I go through periods where my blood sugar just won’t budge. Increased insulin resistance can be attributed to a variety of factors including: menstrual hormones, fighting off infection, and stress. Having a blood sugar over 200 mg/dL that just won’t budge is extremely frustrating. You keep throwing insulin at it and then hours later it seems to suddenly come crashing down for seemingly no reason.
Make sure to speak with your doctor if you are experiencing periods of insulin resistance to discuss options that may work best for you.
Here are five ways I lower my blood sugar when I am insulin resistant:
This is a little controversial as exercising when you have ketones can be dangerous. If your blood sugar has been high (greater than 250 mg/dl), make sure to test your ketones before beginning physical activity. It is not advisable to exercise if blood sugar is high and you test positive for ketones in your urine. Personally, medium intensity exercise such as a brisk walk or short jog has been one of the most effective ways I’ve found to reduce my blood sugar during periods of insulin resistance.
2. Change your site
Sometimes, insulin isn’t as effective because there is something wrong with the pump site (if you’re on a pump). It may be that the tubing is kinked or that there is a piece of tissue blocking the tubing or that the site is simply old and your subcutaneous fat at the site has begun to thicken (lipohypertrophy). Changing the location of your site can help with this. In general, it is also a good idea to change your site every three days to prevent this.
3. Drink water
It’s important to stay hydrated when experiencing hyperglycemia (high blood glucose). Drinking water will help your kidneys flush out the excess glucose in your blood, and therefore help lower blood glucose.
4. Try injecting into the muscle
Most of the time we inject into our subcutaneous fat; however, Injecting insulin straight into your muscles will help it absorb faster. Insulin injected subcutaneously must absorb first through the fat, which can slow it down. Although it may hurt, injecting directly into the muscle (via the forearm, triceps, or quadriceps), can help bring your blood glucose down at a faster rate; however, it is important to cleanse the injection site and use a sterile one-time use syringe or pen needle, as there may be a higher risk of infection.
5. Try Inhalable Insulin
Although not a good option for those with chronic lung problems, Afrezza is a rapid acting inhaled insulin that enters your bloodstream quickly and works within 12 minutes, much faster than fast-acting insulin injected subcutaneously. It may be a good option for treating hyperglycemia quickly and effectively, and an option to discuss with your provider.