Going low a lot

In the past 2 weeks, I noticed that I have been going low 1-2 times a day, and at least once during the night. I usually wake up 4-5 times a night, but I only test once during the night, because when I eat something, I figure I cant be going low a second time during the night.

I take 14 units of Novolin in the morning, and no Novo Rapid for breakfast, but I find I am still going low everyday right before lunch (about 2:00pm). I take Novo Rapid for lunch, but I feel like I shoudn’t have to, if I’m going low right at lunch time when I eat.

My endo is away on vacation for the next week, so I’m not sure what I should be doing. I’m very new to diabetes, and I’m not sure if this is just a phase and I should just leave everything. I’ve found this very stressful on my body, and I find that when I’m stressed, it makes my numbers even lower.

This morning, I ate breakfast at 9:00am and took my Novolin at 9:00am as well. I was at university, and at about 10:30am I went to a 4.2! This insulin shouldn’t have kicked in yet! It was only an hour and a half! I’m very confused, because that was the only insulin I took, and there is no way my nightime insulin could have still been in me! Has anyone else had these problems or anything similar to them? Anything advice helps!

Is Novolin like Regular or NPH? Those are older insulins, and, unfortunately they are very erratic and you need to eat all the time to keep from going low. I would just do the best you can until your endo comes back and then ask to be put on a more modern regimen such as Lantus or Levemir for your basal and Novolog, Humolog or Apidra for your bolus.

I am guessing that the Novolin is a slow acting insulin, and 14 units are quite a lot.

If you are going low, then you should not take the rapid until it has come back to a more acceptable level – preferably a couple of hours after your meal. It may have been the heat that also makes it go down quicker.

There is every way that your night time insulin can be still in your body! Insulin has a habit of stacking up for some time and if you keep putting it in when you do not need it then you will crash at odd times!

Reactions to insulin vary from person to person and some react quicker than others (especially if there is some still stacked up!), you rushed to college, it is hot, you did not eat enough for breakfast to counteract the insulin …

I am afraid it is a bit of trial and error. I would try reducing the Novolin by a couple of units, do that number for a couple of days and see what happens. It is the slow acting insulin that causes hypos. I was surprisd when I found out! I personally seem to have major problems with the “human” (artificial) insulins and have now gone on to pork insulin which I find smoother as it is a natural one.


  • 14 units may be quite a lot for you but for others it may be a SMALL dose

    -If I wait to give rapid acting until 2 hours after the meal because of a Hypo I would be at 300+

    -ANY type of insulin can cause hypo’s.


    This morning, I ate breakfast at 9:00am and took my Novolin at 9:00am as well. I was at university, and at about 10:30am I went to a 4.2! This insulin shouldn’t have kicked in yet! It was only an hour and a half!

    I assume the Novolin is NPH as you take Novorapid at other times of the day. Unfortunately NPH is very inconsistent with it’s peaks and on some days it may very well kick in before you would normally expect it to. I would suggest making a snack between breakfast and lunch part of your routine. Physical activity may affect this as well.

    It also looks like you usually get low at night. A lot of people on NPH insulin find they need to have a snack with carbs before bed to avoid lows at night.

    If you skip your Novorapid at luch how is your blood glucose 2 hours post meal and before dinner? If they are low perhaps a smaller dose of Novorapid. If not you need it!

    I agree with Latvianchick in that you probably need to back of the Novolin in the morning AND at night. I also agree with Zoe that if you can, Novorapid with Lantus or Levemir may help reduce the number of lows you are getting.

    Good luck!

The 10:30 AM low might be too much AM Novorapid. With that, I’d figure out my ratio and turn it down one, so if you are at 10G of carbs/ unit, I’d try calculating 9 units and see how that works? I wouldn’t lower both insulins at the same time to try to smooth things out.

I think that Novolin might be NPH or R as it can be both but I presume that since Novorapid would be “short term” the Novolin in question would be N? If that’s the case, one thing to consider is that when I got my pump, the doc said that NPH has only a 53% chance of “peaking” when it’s supposed to so it can hit early (pushing you low early, particularly before lunch?) or late, causing a high. In either case, the treatment of the results of this basal insulin, can end up like a roller coaster ride and make it hard to track. I would eat at 11:00 or noon when I took NPH but would shoot earlier too but it may very well be running you down a bit? I would not adjust it by more than 10% or maybe a unit if you want to take less, and see what happens for maybe 5 days? If it runs really high from backing it down a step, it may be something else bbut that’s my guess if it’s Novalin N. Both N and R can last quite long and N can be quite peaky.

Hello ChristineLynn:

The BOTTOM LINE here is you have too much insulin on board period.

Going low, even ONCE randomly means to whatever degree we can control stuff, we blew our portion of that “control”. The fact you are crashing and burning several times PER day, means you must cut back period. It is possible something is still on board. It is more likely that your breakfast injection either got absorbed faster than it should have OR far more likely you are just using too much…

For the record S-T-R-E-S-S will never make your bloodsugar lower.

Stress horemones adrenaline, epinepherine, cortisol, etc. all make our bloodsugar rise period. Uncontrollable rapid breathing, heart beating much faster, inability to stop your hands shaking are all what is called the “fight or flight syndrome”. If you’ve ever been in an auto accident, almpost gotten run over or really hurt, these kinds of symptoms appear.
All of them pour sugar into our bloodstream via the liver dumping it there.

It helps us (as a species) survive. If low bloodsugar was the normal result of being surprised by a hungry pack of wolves, etc., etc. we would be wiped off the planet. Stress that triggers that kind of uncontrollable shaking, breathing, heart beating wildly never lowers things… only raises them (: (


But it’s hard to guess which insulin is the “culprit”. I think NPH is very challenging to manage and would be more likely to be the culprit but a ratio off by even a couple of points can also make you “miss”?

Not always so Stuart. What if the stress is making her eat less? Regardless of how much MY liver is dumping when I am stressed I eat less and on NPH that is a recipe for disaster!