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How to Use an Insulin Sliding Scale

How to Use an Insulin Sliding Scale

Diabetes is a life-changing disease affecting millions of people across the globe. People who suffer from diabetes must constantly monitor what they eat, as well as taking regular blood tests to check their blood sugar levels and self-administering injections of insulin. It is a difficult adjustment to make. Some favorite foods must be removed from the diet entirely, and the constant injections and finger prick tests only adds insult to injury. However, an insulin sliding scale plan can offer a solution, making it easier for diabetics to monitor and maintain their blood sugar levels.

Diabetes is caused by an imbalance between blood sugar levels and insulin in the body. The sugar, or glucose, levels in blood is monitored and kept in balance by insulin, naturally secreted in our bodies to maintain the crucual balance. But when this process breaks down, the imbalance between glucose and insulin wreaks havoc on the body. The person with diabetes must maintain the balance manually by checking the blood sugar levels and administering insulin when needed to bring the blood sugar levels down.

An insulin sliding scale plan is designed to help the process of monitoring blood sugar levels and maintaining the balance in the diabetic’s body. This plan is usually used with a long acting, extended release insulin administered once a day and short acting insulin administered as needed throughout the day. First, the diabetic person should talk to a doctor and create the plan. Different people will need a different scale based on numerous factors, such as age, gender, weight, activity level, and diet. The blood sugar levels will need to be checked at set times each day, such as a certain amount of time after each meal.

The doctor can then help form the insulin sliding scale plan for the patient to follow. A specific scale will be formed for the patient to use as a guide when administering the short-acting insulin throughout the day. For instance, a blood sugar level that is only slightly higher than normal might only need two units of insulin, while a level that is higher will need four units, and an even higher level will need six units, and so on.

Once the doctor and patient have created the insulin sliding scale plan together, the diabetic person will monitor and record how often he or she must use the sliding scale insulin, and how high up the scale he or she goes at those times. The diabetic person will need to record this information over a period of time while keeping diet and exercise as regular as possible. At the end of the period of time, the recorded data can be brought back to the doctor, who will then increase the dosage of long acting insulin that the patient takes only once a day.

As this process continues, the patient will need to administer the sliding scale insulin fewer and fewer times as the dosage of the long acting insulin is safely and gradually increased to meet his or her needs. Diabetes can be a difficult and complicated disease, but by working with tools like an insulin sliding scale plan, it can be easier and less stressful to manage.

Photo courtesy of .:[ Melissa ]:..

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