Insulin Absorption Rates

Do insulin needs decrease during the summer? Also, do any of you ever massage your injection site, exercise the body part you injected into, take a hot bath, get into a hot tub, or do anything else to increase the effectiveness or absorption of your insulin? I am very curious to know if any of you do this or if any of it actually works.


Massaging your injection site will affect the absorption rate, don’t do it. And hot baths, tubs and a day at the beach will also affect the absorption rate. In fact, anything that decreases or increases circulation will affect your absorption rate. Just another wrench thown into the jagged cog of our lives.

Okay so does increased absorption rate mean you could bolus less insulin for a meal or correction?

I wouldn’t Jenn. Like bsc says, it’s just another wrench thrown into the cog of our D lives. It is far from an exact science to massage or take a hot bath and then determine a decreased insulin dose. I definitely wouldn’t use it as a “treatment method”, but would just keep it in mind when looking for explanations of numbers.

Ok, here’s my beach story. I had travelled from the mountains where I lived in Guatemala where the temps stayed very temperate to a hot and humid beach village. My first day there I walked about 15 minutes to an Italian Restaurant right on the beach that I had heard made fabulous home made ravioli, something I rarely eat but would be a special treat. I ordered my meal and then took out my pen and needle I’d thrown in my bag when I left my hotel room. I went to give myself the shot I’d estimated to cover the ravioli. Then the needle broke and I didn’t have a spare. The food was on its way and I certainly didn’t want to walk 1/2 hour back and forth to the hotel in the heat so I decided to just go ahead and eat and worry about correcting the huge high after lunch. I enjoyed my yummy ravioli and then went back to my hotel. I tested at about 1 hour after lunch and my blood sugar had barely moved. Then I tested at 2 hours, and at three. Nothing!! I figured out it was the heat and was grateful I’d had the needle break because the hefty bolus I’d planned would have made me go way low. The rest of the weekend I took very small doses of insulin or even none.

Yes, sometimes after a bath I find my blood sugar goes down a bit, but again, I wouldn’t use that as a dosing method. If you live somewhere where it gets hot in summer you will then figure out if and how much it changes your dosing needs when that season comes and chances are you will be able to use those reduced doses until the weather changes again.

I have heard many of these stories during the summertime or at the beach! Thats nuts!! Thanks for the reply Zoe :slight_smile:

I do massage a pump site after I’ve removed it. It usually has become less effective and that means it’s not working as it should and I want all that insulin to absorb. It keeps the IOB on my pump more accurate. Now I would not massage an injection unless you were correcting a very high dose and I would most likely just put an injection into a muscle at that point.

I guess it depends on the situation