death sentence. People couldn’t use the nutrients in their food and would become thin and malnourished. Managing the condition required a strict diets and reduced carbohydrate intake. Still, these measures weren’t enough to reduce mortality. In the early 1920s, Canadian surgeon Dr. Frederick Banting and medical student Charles Best discovered that insulin could help normalize blood sugar levels. Their discovery garnered them the Nobel Prize and allowed people with diabetes to live a much longer and healthier life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 percent of adults with diabetes take insulin only, and 14 percent take both insulin and an oral medication. Taken as prescribed, insulin is a lifesaver. However, too much of it can cause significant side effects and sometimes death. While some people may use excessive amounts of insulin intentionally, many others take too much insulin by accident. No matter the reason for the overdose, an insulin overdose needs to be treated immediately. Even with proper treatment, it can become a medical emergency. Like all medications, you need to take insulin in the right amounts. The right dosage will provide benefit without harm. Basal insulin is the insulin that keeps your blood sugar steady all day. The correct dosage for it depends on many things, such the time of day and if you are insulin resistant. For mealtime insulin, the correct dosage depends on factors such as: your fasting or premeal blood sugar level the carbohydrate content of the meal any activity planned after your meal your insulin sensitivity your target postmeal blood sugar goals Insulin medications also come in different types. Some are fast-acting and will work within about 15 minutes. S Continue reading >>

Can You Produce Too Much Insulin?

Can You Produce Too Much Insulin?

Sugar, in the form of glucose, is your body’s primary fuel source. However, having high glucose levels in your blood is damaging to your organs and nerves. To solve this problem, your body produces a hormone called insulin to help keep blood glucose levels within a normal range. Unfortunately, it’s possible to produce too much of this necessary hormone, which increases your risk for chronic diseases. Blood Glucose Regulation Blood sugar control is a carefully-orchestrated process involving your pancreas and liver. Your body breaks down food that contains carbohydrates into glucose, which your cells need for energy. The glucose can’t get into cells on its own, so your pancreas secretes the hormone insulin to signal your cells to let glucose in. Any extra glucose that your cells can’t use right away is sent to the liver where it’s converted to a storage form of glucose called glycogen. The liver converts glycogen back to glucose and releases into the blood stream when glucose levels decline between meals. These actions keep blood sugar levels within normal range. Producing Too Much Insulin Excess insulin production occurs when your cells become insensitive to insulin. Think of it this way: insulin knocks on the door of your cells to tell them to let glucose in, but the cells don’t answer the door in a timely manner. The pancreas releases more insulin in an effort to get glucose into cells and out of the bloodstream, where too much sugar floating around can damage nerves. A vicious cycle ensues where the pancreas produces more insulin to keep blood sugar balanced. After a while the pancreas can have trouble keeping up with the extra insulin production. Then blood sugar levels rise, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Weight Loss Improves Insulin Sensitivity Continue reading >>

Insulin Overdose: Dosage, Symptoms, And Treatment

Insulin Overdose: Dosage, Symptoms, And Treatment

Insulin is an important hormone used in medical treatments for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It helps the body's cells to properly absorb sugar. Insulin is a lifesaving medication when taken correctly, but an insulin overdose can have some serious side effects. This article explores signs of insulin overdose to look out for, as well as steps to take to avoid insulin overdoses. Contents of this article: Safe vs. unsafe insulin doses There are a few things to consider to ensure a correct insulin dose. Insulin doses can vary greatly from person to person. The normal dose for one person may be considered an overdose for another. Basal insulin The insulin needed to keep the blood sugar steady throughout the day is called basal insulin. The amount of insulin needed changes from person to person based on what time of day they take it, and whether their body is resistant to insulin or not. It is best to consult a doctor to figure out the appropriate basal insulin dosage. Mealtime insulin Mealtime insulin is insulin that is taken after a meal. Glucose (sugar) is released into the bloodstream as the body breaks down food, which raises the blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, this extra sugar must be met with extra insulin so the body can use it properly. There are a few different factors to be considered in terms of the mealtime insulin levels. People with diabetes have to consider: their pre-meal blood sugar how many carbs are in the food they are eating if they plan to do anything active after the meal Then they must factor in their own level of insulin sensitivity and the blood sugar target they want to hit after the insulin is taken. The process can be complicated and, as such, there is room for error. Other variables There are also a few different types of Continue reading >>

How Much Insulin Do You Need?

How Much Insulin Do You Need?

