When Is The Right Time to Take Your Insulin?

If you take insulin and struggle to manage high and low blood glucose numbers, one reason may be the timing of your injections. Coordinating when you take your insulin with the timing of your meals, your physical activity, and other parts of your diabetes care plan can help. Here are some tips to help you time your insulin just right.

Take insulin at regularly scheduled times. The more often you are able to take your insulin at the same time each day, the easier it becomes to keep your blood glucose in control. This isn’t always easy. If you want a more flexible insulin plan, talk with your health care provider about taking more injections, using a long-acting and rapid-acting insulin plan, using an insulin pen or switching to an insulin pump.

Eat at similar times. Eating your meals at similar times each day also makes it easier to manage your blood glucose.

When you eat, you need insulin readily available. This will help to keep your blood glucose level from going too high. Carbohydrates in food make blood glucose rise. It’s easier to keep blood glucose from going too high by having insulin in your body when you eat rather than trying to lower blood glucose that has already gotten too high.

Give regular and rapid-acting insulin a running start. The reason regular insulin is typically taken 30 minutes before a meal is to give it a running start to lower blood glucose before the carbohydrates from your meal raise it. Rapid-acting insulin, however, is typically taken only 5 to 15 minutes before a meal, so it is very important not to delay the meal after you’ve given yourself an injection.

Paying attention to timing won’t solve all of the ups and downs of blood glucose levels, but it can help to make managing your diabetes a bit easier.

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