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This article originally posted 24 March, 2012 and appeared in  Issue 371

Test Your Knowledge Answer #371


The correct answer is B+ C + D, depending on the situation.

Watching and waiting when the glucose level is rising fairly steeply after a meal usually means that not enough fast-acting insulin was given with that meal.

We all know that blood glucose levels are not always the same after meals that we have eaten, even if we have had that same meal numerous times before. There are so many other variables that affect the glucose readings, including stress, exercise, medications, etc. This is why it is important to be able to use a correction dose to account for unexpected elevations in your glucose values.

Normally, if you just tested your blood glucose with your blood glucose meter 2 hours after a meal and got a 182 mg/dl reading, you might have been perfectly satisfied. However, the CGM data clearly shows that if nothing is done, the blood glucose levels may continue to rise and stay elevated for hours. One question you might ask is, given that the correction factor is 1:50 and that 2 to 3 units of Apidra (answer c) would drop the blood glucose level 100 to 150 points, if John is only at 182 mg/dl, shouldn’t this amount of insulin cause hypoglycemia?

The big difference in this situation is that you have the very important trend information that tells you not only that the blood glucose level is 182 mg/dl, but also that it is rising steeply. This really helps you give a more appropriate correction dose and limit the amount of time spent in the hyperglycemic range.

Aerobic exercise for an hour (answer b), especially within 1 to 2 hours from your last injection of a fast-acting insulin such as Apidra, will help to lower your glucose levels. If you have an opportunity to exercise, you would not give any insulin, and would watch to see what happens to your numbers while you exercise. If they do not come down, you can give a correction dose later (with an amount determined by your blood glucose level and trend over time as well).

Answer d is also correct because if you find that your blood glucose level gets above 180 mg/dl morning after morning, you need to make the long-term adjustment by changing your breakfast carbohydrate-to-insulin ratio. Normally, it is recommended to make small changes slowly and wait several days to see how your adjustment affects your glucose levels.

Copyright © 2006 Diabetes In Control, Inc.  

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This article originally posted 24 March, 2012 and appeared in  Issue 371

Past five issues: Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series Issue 203 | Issue 743 | Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series Issue 202 | SGLT-2 Inhibitors Special Edition August 2014 | GLP-1 Special Editions August 2014 |

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