Getty ImagesIf you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor thinks it might be a good time to start insulin therapy, there are two important factors to consider: How much insulin do you need to take? When do you need to take it? And both are very personal. "You can't paint everyone with type 2 diabetes with the same brush," says Mark Feinglos, MD, division chief of endocrinology, metabolism, and nutrition at the Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C. "You need to tailor the regimen to an individual's needs." A person with type 2 diabetes might start off on half a unit of insulin per kilogram of body weight per day, especially if there is not much known about the nature of his or her diabetes. Still, it is not unusual to need more like 1 unit, says Dr. Feinglos. (One unit per kilogram would be 68 units per day for someone who weighs 150 pounds, which is about 68 kilograms.) Testing Each DayI test morning, evening, and before meals Watch videoMore about blood sugar monitoring A lot depends on your specific health situation. People with type 2 diabetes suffer from insulin resistance, a situation in which the body loses its ability to use the hormone properly. Early in the course of the disease, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas respond to insulin resistance by churning out even more of the hormone. Over time, though, insulin production declines. Taking insulin can help you overcome the body's insulin resistance, though many factors can affect your dosage. If your body is still sensitive to insulin but the pancreas is no longer making much insulin, for example, Dr. Feinglos says that you would require less insulin than someone who is really resistant to insulin. "But the most important issue is not necessarily how much you need to take," he adds. "Rather, Continue reading >>

Could Your Patient Be On Too Much Insulin?

Could Your Patient Be On Too Much Insulin?

Could Your Patient Be on Too Much Insulin? Jay H. Shubrook, DO; Sandhya Manivannan, MD This feature requires the newest version of Flash. You can download it here . Jay H. Shubrook, DO: Hello. I am Jay Shubrook, DO, professor in the Department of Primary Care at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, California. Today we are going to be talking about insulin and how you know that you are on too much insulin. Our guest today is Sandhya Manivannan, MD, family medicine diabetologist. Primary care providers have become pretty comfortable with using basal insulin, and lots of people are taking insulin. How do you know when someone is on too much insulin? What are the signs that I should be looking for as a busy clinician? Sandhya Manivannan, MD: As you mentioned, many people are on insulin, and a major thing that we look for in managing diabetes is hypoglycemia. This can be a hint that someone may be on too much premeal or basal insulin. Morning blood sugar goals should be between 80 and 130 mg/dL. Many times, people experience hypoglycemia more often at nighttime because their insulin sensitivity is very high. Also, your responses to hypoglycemia are dampened at night. Those are two things that really worry us. A patient may be experiencing an episode of hypoglycemia at nighttime but is not able to react or feel it physiologically via the typical symptoms of diaphoresis, hunger, lightheadedness, or shakiness because the sympathoadrenal responses are dampened. Having an episode of hypoglycemia, either aware or unaware, is a hint that someone could be on too much basal insulin or insulin in general. Dr Shubrook: I don't have many patients who come to me and say that they are having hypoglycemic episodes. How do I start that conversation with Continue reading >>

Insulin Poisoning With Suicidal Intent

Insulin Poisoning With Suicidal Intent

Go to: A 27-year-old paramedical personnel without any comorbidities, working as an assistant in the operation theater, was found to be drowsy and drenched in sweat with bradycardia (34 beats/min) and hypotension (80/50 mm of Hg). She was immediately shifted to ICU. She was pale and there was no cyanosis, icterus, clubbing, lymphadenopathy, or any evidence of external injury. Temperature was 99.0°F, with a respiratory rate of 20/min and cold peripheries. Pupils were bilateral 3 mm, reactive to light, and oculocephalic reflex was preserved. Deep tendon reflexes were brisk and plantars were flexor. Meningeal signs were absent. Her systemic examination was unremarkable. An electrocardiogram showed sinus bradycardia. Atropine was given intravenously and normal saline infusion started. Blood pressure remained low which prompted initiation of norepinephrine drip. Capillary blood glucose (CBG) was 35 mg/dL, hence 50 mL of 50% dextrose bolus was given and 5% dextrose infusion started. Her neurological status started deteriorating and she rapidly lapsed into coma, 90 minutes from her initial presentation. At this stage, pupils were bilateral 2 mm and nonreactive, with loss of occulocephalic reflex and dysconjugate deviation of eye. She continued to have bradycardia and hypotension. Repeat CBG was 32 mg/dL and bolus of 50 mL 50% dextrose was repeated. No history could be gathered regarding the preceding events. At this stage, in addition to malaria, encephalitis, cerebrovascular accident, exogenous insulin administration was considered as another staff detected one empty vial of insulin. Blood samples were drawn for glucose, insulin, and c-peptide. Patient had an episode of generalized tonic clonic seizure which was treated with intravenous lorazepam 4 mg. Again a bolus of 50 mL Continue reading >>

