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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Taking insulin when hypoglycemic   (April 30, 2008)

I'd like to mention an observation I have had about treating hypoglycemia -- Treating with insulin as well as food! That's against the rules:

The Humalog USPI states:

Humalog is contraindicated during episodes of hypoglycemia...

Novolog USPI ditto:

NovoLog is contraindicated during episodes of hypoglycemia...

Apidra USPI ditto:

APIDRA is contraindicated during episodes of hypoglycemia...

Giving insulin while hypoglycemic had never crossed my mind until after several episodes of treating a hypo with a big bagel (which usually needs about 6 units of insulin to cover) was always too much carb and always kicked my BG to the 200's. But I love bagels and at my workplace, for some reason or other, they seem to be everywhere every time food is around.

Anyway, when hypoglycemic, I'm frequently ravenously hungry, and one bagel resolves the hunger. But the subsequent hyperglycemia was annoying. So, why not cover the hypo with a lesser dose of insulin? Well, it works. If I'm somewhere in the 50's or 60's and feeling hypo, one bagel plus 3 units of insulin fixes everything and the BGL ends up in the expected near-normal range.

Well, almost everything. If I do it too often, I'll inevitably gain weight...
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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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