Hi Autumn! My favorite topic because I think this is what reduced my A1c!!
(1) I take my insulin at least 15 minutes before eating, I try to wait 25 minutes. If I am high, then I try to wait 1 hour. Here’s my rule of thumb:
<80mg/dl- Take insulin and eat right away
80-100 mg/dl- wait about 15 minutes
100-150- wait about 25 minutes
>150- wait 45-60 minutes
(of course, sometimes I’m not patient or don’t plan in advance and I don’t wait this long!! But I try to!)
(2) I use Humalog insulin
(3) I saw an A1c drop from 7.6 to 6.5 in a matter of months. It is not only due to early bolusing, but that was the most significant change that I made (I did not do low carb, start new exercise regime, etc.)
Dr. Bernstein recommends testing when your insulin starts dropping your blood sugar. Here’s how he suggested to do this:
when you are about to eat a meal and you have good, but not too low blood sugar (say between 100 and 140), take your bolus and start testing your blood sugar every 5 minutes. Start eating when you see your blood sugar drop more than 5 mg/dl (of course this assumes an accurate meter). I waited for a drop of 10 mg/dl and I was amazed that it only happened 25 minutes after I injected that insulin. As always, people and insulins vary, but this is a good way to figure when the insulin will start making your blood sugar drop.
I have experienced some uncomfortable lows with my method. So it should be approached only with caution. My most important tool is the kitchen timer. I take the bolus and set the kitchen timer, usually to 15 or 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, I drop everything and EAT. This method is much easier to do at home than when eating out. When I eat out, I bolus when the food arrives and try to eat the no carb food for the first 10 minutes (eating a salad) or just stirring the food around on my plate
Hope this helps! I will be curious about other people’s responses!