Diabetes Prescription Insulin Medications

Diabetes Prescription Insulin Medications

font size A A A 1 2 3 4 5 Next For related diabetes medication information: Prescription Oral Diabetes Medications - on RxList What is the diabetes medication insulin and how does it work? Insulin is a hormone that is produced by certain cells in the pancreas called beta cells. Insulin helps the body use blood glucose (a type of sugar) for energy. When we eat and absorb food, glucose levels rise and insulin is released. Some people can't make insulin; those people are said to have type 1 diabetes. A person with type 2 diabetes can make insulin, but the body doesn't respond well to insulin; they are said to have “insulin resistance.” For what conditions is the diabetes medication insulin used? Insulin is always necessary for type 1 diabetes because the body has no internal source of insulin. People with type 2 diabetes may also need insulin, particularly those who have difficulty controlling their diabetes with oral medications. Are there differences among types of insulin? Insulins differ based on three characteristics: how quickly they start to work, when they reach their peak effect, and how long they last. Rapid-acting insulins start working in less than 15 minutes, peak in an hour, and continue working for another two to four hours. Regular, also known as short-acting insulin, takes about 30 minutes to reach the bloodstream. Its peak effect is in about two to three hours, and its effect lingers for three to six hours. Intermediate-acting insulin reaches the bloodstream in two to four hours, peaks in four to 12 hours, and works for up to 18 hours. Long-acting insulin takes six to 10 hours to start working, but it lasts for 20-24 hours. Many people with diabetes may use different types of insulins to get the optimal effect on their blood sugar levels. Premixed ins Continue reading >>

Novolog

Novolog

Novolog is a prescription medication used to treat type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Novolog is a fast-acting form of insulin. It is usually given with a long-acting insulin to provide a steady amount of insulin to control blood glucose (sugar) levels. This medication comes in an injectable form available in vials and prefilled pens. Novolog should be injected just under the skin 5 to 10 minutes before meals. It may also be injected directly into a vein (IV) by a healthcare provider or by an insulin pump. Common side effects of Novolog include low blood sugar, reaction at the injection site, and weight gain. Novolog is a prescription medication used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Serious side effects may occur. See "Novolog Precautions" section. Common side effects of Novolog include weight gain, reaction at the injection site, and low blood sugar. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is the most common side effect seen with Novolog use. Symptoms of low blood sugar may include: sweating dizziness or lightheadedness shakiness hunger fast heart beat tingling of lips and tongue trouble concentrating or confusion blurred vision slurred speech anxiety, irritability or mood changes headache Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness (passing out), seizures, and death. Know your symptoms of low blood sugar. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for treating low blood sugar. Talk to your healthcare provider if low blood sugar is a problem for you. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you tak Continue reading >>

Insulin Overdose

Insulin Overdose

Tweet Save If you take too much insulin, symptoms of an overdose may include blurry vision, shakiness, and extreme hunger. These are the early symptoms of low blood sugar levels. More severe (and potentially life-threatening) problems may include seizures, difficulty speaking, and loss of consciousness. Treatment for an overdose of insulin involves supportive care, which consists of treating the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose. Can You Overdose on Insulin? An insulin overdose can be extremely dangerous. Insulin can be a difficult medication to properly dose, and it is actually fairly easy to accidentally overdose on this medication. It is very important to recognize the symptoms of an overdose and to know exactly how to respond. If you or someone else may have overdosed on insulin, seek immediate medical attention. General Information on an Insulin Overdose An overdose with a short- or rapid-acting insulin is typically more dangerous than an overdose with an intermediate- or long-acting insulin (although an overdose with any type of insulin can be lethal). An overdose of insulin can be caused by several factors, such as misjudging how much insulin is needed. Also, not eating after taking a dose of a rapid- or short-acting insulin may result in an overdose. Eating less or exercising more than usual could also lead to an insulin overdose. Symptoms of an Overdose An insulin overdose can cause low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), which can be quite dangerous. Some of the early symptoms of low blood sugar include: Sweating Extreme hunger Dizziness Cold sweats Shakiness Blurry vision. More severe symptoms include: Loss of consciousness Changes in behavior, such as irritability Loss of coordination Difficulty speaking Confusion Coma Loss of life. You may find Continue reading >>

