OVER - INSULIN Side Effects

Hi All,

Just wanted to share what I've experienced over the last few months, maybe this will help someone else if they too are having the same types of issues.

For the last few months I've had nothing but problems with my blood sugars, would wake up sky high in the morning, go to bed high, corrections would hardly work...my endo kept telling me to take MORE levemir, keep adding more. I did/was and it seemed to make it worse. I was feeling awful, gaining weight and could hardly eat anything without spiking. Every time I tried/started pump I'd have to lower my basal rate to .30 and still would go low (so nothing was making sense to me as 19 units of levemir does not equal .30 on pump). Again, I took my pod off and after reading, basal testing and talking to another CDE, we've figured out the problem. I was taking WAY TOO much basal - levemir; the side effect(s), it was causing my bolus to not work correctly and instead of lows, my body wasn't able to process all this insulin and it was driving my blood sugars sky high. I was up to 18 - 19 units of levemir and nothing worked. I used to be so insulin sensitive (hence, .30 on pump), what's happened?

Now, I'm down to 11 units total levemir (and will probably need to drop it further probably to 9 units as I'm still dropping - in the 80's now, where prior, in the afternoons I'd be 150's+ and corrections wouldn't work). I woke up to 91 this morning (compared to nearly 200 almost every morning for the last few months). My I:CR is now like 1:15 - 1:17 - 1:20 and I ate 34 grams of carbs yesterday for lunch and still went low (had to eat glucose) as I'm still trying to figure this out. Prior, I was doing 1:8 and still high.

So, if anyone is experiencing really strange blood sugars, unexplained highs, etc...really look into basal testing. For those who spike sky high after meals, it could be too much basal pushing numbers up not allowing bolus to work.

Just my story.

Hey Sarah, I’m really glad you’ve figured it out! I’ve seen your posts for a couple of months, can’t imagine how frustrating it’s been. Good luck evening things out.

Sarah - Good for you. Sometimes less is more. I've had the experience, more than once, where I was adjusting basal rates on a pump downward and my BGs would fall instead of expectedly rise. I don't know what the physiology is but I have observed that. It's completely counterintuitive.

Conversely, I've also observed that adding more insulin, after a certain level has already been reached, yields less control and a higher blood sugar number (also known as insulin resistance).

It makes you crazy and figuring it out is such a relief. I know how hard you've struggled. I'm happy to see that your metabolic world now makes more sense. It's as if you've escaped a nonsensical world down the rabbit hole with Alice in Wonderland!

Congrats also to your CDE.

Yay, Sarah; I'm so glad you and your CDE figured out a fairly unique situation you were experiencing and got you back on track! How nice those numbers must feel...finally! Are you planning on going back on your pump or are you figuring you'll stick with MDI since it's working for you now?

thanks everyone! yeah, gonna discuss pump next week. not really unique, in fact, JAG on here posted about over-insulin...that's where I started think this was happening to me (actually I've thought this for a long time). Too much basal insulin can cause insulin resistance and wreck havoc on blood sugars. Because the drop with basal can be so low and if one is eating, it's hard to detect.

Wow! Read my post from yesterday: Endo Appointment today-Thoughts?

It has been a rough 24 hours, but I made the endo recommended changes and my readings are running high from 222-193-174, etc. Last check I was at 109 (FINALLY.) Honestly, I am pretty miserable.

I know I was over basaling, eating way too little food, and having too many lows. But I was so focused on keeping a low BG reading--90-100--that I lost focus. Changing my OCD tendencies is hard. Today has been a lot of highs, so I appreciate your perspective, Sarah.

Here is to both of us and a successful change to lower basals. We just need to keep on keeping on!

well, i was taking too much insulin so my results were positive. So, i'm not sure why you're lowering your basal...too many lows with fasting or with meals? If your fasting numbers are good, why do you want to lower your basal...were you running too low? 90 - 100 is a great fasting number(s)?

I'm so glad you have figured this out too!! I know how much you have been struggling with this. I'm going to keep this in mind if I run into highs like this.

Simple answer--consistently too many lows blood glucose levels--10, 34, usually under 60 for several hours everyday. I am incredibly sensitive to insulin.

The lows are a real problem--they impact my life in many negative ways.