Increasing insulin requirements

It’s been a while since I posted anything because my blood sugars have been SO confusing, and I feel like I’m losing the plot, and this is going to be more of a rant than anything, so here goes:

3 weeks ago, my blood sugars soared. At first, I assumed it was just a normal soar and would be back to normal the next day. After 3 days of high blood sugars, I came to the conclusion I was pregnant and raised my basal and bolus rates, and went from an average of 40 units TTD to 50. I then spent 2 weeks in uncertain ecstasy. I got more excited as my period did not come.

Last Friday, my period started. 5 days late, and heavier than usual. I was miffed. The next day, my optometrist told me I had “severe” damage and needed to go to a retina center “urgently”. She then tried to give me “the speech”. The one about controlling your blood sugars or suffering dire consequences. I told her my hba1c was 5.6. She clearly didn’t believe me. It was a very upsetting experience and I ended up crying in the waiting room, mostly because I thought increased control would mean less of idiot doctors trying to scare and intimidate me.

I went to my retina guy on Tuesday. He said everything was pretty good for over 20 years of diabetes. Yes, there is some minor bleeding, but he says its okay just to monitor its progression, and he still supports me in my desire to have children.

My problem now is the blood sugars still haven’t gone down. It’s been 3 weeks of higher, more unpredictable sugars, and its wearing me down. One day, I took 85 units of insulin, eating what I normally eat, and was still super high all day. I’m super frustrated and exhausted. I’m dealing with a pretty bad bout of sadness from my lack of pregnancy coupled with that terrible optometrist, but I was having blood sugar troubles before that which is why I thought I was pregnant. I wish I could take a more relaxed approach, but I want to keep trying for babies, so I’m just stewing in my frustration now. I cant figure out what caused the higher blood sugars or the delayed period, but I feel like they’re related. Otherwise, that’s a helluva coincidence.

How do other people relax when the blood sugars are this unpredictable? How do you deal with normal sadness when all your energy is going to keeping yourself even vaguely in range? I’m just really struggling this week…

I have found that it is worthwhile to examine why I am too high or too low but after years I figured out not everything is within our control. The liver releases sugar continuously and we can only guess the time and mount of sugar being delivered and try to offset with what we think are appropriate basal rates. But that assumes our liver releases sugar systematically and it does not. I have found that my BG can be high for weeks at a time and then start coming down to normal levels and vice versa. So when I determine I am dealing with milt-day high or low BG, I change my basal rates for days or weeks. Don’t know why but it has been like this far ages.

1 Like

Here are some thoughts from Steve Edelman on correcting highs using afrezza Steve is the founder of TCOYD.

Chances are you won’t have insurance coverage for it but you can buy direct from Mannkind at $120 for a 90cnt box. If you get the 12u box and you don’t need that much per dose you can split the dose yourself into an 8u and 4u or three 4u.

Once you knock down the high you can continue your normal routing or continue to use at mealtime as needed to blunt the post meal spike before you go high.

1 Like

Your insulin might be corrupted. This can happen by freezing or to much heat. I suggest finding at least one vial purchased at a different time and checking out the results. The Afrezza mentioned by George above seems like a good idea.


I have found a good deal of the time there is a reason? Once it was a tooth infection I didn’t know about for 2 weeks, high stress, lack of sleeping well. I believe once it was a couple of days of not eating things that I know set off a problem that ended up lasting a week afterwards. ( my girlfriend sent me homemade white bread), also my hormones will make my BG go screwy, that includes a sluggish thyroid. And then sometimes for no apparent reason it just is…

The no apparent reason, and very obvious, my dog who is also a type 1. All of a sudden her sugars shot up and stayed higher for a couple of weeks before they dropped back down. She is on the same food, the same routine, there was no apparent reason. I changed her vial of insulin, made sure to change her injection site, checked her teeth and ears. Since then she has done that a couple of more times. Once was for 3 plus weeks. I just give her extra meal insulin until she “normalizes” again.

It sounds like it could be a combination of hormones with your late period and then stress on top of it. But???


Your body may simply be responding to the unusual stress relating to your sincere desire to become pregnant. There is likely more factors involved than that but that one is enough to upset your metabolism.

I would consider focusing on the fundamental habits of sleep, exercise, good nutrition and hydration. I would also consider skipping a meal or two. Fasting gives your body a little break from the constant demand that digestion represents. You could, for example, skip dinner one evening.

Have you ever used mediation to relax? Our nervous system is comprised of the sympathetic (flight or fight) and the parasympathetic (rest and digest). If you are on edge about things, your sympathetic nervous system dominates and doesn’t allow the parasympathetic system to operate. Breathing exercises are a form of meditation and effective at slowing yourself down enough to really relax.

Stresses that come and go are just part and parcel with life. But stresses that endure and become chronic are not healthy. People dealing with a divorce, a rotten work life, or loss of a loved one must figure out how to mitigate that crushing, all-day, every-day stress. Life, like diabetes, is all about balance.

It sounds like you are off balance and your body is objecting to continuous stress you’re experiencing. I know this is tough. Do yourself a favor and look into a way to relieve some of this stress. Even watching an entertaining video could help. One that makes you laugh is even better.

Sorry you are going through this challenging period. You have the opportunity to learn some useful tactics that could help you in the long run. This is a solvable problem and you can do it! Good luck.