Insulin Overdose

Insulin Overdose

Tweet Taking too much insulin can lead to hypoglycemia. This can become particularly serious if your insulin dose was significantly more than it should have been. If you are worried that you have overdosed on insulin, take ample fast-acting carbohydrate immediately and seek advice from your health team, or the out-of-hours service at your local hospital, if applicable. Symptoms of an insulin overdose The list of symptoms below are symptoms of hypoglycemia which can result from an insulin overdose: Depressed mood Drowsiness Headache Hunger Inability to concentrate Irritability Disorientation Nausea Nervousness Personality changes Rapid heartbeat Restlessness Sleep disturbances Slurred speech Pale skin Sweating Tingling Tremor Unsteady movements Tweet Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body: Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or Being unable to produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body. From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why people with diabetes are advised to avoid sources of dietary sugar. The good news is for very many people with type 2 diabetes this is all they have to do to stay well. If you can keep your blood sugar lower by avoiding dietary sugar, likely you will never need long-term medication. Type 2 diabetes was formerly known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset diabetes due to its occurrence mainly in people over 40. However, type 2 Continue reading >>

“i Just Injected 46 Units Of The Wrong Insulin!”

“i Just Injected 46 Units Of The Wrong Insulin!”

I have lived with type 2 diabetes for thirteen years, and I know very well howto take care of myself. In fact, I have it down to a routine. The flaw of aroutine activity, however, is that it is so very routine: you go through themotions without thinking. And that, as I learned to my deep chagrin, can bedangerous. On a recent speaking trip, I was just about to step into the shower when Iremembered that it was time for my Lantus injection. No problem-I stepped awayfrom the shower, prepared the dose, and injected the insulin. As soon as thedeed was done, however, dismay overwhelmed me. I had grabbed the wrong insulinand had just injected 46 units of rapid-acting Apidra instead of slow-releaseLantus. And I was alone in my hotel room, stark naked. My experience as a diabetes trainer kicked into overdrive as I yanked everythingout of the mini-fridge, desperately counting the carbohydrates available tocounter the quick-acting Apidra. The procedure I teach to treat hypoglycemia(low blood sugar) is to eat fifteen grams of fast-acting carbohydrates, waitfifteen minutes, and then check your blood sugar level. This process shouldcontinue until your blood sugar is over 70 mg/dl. But because I did not knowhow low my blood sugar would plummet on 46 units of Apidra, my overridingthought was to stuff down as many simple carbohydrates as I could, as fast as Icould. That night, thankfully, the mini-fridge was uncharacteristically full. I sweptup two pieces of leftover bread, two small bunches of grapes, crackers, and areal Coke, in addition to my usual glucose tablets and orange juice. One part ofmy brain began methodically counting the carbohydrates that I was ingesting: thirty-three grams from the orange juice, twenty from the bread, twelve from theglucose tablets. The other part of my Continue reading >>

How To Handle An Insulin Overdose

How To Handle An Insulin Overdose

Cold sweats, trembling hands, intense anxiety, a general sense of confusion -- these are signs of low blood sugar. Your doctor may call it hypoglycemia. It often happens when you take too much insulin. Hypoglycemia happens to many people with diabetes. It can be serious. Thankfully, most insulin problems can be avoided if you follow a few simple rules. How to Avoid Mistakes Several things can put too much insulin in your system. It most often happens when you: Misread the syringes or vials: This is easy to do if you’re unfamiliar with a new product. Use the wrong type of insulin: Let's say you usually take 30 units of long-acting and 10 units of short-acting insulin. It's easy to get them mixed up. Take insulin, but don't eat: Rapid-acting and short-acting insulin injections should be taken just before or with meals. Your blood sugar rises after meals. Taking rapid-acting or short-acting insulin without eating could lower your sugar to a dangerous level. Inject insulin in an arm or leg just before exercise . Physical activity can lower your blood sugar levels and change how your body absorbs insulin. Inject in an area that isn’t affected by your exercise. Symptoms of an Insulin Overdose If you have low blood sugar because of an insulin overdose, you may have: Anxiety Confusion Extreme hunger Fatigue Irritability Sweating or clammy skin Trembling hands If your blood sugar levels continue to fall, you could have seizures or pass out. What to Do If You Have an Insulin Overdose Don’t panic. Most insulin overdoses can be treated at home. Follow these steps if you’re able: Check your blood sugar. You’ll need to know where you’re starting from. *CGM-based treatment requires fingersticks for calibration, if patient is taking acetaminophen, or if symptoms/expectation Continue reading >>

Why Is Too Much Insulin Bad?

