Why Do You Need To Eat After Taking Insulin?

Insulin is a hormone-medication that diabetologists prescribe when you have diabetes mellitus. Diabetes affects the body’s capacity to manufacture insulin, which helps the body utilize sugar in your food and convert it in to energy.

Insulin is injected into the body to deliver it into the blood prior to a meal. Different types of insulin work at different rates, thus understanding how each one functions will help you comprehend why you must eat after taking insulin.

Why Do You Have To Eat After Taking Insulin?

Keeping the blood glucose level in check is the sole purpose for taking insulin. When you are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, you need to always keep an eye on blood glucose levels to ensure they do not go too high or too low.

Normally, the fasting blood sample should contain 70 – 130 mg/dL and the blood sample 2 hours after a meal should contain less than 180 mg/dL. When you eat, the blood sugar level goes up, and administering insulin lowers blood sugar level.

  • When you take insulin, your body uses it to convey glucose from the blood into the cells. The timing when you take insulin is crucial since it should work around the same time that you eat.
    Taking insulin after the meal makes the sugar level spike before insulin starts to work. In case you have very high blood sugar levels, it increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Rapidly acting insulin medications start to work as fast as 10 minutes after injecting. The insulin works for an hour or more to normalize blood sugar level.
  • Moderate acting insulin and long acting insulin take longer to start working, approximately 2 – 4 hours. They also work for longer, up to 24 hours.
  • The type of insulin that your physician prescribes depends on your general health and every day routine. You could opt for rapidly acting insulin in case you do not eat at regular intervals and cannot foretell when you will be eating.
  • Injecting it too long before a meal and you face a huge risk of hypoglycemia, given that, the insulin will start working before there is any food for it to work.
  • If you take a mealtime dose of insulin but are not able to eat, you must take glucose tablets or consume a fast acting carbohydrate to make sure that your blood sugar does not fall.
  • You must learn how different foods affect the blood sugar level; use a glucometer to assess the blood sugar 2 hours after a meal. Test different foods; it’s a good way to comprehend how your body reacts to different meals. Disparity regarding how different foods influence blood sugar levels is due to – glycemic load. Foods having a high glyemic load increases your blood glucose rapidly, compared to those with a low glycemic load. Pay attention, and you will begin to discern which foods have a bad or good influence on the blood glucose value.

Also, remember that, just as not eating your meal after the insulin dose can cause you to experience high serum glucose levels, administering large doses of insulin make sugar levels dip below normal. Discuss with your physician about how to effectively monitor insulin levels as well as maintaining good blood glucose control to stay healthy with diabetes.