Dear Becky, My heart goes out to you. Right now I am having issues with my blood sugars also. I am in the beginning of menopause. I find that my sugars aren’t reacting the way they were prior. I read that the cells aren’t as sensitive to insulin when estrogen and progesterone are in play. I understand it takes a toll on you. They say you should try to relax. That’s easy for them to say. I guess it doesn’t do us any good when we are stressed about our sugar levels. Anytime you need to vent you can talk to me. Take care.

1 Like

Oh gosh, menopause…done that, not fun…

BeckyZ, I was just going online to trouble shoot the same problem. Frustrating! I’m glad you got another opinion about your eyes. Will you get a third as a tie breaker? I never know what to do when they disagree. I found it helpful to read your post. BTW, last night I noticed terrible sensor error. Thats unusual for me. My Dex said BG greater than 400 in the middle of the night, but when I checked, it was around 270. Have you checked for that?

Marie did your bloodsugar soar after eating. That seems to be my issue right now . My basal rate hasn’t changed much. I am experimenting with my carb ratio to find that perfect number to keep me on target after eating.

When I started with perimenopause I wasn’t diagnosed yet as a type 1, but I would have been in the Honeymoon phase. I would soar to 250 by just eating a salad, my salad did have beans or peas half the time, but still…

My hormones were really whacked though and I found helping my thyroid with a natural supplement ended up helping my female hormones a lot. The doctor and endo at the time had said I wasn’t a type 1 and my thyroid was fine and just never tested me. I was unhappy with the both of them and switched doctors and then endos and the new endo tested me right away, probably because I had said I had had an uncle that was type 1. My thyroid was borderline, functioning but not normal levels.

Menopause causes all sorts of hormone issues, so I’m sure it would mess with sugar levels too. I know my sleep was very disrupted for a while and you can be really emotional for no reason. Besides many other issues, the list is long!

No, I trust the second doctor because he’s the retina specialist, and the 1st was just an optometrist, so this is actually the second optometrist who I’ve gone to, and they both panicked and lectured, and tried to scare me, and this new one also didn’t believe my hba1c was 5.6, and then told my husband what she told me without my permission, which I don’t really care about, but it’s just unprofessional. So, after I get my yearly glasses prescription, I go to the retina center. He has always been clear with me; there is minor bleeding. I’m going to do an angiogram in a few weeks with him just to make sure it’s not too bad. But he also says that it is fairly minor bleeding, especially considering I’ve had this disease for almost 21 years. At this time, he’s happy to just keep monitoring and doesn’t recommend surgery. We also have a plan in place to monitor more frequently if/when I get pregnant. I hate going to get glasses now. It’s just a terrible experience, and I told my husband I will just opt for the prescription part next time and ask not to do the eye problem diagnostic part because the retina doctor does that anyway.

I’m feeling slightly less emotional now, but the blood sugar swings are still crazy. This morning, I went from 130, down to 42, climbing steadily to 140 before spiking up to 280, and then plummeting back to 69, when they finally settled at 80 in the space of less than 4 hours. This is not typical in any way.

Apart from the 1st day of insertion, the glucometer reads within 20 points of the cgm pretty much all the time. I have tested more in the past 3 weeks than I have since I got the cgm 6 months ago because I just don’t believe these numbers. It doesn’t seem possible, but that’s truly what’s happening. I’m muddling through, but these roller coaster rides are exhausting and take so much attention, and I never know what’s coming next.

I’m not trying to figure out the cause at this point, just trying to ride it out the best I can. Hopefully, I can keep some of my sanity as well.


Nerve wracking. Check as frequently as you can. For sure, before driving. Not to lecture, lol. Diabetes = lecturing.

I’m dealing with perimenopausal hormone swings now (and for the last 3-4 years), and have learned that unstable female reproductive hormones can seriously mess up your BGs. Have you spoken with a gynaecologist about your current BG issues - in terms of any BG patterns and any correlation they may have to other gyn issues? They aren’t endos, but they do know the reproductive system, and may have some insights that you can take to your endo.

1 Like

Yeah, I nearly had to miss a doctor’s appointment the other day because it was 40, and just not coming up. I’m thankful I’m not working at this time, but frustrated that my entire life seems to revolve around this bs nowadays.

Honestly, I’m praying it’s not that. I’m only 32, but I had a coworker go through menopause last year, and she was younger than me, and also desperate for children. She started IVF recently, but I really don’t want to go that way. It’s a great option for other people, but I’m worried about pregnancy in general, so I don’t really want to inject myself with extra, blood sugar changing drugs. Plus, it’s super expensive and not guaranteed to work. My husband and I already talked, and we agreed we would try IUI, but neither of us want IVF. So, if this is menopause, it will be slightly disappointing. We are both happy to adopt, so it won’t be the end of the world, but a frustrating end to this journey. I mean, even more frustrating than it is already, lol. We will wait and see.

Another reason to see the gyn might be as simple (or complex) as some kind of infection that is messing around with your production of reproductive hormones. I’m pretty sure that your ovaries are responsible for some of that. And any infection can cause a greater bacterial load in your body, which would definitely effect your BG.

1 Like

Much sympathy, been there with the high sugars. Are you absolutely sure you’re not pregnant? I’m assuming you’ve done a test but is there a possibility that you might have an unrecognized ectopic? If you do a test and the lines come up but are faint it is possibly indicating hormones but coming from the tube, it happened to me which is why I’m suggesting the possibility? Sorry it’s not more hopeful or helpful but…