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Using Mealtime Insulin Safely

Tips for Safe Mealtime Insulin Use

Here are several other tips that can help improve the safety of mealtime insulin:
 
  • When eating out, keep a back-up snack on hand to eat in case your meal is delayed after you've already taken your shot.
     
  • Don't guess at your dosage. Count your carbs and do your math.
     
  • Test your blood sugar more often when making any changes.
     
  • Be proactive. Try to avoid reactively "chasing" your highs and lows. Careful planning and thought are necessary to proactively keep your blood sugar in a healthy range.
     
  • If you eat a snack or another meal within a few hours of a mealtime insulin dose, be aware that you'll likely still have some of the previous dose "on board." Too much overlap between mealtime insulin doses can lead to low blood sugar.
 

Be Prepared

Work with your doctor or diabetes educator to have a very clear plan for dealing with low blood sugar. Carry a fast-acting source of glucose (such as glucose tablets) and a glucagon kit. Teach everyone who will listen about how to recognize and react to low blood sugar. Teach your small children how to dial 911.
 
Pay very close attention to your low blood sugar symptoms, which can vary widely from person to person. The goal is to catch and deal with mild cases of low blood sugar before things get dangerous.
 

Be Honest

If you're not comfortable with the safety of your mealtime insulin regimen, speak up! If you're confused about how to calculate your mealtime insulin dose, terrified of low blood sugar, or have any other questions or concerns about your mealtime insulin, please ask your healthcare provider. When it comes to your health and safety, no question is a dumb question. Remember that it's possible for an insulin regimen to be too complicated or too aggressive to be used safely. 
 
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