When should you give your insulin?

You may not eat all your meal or you may decide to have an extra course, a dessert perhaps, which you hadn’t thought about having at the beginning of the meal. Or you know your meal will have 3 or 4 courses. What do you do about giving insulin? 

Here are some thoughts. Click or hover on each image for these tips:

Giving insulin 15-20 minutes before eating is recommended but, at a restaurant, you might want to see the food plated first so you can assess the carb content. 
You can give separate insulin injections for each course you eat or give multiple boluses using an insulin pump.
If you are unsure whether you will eat everything and are concerned about hypos, you could delay the injection until you have finished eating. Or you could split the insulin dose, giving some at the beginning of the meal and then a top up after the meal is finished.
If you end up having a bit more food, you can add a top-up insulin injection. However, you may want to play safe and wait to see how the glucose levels respond and then add an adjustment for any high levels later.
If you are drinking alcohol, it’s safer not to give correction doses before bed as alcohol can increase risk of hypos overnight.

Other thoughts:

Hopefully, you will feel comfortable giving your injections at the meal table. This can be done very discreetly into the abdomen or with a pump and it’s completely acceptable. Don’t feel you should hide away in a toilet! 

However, it’s natural to feel uneasy about letting friends know you have diabetes, so you may not want to do a glucose check or give your injection in front of them. Is this something that concerns you? Who might you chat to about this?


3 thoughts on “When should you give your insulin?”

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