6 Signs Your Insulin Medication Isn’t Working
You’re following your diabetes regimen and diet plan, but your insulin doesn’t seem to work. In order to keep your health in top shape, it’s important to know the signs of why your insulin might not be working, why they happen, and what to do about them.
Signs Your Insulin Isn’t Working
Insulin is an important maintenance medication, but there is no need to panic if you feel like your medications aren’t working. Below are the signs that indicate insulin medication problems and some tips on how to address them.
1. Constant Feeling of Lethargy and Thirst Four Hours After Eating
If you consistently feel like you need to lie down because you feel like you’re going to pass out or to drink water because you’re thirsty, it may be a sign that your blood sugar level is high. Causatively, it may indicate that your exercise, diet, and insulin aren’t doing their work and that your glucose is always above 130 mg/dL.
2. Lightheadedness, Shakiness, or Dizziness One to Two Hours Post-Exercise or Meal
Dizziness, lightheadedness, and shakiness are signs that your body is getting too much of a certain medication. In this specific case, it’s insulin, and it’s causing your blood glucose levels to drop.
3. High Hemoglobin A1C Levels
A1C or glycated hemoglobin is formed when sugar bonds with hemoglobin. A high level of it means that the blood contains glucose or other monosaccharides at an abnormal amount. And, getting a high reading when you’re religious with your diabetes regimen and insulin intake is a red flag.
4. Never Feeling Satisfied After a Meal and Constantly Craving for Sweets and Carbs
It may be odd to think but you crave more sugar when your blood glucose levels are consistently high. This is because when glucose is always in your blood, your body thinks it doesn’t need to produce insulin. Thus, it demands that you feed it with something that it can use for energy, causing you to have unhealthy cravings.
5. Consistent Fasting Blood Sugars Readings of 130 mg/dL or Above
When you wake up in the morning and check your blood sugar level, the reading should be normal or low. The reason is you’ve been asleep the night before and what you ate for dinner should have already been digested. But, if it’s otherwise and you’re always getting readings of 130 md/dL and above, you might not be getting enough insulin in your bloodstream.
6. Outdated or Unadjusted Insulin Prescription
It’s only normal for our bodies to experience change in insulin sensitivity or resistance, especially when you have diabetes. Furthermore, the amount of insulin and number of diabetes medications prescribed depend on these sensitivity levels. If it has been years since you had your insulin prescription reviewed and it doesn’t seem to work anymore, it’s time you see your doctor.
What You Need to Do
The first thing you need to do when you notice signs that your insulin isn’t working is to speak with your doctor. Tell him or her what you have experienced or noticed and adjustments to your dosage or diabetes treatment plan will be made from there.
See Your Doctor
Your doctor may also change the brand or type of insulin you’re using to help your pancreas from overworking. Insulin comes in injectable and oral forms and in different types like rapid-acting and long-acting insulins. Your intake of the medication will depend on the form and type you are prescribed.
Another drug may also be added to your prescription to control your type 2 diabetes, like metformin. Other examples are oral drugs such as:
- Sulfonylureas and meglitinides to stimulate your pancreas to produce more insulin post meal
- Alpha-glucosidase-acarbose and miglitol to decrease your glucose uptake
- Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors such to decrease glucagon release and stimulate the production of insulin
- Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists to slow down digestion, stimulate insulin release of insulin, and decrease glucagon release
- SGLT2 inhibitors to aid the kidneys to release more glucose into your urine
- Thiazolidinediones to increase insulin sensitivity
Reassess Your Daily Routine
There is a chance that your diabetes has progressed and that your original health habits aren’t enough anymore. You may need to ramp up your exercise routine if you’ve gained unhealthy weight to burn more sugar. You should also speak with your dietician to make changes in your meal plan to further reduce your sugar and carbohydrate intake.
Undergo a Full Body Check-Up
It may be possible that there is another illness that is affecting your insulin medication or your digestion. It is advisable for diabetics to undergo a full body checkup every year to get a quick view of your overall health status.
What You Should Not Do
Do not increase or decrease your insulin dosage or switch to a different type of form without consulting your doctor. The same goes with combining two or more insulin types. Doing so can lead to resistance to the drug or other fatal complications, more than just stimulating your body to control your blood glucose levels.
Don’t wait for aggravated signs to see your doctor. Taking immediate action when it comes to your diabetes and insulin intake problems is important.
Go for a consultation every three months. This way you have a regular assessment of your blood glucose and A1C levels. The visits will help you and your doctor determine if your insulin and diabetes medications are working or adjustments and further treatment are needed.
Read testimonials and reviews. If they’re too good or have a record of selling counterfeit or damaged insulin, move on to a different shop. Most importantly, talk with your doctor about your new-found option. He or she can give you sound medical advice on whether it’s safe or not.
If access to diabetes medication is what’s keeping you from following your treatment plan, know that you can always buy insulin online. Online pharmacies and partner merchants always have stocks of insulin for sale. However, it’s best to check if the pharmacy you’re purchasing from is accredited by the FDA.
It’s best to buy insulin upon receipt of your prescription to get the treatment running and avoid further complications. Purchase insulin online at PharmaServe so you don’t have to queue in line!