There are so many benefits to being a part of the diabetes online community. It’s so, so, so valuable, informative and, well, supportive. I wouldn’t have survived all these years without it.
However, it does have a couple of major pitfalls and it can go really, really wrong. Desperately wrong. I’m talking about advising other people to take extra insulin without knowing their full circumstances.
When you think about it, how often do we actually get it right for ourselves? Let alone advise another person, who we don’t know anything about, what insulin to take to correct high glucose levels!!! There is so much to consider!
A number of months back, I came across a post in a private diabetes support group asking for advice on what to do with high glucose levels. Not a single member who commented on the post, and there were many comments, recommended the poster to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
WELL INTENTIONED BUT MISPLACED MEDICAL ADVICE
We can be so quick to advise someone else without asking more questions about their situation and when an individual takes this well intentioned advice, it doesn’t always end well it. Taking too much insulin and stacking insulin may lead to severe hypos and even hospitalization. And the individual may not be aware of this.
When taking insulin to correct high glucose levels there is so much to consider:
- If this person is newly diagnosed and in the honeymoon period, i.e. still making their own insulin. And this honeymoon period can last up to three years
- When did the person last eat? Was it 30 minutes ago or two hours ago?
- What did the person last eat? Was it high fat, high carb, etc?
- Did the person change their activity routine in anyway? For example, do they normally do some physical activity after eating and on this occasion didn’t.
- Was this person drinking alcohol, specifically, high carb alcohol before testing?
A friend sent me this handy guide for correcting high glucose levels for sick days but it works for all occasions where your glucose levels are high.
As members of the diabetes online community, we have a responsibility to keep each other safe. To not put each other in positions of risk. This is the huge responsibility but one that must be done.
Thankfully, these situations don’t occur often and the many goods continues to outweigh the few negatives.