Advice on Novalog Flex Pen

By Anonymous Latest Reply 2010-03-02 07:58:53 -0600
Started 2010-02-27 12:29:47 -0600

I have had diabetes now for going on 4 has progressively gotten worse-I use to take just pills then this past year was put on night time insulin to control my high morning blood sugars-after further tests it was determined that I have LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults)where I've been a type II but actually seem to be a type I. I now have been put on Novalog at mealtime and I am struggling how to balance the insulin with what I eat. I was first eating more carbs to compensate for the insulin but after finally going to a carb counting class was told I should be eating what I want and adjusting my one tells you this they tell you to start taking the insulin and watch your numbers etc. I'm so depressed trying to figure this out-I test all the time trying to figure out how much insulin actually works. I'm taking very little (only 3 units at mealtime, 10 units at bedtime with the Levemir)but I am constantly going low. For instance lastnight I was 186 before dinner, so decided I needed the 3 units, I was having chili and cornbread thinking there was lots of carbs in what I was eating..wrong thats when I dropped to 43. I could use some advice on it okay with the novalog to eat first and wait to see how high I go then take the insulin to bring myself to a comfortable place? Help Please..

4 replies

veggie1962 2010-03-01 10:48:50 -0600 Report


When they gave you the insulins, did they tell you how much Levemir you should start with and when to take it? Did they give you an initial insulin to carbohydrate ratio for your NovoLog (to determine how much insulin you might need to cover the amount of carbs in the meal)? For example, if your I:C ratio is 1:10 and you eat 50 grams of carbs at a meal, you would take 5 units (e.g. 1 unit for every 10 carbs eaten). YOu need to have some starting point from your doctor/diabetes educator. Then, based on how your sugars are, adjustments may need to be made.

The levemir provides your background insulin (keeps your sugar steady without food in your system). The mealtime insulin is designed to cover the carbs eaten at meals. You adjust your Levemir up or down based on your first thing in the morning reading. You adjust your meatime insulin to carb ratio up or down based on your reading 2 hrs after meals. Also, I was told that if my sugar was below 85, that I would take less insulin than my normal insulin: carb ratio (so I wouldn't go low). This is based on what is called a correction factor, did you get one of those too? A correction factor assumes that 1 unit of insulin will lower your sugar by "xxx" (whatever number your health team figures). For example, if 1 unit lowers your sugar 80 points and your sugar is 180 before a meal, you would need to take 1 more unit of insulin than you normally would to "correct" for your level being high.

I hope this is not too confusing. I know it can be!

You may need to get more guidance from your doctor's office. Did you get the insulin from an endocrinologist or a GP/inernist?

Also, I will be so bold as to say you NEED to get this book, it is sooooo helpful. It should be called, "Everything you need to know about taking insulin but didn't know to ask"!

Good luck. I know this makes your head feel like it's spinning and that you'll never get it figured out and that you'll always feel lousy but you will get it figured out and you will feel better once you get it straightened out!

Luv to Ride
Luv to Ride 2010-03-01 18:33:00 -0600 Report

Thanks for all the information I appreciate it. I do go an endocrinologist who started me at Levemir at night 8 units then she moved me up to 10 units based on my morning levels being so high. I am gradually getting the hang of it, my husband has been going through my journal I keep daily and calculating out how much I am dropping after the insulin etc. Today was a good day for me, my happy place is around 120-I managed to keep my blood sugar under 140 today after each meal without any insulin, I've been cutting back on my carbs as well so that is helping, but eating healthy. I went to like I said the carb counting class with a dietician and she tryed to explain the amount of carbs vs insulin-but not like you have in the e-mail. Its like they send you out indicating take this amount and you have to figure out from there. I'm trying not to beat myself up since its only been about 3 weeks on the meal time insulin..thanks for the book referral I will go look it up.

veggie1962 2010-03-02 07:58:53 -0600 Report

I am so glad that you had a better day yesterday. I remember what it was like when I first started on mealtime insulin. I felt so miserable until I got the right balance (and I eventually had to figure it out on my own what worked best for me even with my doctor's office's guidance). I, too, found that it was easier (initially) to cut back on my carbs (and I ate very little carbs to start with). As I got better at balancing my carb/insulin intake, I increased my carbs. It's good that your husband is "crunching" your numbers to look for patterns, etc…that should be helpful. That's the kind of thing recommended in that "Pancreas" book I mentioned (really analyzing your results).

Harlen 2010-02-27 12:51:56 -0600 Report

Been there done that
It takes time to get it all down
Like bread will rise you BS but if you add butter it will do it slower lol for me anyway
I got this book cald the calorie king and it has helpped he a lot
There are a lot of thing I dont eat any more the very high carb stuf and I eat smaller meals then I did befor
You may wish to ask your Doc for insulin that is weeker then what your useing.
Every one is difrent and afected difrently take your time and test test test
Best wishes