How can I avoid high blood glucose levels after meals if I'm on insulin?

There are several things you can do to help avoid high blood glucose levels after meals if you are on insulin:
  • Give yourself a pre-meal dose of fast-acting insulin about 20-30 minutes before you actually eat. You can give yourself about 30-40% of what you think you will need for that meal and then the rest later. This pre-meal amount, or bolus, is called “priming the pump.” It has been shown to really limit the post-meal blood sugar spike. If you wear a pump it is quite easy. However, if you are using an insulin pen you will have to give yourself two injections for the meal. 
  • Try to limit the amount of rapid-acting carbohydrates in your meal. This may be hard to do, but definitely cut out drinks with a lot of sugar calories. And, no fruit! 
  • Spread out your calorie intake as best you can. I know this seems like a pain but eat slowly and, if you can, save part of your meal for later as a snack. Mixing your rapid-acting carbohydrates with fat and protein can help as well. 
  • Try Afrezza, the inhaled insulin. It has a rapid-on rapid-off course of action that helps limit how high your glucose goes after eating. It also reduce your chances of having a delayed low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) reaction.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.