Why Is Too Much Insulin Bad?

Insulin is a hormone that helps control the supply of nutrients to cells throughout your body. Though it is commonly known that lack of insulin leads to type 1 diabetes, an excess of insulin also leads to potentially severe health problems. A large amount of exogenous insulin can lead to excessive lowering of blood sugar levels. Chronic overeating can lead to chronic elevation of insulin levels, causing cells to stop responding to insulin. Video of the Day Insulin is a hormone secreted by beta cells in the pancreas. In addition to regulating the level of glucose in the blood, insulin acts as a general signal to all cells to start drawing nutrients from the blood. Without insulin, cells will essentially starve as they are unable to transport many nutrients into the cell. Insulin also stimulates cells in the liver to restore glycogen and turn any excess sugar into fatty acids. The body stops breaking down fat in tissue for energy when insulin is present and uses sugar, fatty acids and proteins in the blood as energy. Overdose of Insulin Exogenous insulin is given as a prescription to people with type 1 diabetes and some other conditions. High intake of insulin or substances that increase mimic insulin or increase its effectiveness can excessively lower blood sugar, resulting in hypoglycemia. Severe hypoglycemia can cause the brain to shut down, resulting in coma and death. Symptoms are mainly due to decreased brain activity including fatigue, headache, confusion, hunger and weakness. If you think you may have overdosed on insulin or have severe hypoglycemia, seek medical help immediately. Even if you don't need to worry about taking too much prescription insulin, high insulin levels should be a concern. Chronic overeating leads to persistent abundance of nutrients in the Continue reading >>

You And Your Hormones

You And Your Hormones

What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by an organ located behind the stomach called the pancreas. Here, insulin is released into the bloodstream by specialised cells called beta cells found in areas of the pancreas called islets of langerhans (the term insulin comes from the Latin insula meaning island). Insulin can also be given as a medicine for patients with diabetes because they do not make enough of their own. It is usually given in the form of an injection. Insulin is released from the pancreas into the bloodstream. It is a hormone essential for us to live and has many effects on the whole body, mainly in controlling how the body uses carbohydrate and fat found in food. Insulin allows cells in the muscles, liver and fat (adipose tissue) to take up sugar (glucose) that has been absorbed into the bloodstream from food. This provides energy to the cells. This glucose can also be converted into fat to provide energy when glucose levels are too low. In addition, insulin has several other metabolic effects (such as stopping the breakdown of protein and fat). How is insulin controlled? When we eat food, glucose is absorbed from our gut into the bloodstream. This rise in blood glucose causes insulin to be released from the pancreas. Proteins in food and other hormones produced by the gut in response to food also stimulate insulin release. However, once the blood glucose levels return to normal, insulin release slows down. In addition, hormones released in times of acute stress, such as adrenaline, stop the release of insulin, leading to higher blood glucose levels. The release of insulin is tightly regulated in healthy people in order to balance food intake and the metabolic needs of the body. Insulin works in tandem with glucagon, another hormone produced by the pan Continue reading >>

Death By Insulin: How Sweet It Isn't!!

Death By Insulin: How Sweet It Isn't!!

Case Study S. P. was a nurse who had a long history of depression. She had stopped her medication several months ago since her life had stabilized. However, with the discovery of her husband having an affair, a setback at work, and the terminal illness of her mother, she soon began to have feelings of unworthiness and hopelessness. She was working for a home health agency and was involved in the care of an elderly woman who had a heart condition brought on by her long history of insulin dependent diabetes. Her patient had just received her three month supply of quick-acting insulin. S.P. decided to take one of the bottles and in the privacy of her home she injected herself with the entire contents. Within several minutes she began to feel hungry, nervous, sweaty, shaky, and very weak. This rapidly progressed to her feeling dizzy, disoriented and confused, ultimately resulting in drowsiness, unconsciousness, coma, and finally death. Why did she die? Cause of Death? If your answer to this question is that S.P died from an overdose of insulin, I suppose you are right. After all that’s what I would put on the death certificate. But what I’m really looking for here is the mechanism underlying the cause of death. Only by understanding the pathophysiology of disease, dysfunction, and death, can one begin to appreciate the complexity of life and how easy it is for us to die and fall off the radar screen for the survival of the fittest. The strength of a chain is only as good as its weakest link. In the case here of S.P, most people who are familiar with diabetes and insulin realize that since insulin is a hormone that is needed to keep the blood sugar (glucose) from going too high, then taking too much of it can cause a person’s blood sugar to drop too low. That’s exact Continue reading >>

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