Can you take too much insulin?

Dr. William Sullivan


Insulin can be extremely helpful in controlling elevated blood glucose levels. There are two main types of insulin – bolus insulin, which is used to cover a meal, and basal insulin, which is used to control blood glucose levels overnight and between meals. Some people with diabetes need both basal and bolus insulin, whereas others require only basal insulin. Insulin is a natural hormone; however, excessive insulin will lower blood glucose levels below normal. Bolus insulin needs to be adjusted to cover the amount of carbohydrates in the meal, and is also adjusted relative to the current blood glucose level and for anticipated exercise. Your health care provider can help you determine the correct doses of insulin for your particular circumstances. Often working with a diabetes nurse educator can be invaluable in adjusting insulin dosages.