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The Question
Mon Nov 19 15:27:27 UTC 2012

Why does taking insulin sometimes raise my blood sugar?
Asked By: dlawr10  
Category: Insulin

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My blood sugar was 180 this morning. I decided to do a little test by taking 3 units of Novolin R to bring it down to normal range and then not eating anything. Upon testing 2 hours later I was surprised to find that my blood sugar had actually gone up to 214! (an increase of 34 mg/dl). I had thought that as a corrective dose, 1 unit of insulin would bring my blood sugar down about 25 points.
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Expert Answers (1)
2012-11-27 17:12:08.0

Hi and thanks for the question. Insulin does NOT raise blood sugar. You may need more insulin than your current ratio. Other things to consider are: 1. The onset and peak of R insulin which doesn't start to work for 30 minutes to one hour and doesn't peak (work its strongest) until 2 to 5 hours after taking it. 2. Selection of your injection site affects the onset and peak action of insulin. Insulin works soonest and peaks soonest in this order: abdomen, arms, thighs, buttocks. 3. Ask someone (preferrably a diabetes educator) to check your injection techinique and sites. If you have bumps or pitting in the places where you inject insulin, it may not absorb right. 4. Lastly, double check how you store your insulin and discard after the expiration date recommended by the manufacturer.Insulin that is exposed higher to lower than room temperature and insulin that is expired may no longer be effective.

One other suggestion is to speak to your health care provider about using a rapid acting insulin ( Apridra, Humalog, Novolog)instead of R. Rapid acting insulin is a little more precise than using R because it works more like a body's natural insulin. It starts to work in about 10 minutes, peaks in about an hour and lasts about 4-5 hours. Good luck.

Answered By: Donna Yuscavage
Accreditations: RN, BSN, CDE
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*** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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