Birthday cake and insulin

By DeedahW Latest Reply 2015-01-19 22:16:33 -0500
Started 2015-01-18 12:40:24 -0500

I have been diagnosed type 1 for 2 months and got my fast acting insulin on dec 31st so I'm still getting used to it. Today is my birthday and I'm gonna have cake for the first time since diagnosis. What I want to know is when should I dose for the cake and dinner at the same time or can I wait an hour and dose for the carbs on my cake then? I'm lost and I want cake.

Tags: insulin

10 replies

Stuart1966 2015-01-19 11:45:06 -0500 Report

Hello DeedahW:
We are both SORRY, and pleased you are with us!

Belated Happy Birthday…

The SHORT answer is you want to take ALL insulin BEFORE we eat food. Depending on the particular type/kind you use, the buffer varies, but as a general rule you want to TYPICALLY take insulin right before you eat.

Insulin is what you want to have IN your body, and working, before you hit it with the nutrients, the sugars whatever we eat will get broken down into. As such, you want your sugar to be 300, (some high number ?), if not, that is why we do the math, make our BEST calculations, based on MEASURING THINGS, weighing things… then figure out how many carbs, that food is…

Once you generate that number, you go onto the next food on your plate. Once you get a grand total, a best guess of it, then you dial up/withdraw the insulin you need, and inject it…

Two hours after the event, you test and see how you did, with that guess. Its called a 2 hour post prandial reading. It gives you a hint, a hint mind you how well you made your informed guess, and did that math..

What it WILL NOT tell you is what factor the previous shot(s) played when you got that dinner number.

There is a phenomena called "stacking" which bites a lot of us in the butt. Understandable error, but a mistake in understanding how the insulin's which we use work. A given insulin lasts a very, very specific period of time. After that, its all used up, right? Be careful not to use two (2) shots too close together. If/when we do so, its called STACKING, and can, can cause nightmares, because its like a giant title wave of insulin combining together and waiting to crash… on US 8::<

Generally speaking, BAD, bad idea. But, if you realize you screwed up your calculations with dinner, or want a second roll, another piece of whatever, it certainly can be done. What you do NOT want to keep doing to 2, 3, 4 shots at every meal, because oooopsy, forgot to count that, aaaaargh, I didn't want to eat THAT too, but I did… wow, that was bigger than I figured, guess I should finish it anyway… thats a problem waiting to happen, if you cover in that way

For a birthday, a single piece of birthday cake, make it a nice one, enjoy it, make your best guess as to its count with your dinner (?), SHOOT for everything at one time, and then don't worry about it, for a couple hour period.

Worst case, you play catch up in three/four hours later anyway before bed (?) and take care of any higher number that might happen, might, but not certain.

Good luck, and many, many more to you!

lilleyheidi 2015-01-19 01:54:22 -0500 Report

I hope you had a wonderful birthday and got to enjoy your cake and that your BG stayed within limits. Best in health. Heidi

jayabee52 2015-01-19 01:01:35 -0500 Report

Howdy Deedah
♪♫Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Deedah! Happy Birthday to you! ♪♫

many happy returns


Type1Lou 2015-01-18 16:42:12 -0500 Report

I'm assuming you are asking about "bolus" insulin; that's the one you take at meal-time vs "basal" insulin which is the one that provides you with a 24 hour level of insulin. Even though bolus insulin (Novolog or Humalog) has a quick-acting "peak", it does have some effect for several hours after you take it. You'd be better off asking your doctor exactly how to handle this…do you take your meal-time insulin dose and then take another before eating your cake?…and if yes, how much should the second dosage be…Or, you can plan on a no-carb meal, skip the meal-time insulin and then bolus only for the cake. Happy Birthday…(and don't forget to test)!

Stuart1966 2015-01-19 11:14:56 -0500 Report

Point of information… "bolus" and "basal" are pumping terms. While most here will likely understand them (???) , you might want to explain what they mean to our new diabetic friend ;~ ).

Type1Lou 2015-01-19 22:03:53 -0500 Report

Uh?…I thought I did…""bolus" insulin; that's the one you take at meal-time vs "basal" insulin which is the one that provides you with a 24 hour level of insulin." Admittedly it was a very simplified explanation but one nonetheless. Also, I don't believe that "basal" and "bolus" are exclusively used when pumping insulin. When I was on MDI (Multiple Daily Injections), my bolus insulin was Novolog and my basal insulin was Lantus. And, as correctionsnurse1 noted, "basal" is the term given to the low-level of insulin throughout the 24-hour day in any body, whether produced naturally or injected, and "basal" is the term applied to insulin used to handle any food that is eaten, whether naturally produced or injected. I've loaned out my copy of Gary Scheiner's book "Think Like a Pancreas" or I would have provided a more authoritative definition of either term.

correctionsnurse1 2015-01-19 21:27:50 -0500 Report

Correct me if I am mistaken, but I think Type1Lou was just trying to help.
Basal Insulin is the "baseline: the amount of insulin that is produced between meals and while you are sleeping.
Bolus is when the pancreas produces larger amounts of insulin. Hope this helps.

Type1Lou 2015-01-19 22:16:33 -0500 Report

Thank you Judi! I tried replying earlier but couldn't get my reply to post…finally got it 3+ hours later. I appreciate your speaking up.

sweetslover 2015-01-18 14:05:25 -0500 Report

I am not on insulin, but if it were me, I would eat a piece of cake, even if it meant me having to exercise for the next 3 hours to get my GB under control. :)

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