Taking InsulinFriday, November 8, 2013 - 13:09
Women with type 1 diabetes will already be taking insulin. In women with type 2 or gestational diabetes, sometimes diet, exercise and regular monitoring fail to keep blood glucose levels in the target range.
Generally, your doctor will recommend you start taking insulin injections if:
- Your blood sugar first thing in the morning (or "fasting" blood sugar) is over 105 mg/dl.
- Your blood sugar two hours after a meal is over 120 mg/dl two separate times in a week
If you need insulin:
- Your nurse will show you how to draw up and inject insulin.
- Your dietitian will review your food plan and adjust it to match your insulin dose.
- You will be given a daily schedule with times for insulin injections, meals and snacks.
How Much Insulin? And How Often?
There are two kinds of insulin: short acting and intermediate acting. The two types are often combined to treat gestational diabetes.
- Short-acting insulin is effective quickly and for a short period of time.
- Intermediate-acting insulin is effective over a longer period.
If your fasting glucose measurements are above normal, a single injection of intermediate-acting insulin before bed may be all that's needed. If your blood sugar after meals is too high as well, you may need two or more injections a day.
If both fasting and after-meal glucose levels are above normal, you may need to inject a dose of:
- Intermediate-acting as well as short-acting insulin before breakfast
- Short-acting insulin before dinner
- Intermediate-acting insulin at bedtime
Your doctor will calculate how much insulin is needed to keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range. Women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who were taking insulin before pregnancy will need two or more injections a day during pregnancy.
Need To Know:
You need more insulin as pregnancy progresses. This does not mean the diabetes is getting worse. As the
Sometimes blood sugar goes too low. This is called
- Not consuming enough food
- Exercising too much without eating enough extra food
- Injecting too much insulin
Hypoglycemia isn't dangerous to the baby, but it can be harmful to the mother-to-be. Warning signs include:
- Fast heartbeat
Need To Know:
Q: How can I prevent low blood sugar?
A: During pregnancy, the early warning signs can change. For example, you may find that you feel less shaky but develop drowsiness or confusion more quickly. Avoid low blood sugar by: