Morning insulin resistance due to showers and contact detach?

I’ve been dealing with morning insulin resistance. Corrections don’t seem to work properly sometimes, although other times they work just fine. I shower in the morning and use Contact Detach infusion sets. Could the heat from my shower be affecting the small amount of insulin between the anchor and the needle, thus making my corrections not as effective if done after I shower? I’ll have to start tracking this, but I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts?

I would say it is extremely unlikely. Heat from a shower/bath normally increases the effectiveness of insulin since it increases your blood flow near the infusion set.

The easiest way to answer this question though, is to set up an experiment where you remove the variable(s). To me, that suggests not taking a shower one day and see what happens with your BG and correction (if any).

if anything, hot water can cause a DECREASE in blood glucose, due to increased insulin action. I’ve often dropped when I used to take long very warm showers. I’ve shortened my showers, and that has kept me from having those problems.

I must not have been clear in my question. I’m talking about insulin that has not yet been injected. Like, when you leave insulin in a hot car for too long. The Contact Detach system has a needle that goes under the skin and also has an anchor that sticks onto the skin. There is tubing between the anchor and needle that gets left on when the pump is detached. So there are a few units of insulin coming into the shower/bath with me. Is it possible that these few units, and the fact that I take very small corrections (1:95, 1:100. and 1:110), are causing what I’ve assumed is resistance in the morning? If they are, does anyone have any ideas about how to deal with this?

Hi @MissMargie,

I agree with @phoenixbound and @YogaO . I’ve had lows coming out of the shower more consistently than not.
This may be too simple of solution but maybe you need tad (Exact measurements up to you to determine) more insulin, as in you are not giving yourself enough in the morning currently. If the amount you give yourself isn’t enough and has been consistent for you then try giving yourself a little more than your correction from before.
I’ve noticed that as diabetics, we try to see if our highs are from other factors other than our lack of insulin or increased need of it. This is a great skill but sometimes we just need more insulin, plain and simple. More commonly, insulin requirements might be higher in the morning due to the Dawn Phenomenon. Insulin resistance is common with dawn phenomenon.
If I’m mistaken please tell me, but didn’t you comment on another thread that you were in need of switching work schedules and you were having highs and really low lows from your wacky work schedule? This would explain your highs.
Let me know if more insulin works.

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I would reiterate that it is highly unlikely that the relatively short exposure to heat is the cause. I have been in a hot tub with my pump on the edge of the tub and the tubing running through the hot water for 20+ minutes without harm to the insulin in the tubing.

There could be an air gap that occurs when you disconnect or a slim possibility that some water is getting in the “tail” remaining on your body.

I still think your first step is to see what happens if you skip/delay your shower.

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That small section of tubing is sitting beside your body all day, which I’m sure gets as warm as the water.

I put the small extra “cap” on my Contact-Detach before I get a shower, just in case water gets in it. I’ve never really noticed a difference, though.

I agree with others: I’d see what happens when you don’t get a shower.


Guess I wasn’t clear in my answer, which still stands. Take it from a long time pumper. Try not to go on a wild goose chase with assumptions.

Yep, this exactly. Even an extra 10 degrees from a really hot shower really doesn’t matter. I’ve only had insulin go “bad” due to temperature when I’ve either left my pump or a pen in the car on a hot day. It has never happened to me while wearing it.

Also, water can’t get into the infusion set, it’s sealed with a silicone port just like your vial of insulin. The “cap” is really only handy at the beach, where sand can make reconnecting difficult if the site hasn’t been protected (if any sand gets into where the “prongs” on the tubing connector go).

The only time I’ve heard of insulin going bad while worn in a pump, was with an Omnipod using Apidra. Apidra is, apparently, somewhat more sensitive to heat than the other analogs. I have not personally experienced such a problem, and I use Apidra in a pump.