Using too much insulin can result in hypoglycemia, a condition when blood sugar levels are dangerously low. Depending on a person’s weight, sensitivity to insulin and other variables, an insulin dose can be lethal. Here is the need to know from Dr Sanjay Agarwal, HOD, Internal Medicine and Senior Diabetologist at Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune and Secretary, Governing Council, National Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India, on how to administer insulin.
How can incorrect insulin administration adversely affect your blood sugar level?
The hormone insulin controls the body’s blood sugar levels. For those who have diabetes, it is crucial because their bodies either do not make enough insulin or do not use it efficiently. However, using too much insulin can result in hypoglycemia, a condition when blood sugar levels are dangerously low. Depending on a person’s weight, sensitivity to insulin, and other variables, an insulin dose can be lethal. It’s crucial to remember that taking excessive amounts of insulin can result in severe hypoglycemia, which can bring on seizures, coma and occasionally even death.
When using insulin, it’s crucial to test your blood sugar levels frequently and to adhere to your doctor’s instructions. It’s crucial to always keep track of the insulin dosage you’ve administered and to adhere to the suggested dosage.
It’s critical to get medical assistance right away if you think you may have taken too much insulin or if you exhibit hypoglycemic symptoms like confusion, tremors, sweating and weakness.
How can one administer insulin safely?
1. Unless otherwise instructed, never combine two different insulin kinds in one syringe. Additionally, which insulin to draw up first will be specified. Use that sequence at all times.
2. How much of each insulin you’ll require will be specified by your doctor. These two figures should be added. Before injecting the insulin, the syringe should contain this amount of the substance.
3. Wash your hands in warm water and soap. Ensure they’ve been thoroughly dried.
4. Verify the insulin container’s label. Verify that your insulin is the appropriate one.
5. The sides of the bottle containing the insulin shouldn’t contain any clumps. If it does, get a new bottle and throw the old one away.
6. Insulin ought to be administered at room temperature. Remove it from the refrigerator or cooler bag 30 minutes prior to the injection if you have been keeping it there. An insulin vial can be kept at room temperature for 28 days after you’ve started using it. Gather your supplies, which should include insulin, syringes, needles, alcohol wipes and a receptacle for discarded syringes and needles.
7. Verify if your insulin dosage is accurate overall. Carefully place the syringe so that the needle does not make contact with anything.
8. Pinch the skin before inserting the needle at a 45 degree angle.
9. Depending on how thick your skin tissues are, you might be able to inject 90 degrees up and down. Before you do this, check with your doctor.
10. Insert the needle completely into the skin. Let go of the skin that is pinched.
11. Inject the insulin gradually and continuously until it is entirely absorbed.
12. After administering the medication, hold the syringe still for five seconds.
What to do if this goes wrong?
A high dose of long-acting insulin may have a 24-hour effect on you after administration. Depending on how much of an overdose there was, you can prevent a hypoglycemic attack. Take carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar levels and call your health team or after-hours service for guidance if the overdose was significant, such as a double dose. If the overdose was less severe — say, up to five units too much — take more carbohydrates than usual and try to maintain higher-than-average blood sugar levels for the next 24 hours to avoid hypoglycemia.
Test frequently throughout the day and if you suspect your levels might be going low. Eat a lot of carbohydrates before going to bed. It is preferable to awaken with greater blood sugar levels than to risk sugar levels dip dangerously low overnight. Don’t go too low. Call your health team or an after-hours service if you are unsure.
Does blood sugar spike in winter?
People frequently forego their regular physical activities throughout the winter, such as yoga, exercise and morning and evening strolls, which results in elevated blood sugar levels.
The autoimmune disease, Raynaud’s phenomenon, should also be understood by diabetics. Blood vessels in the hands and feet constrict primarily during cold weather. Numbness and coldness in the fingers and toes are some of its symptoms.
People increase their sugar intake and incorporate Indian delicacies in their diet as the weather turns colder. The increased sugar intake causes glucose levels to surge and leads to difficulties for diabetics. In the winter, it is normal to feel more sluggish, but people with pre-diabetes and diabetes should never forego regular physical exercises.
Why do diabetics experience pain in their bones during winter?
When a joint degenerates due to nerve damage, it is known as a Charcot (shahr-koh) joint, which is a common consequence of diabetes. The feet are primarily affected and you can have numbness, tingling or lack of sensation. They could become unstable or malformed, as well as heated, red and swollen. Despite what may appear to be pain, the affected joint may not be.
Osteoporosis is a condition that makes bones brittle and raises the risk of fracture. People with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Early-stage osteoporosis symptoms are uncommon. You may eventually endure height loss, a hunched posture or shattered bones as the condition progresses.
Osteoarthritis is a condition of the joints that results in the degeneration of joint cartilage. Any joint in your body could be impacted. Obesity, a Type 2 diabetes risk factor, rather than the disease itself, increases the risk of osteoarthritis in those with Type 2 diabetes. Osteoarthritis can result in joint discomfort, stiffness and loss of flexibility or movement.
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Ankita UpadhyayAnkita Upadhyay is a health reporter with The Indian Express' Delhi bu… read more


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