You can get busy sometimes. Even if you are good at managing your diabetes, there are times that you may forget a dose of insulin. What happens if you forget to take your insulin? Does it cause an immediate emergency?
To help alert you when to take your insulin and prevent missing your dose, this reminder alarm clock will provide consistency.
Let’s find out here.
What Happens If You Forget to Take Your Insulin? – Possible Outcomes
If you forget to take it but remember in two hours, it is okay to take the usual dose as soon as you remember it.
You should avoid taking two doses, though, just to make up for the forgotten dose.
Here are some consequences of missing a dose:
It is one of the immediate results of forgetting to take it. Hyperglycemia is a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels. Without enough insulin, glucose starts to accumulate in the bloodstream.
This will result in a range of symptoms, like increased thirst, fatigue, and frequent urination.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you are at risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This is a severe condition where your body starts to burn fat for energy. The process produces ketones as a byproduct.
It can lead to a dangerous imbalance in the body’s chemistry. This causes symptoms like nausea and vomiting, and if left untreated, it can be life-threatening.
If you regularly forget to take your insulin, it may contribute to long-term complications, like cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, and vision problems.
Hence, is vital to have consistent management in preventing these complications.
Mental Health Impact
Diabetes is a chronic condition. Thus, it requires a significant emotional and mental effort on your part to help you manage it. If you do forget to take insulin, it can lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, and anxiety.
It may also affect your overall well-being and create barriers to effective diabetes management.
How Long Can You Go Without Taking Your Insulin?
There is no definitive answer. If you have 0% insulin production, you will start to fall ill in 12 to 24 hours after your last injection.
If you do not take your insulin in 24 to 48 hours, you will be in DKA.
Mortal outcomes are expected if you have no insulin for days or weeks.
However, it is important to note that there are patients who can survive for much longer than that without insulin.
How to Prevent Forgetting to Take Your Insulin?
Establishing a Routine
You must have a consistent daily routine to help integrate insulin administration into your daily life. This will help reduce the likelihood of forgetting doses.
Use Reminder Systems
You can utilize modern technology to set reminders for your insulin doses. Apps and alarms can serve as valuable aids in maintaining adherence to prescribed regimens.
What To Do When You Forget?
Assess the Situation
You should evaluate the situation. If it is close to your next scheduled dose, you may have to adjust the dose to avoid stacking insulin disease. Keep in mind that stack insulin disease could lead to hypoglycemia.
Take the Missed Dose Promptly
If you remember the missed dose relatively soon after the scheduled time, you should go ahead and take the insulin as soon as possible. However, if it is near the time for your next dose, you should just skip the missed dose. This will prevent overlapping doses.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
Keep a close eye on your blood sugars throughout the day. This is especially true after a missed basal dose. Regular monitoring will assist you in understanding how your body is responding and whether you need additional adjustments.
Adjust Your Next Dose
Before you do so, make sure to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate course of action. The proper course of action will be based on your insulin regimen and blood sugar readings.
Without enough insulin in your body, you may accumulate glucose in your system. By drinking plenty of water, you are flushing the excess glucose. It can also aid in preventing dehydration, which is a common consequence of having high blood sugar levels.
Be Wary of Hypoglycemia
There is a risk of hypoglycemia, depending on the timing of your next dose. This is especially true if you take corrective measures for your high blood sugar. You might need to take fast-acting carbs, just in case your blood sugar drops unexpectedly.
You can have a sugary drink or snack to treat your hypo. A small glass of fruit juice can help. Or you can take 5 glucose tablets.
Once you have your sugary snack or drink, check your glucose. If it improves, you can eat a starchy carb that can last longer in your blood.
As soon as you feel better and your blood glucose is normal, restart your insulin treatment.
Your doctor may recommend always carrying glucose tablets with you. They can help in case you suffer from a hypo.
Learn from the Experience
Do not berate yourself for forgetting to take your insulin. Instead, use it to reflect on your routine. You may consider implementing strategies that can reduce the likelihood of you forgetting your next dose again in the future.
You should learn how to set reminders and integrate your insulin administration into your daily habits. It is also vital that you leverage the current technology for assistance in reminding you of your next dose.
Just use whatever assistance you can get to prevent yourself from forgetting it.
Many patients with inadequate insulin in their bodies sometimes forget to take their insulin. So, you are not alone in this predicament.
What happens if you forget to take your insulin? It may cause temporary disruptions in your blood sugar control. But you mustn’t panic. You must respond promptly and thoughtfully. Take corrective actions and monitor your blood sugar levels. Make sure to consult with your physician to mitigate the potential impact of your missed dose. Everyone makes mistakes. The key here is to learn from the experience. Refine your diabetes management routine to reduce the risk of future lapses.