Diabetes - Insulin Management and Potential Side Effects

Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, discusses diabetes in men vs. women.

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Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, discusses diabetes in men vs. women.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Richard Bebb, MD, ABIM, FRCPC, Endocrinologist Video Title: Diabetes - Insulin Management and Potential Side Effects Duration: 2 minutes, 9 seconds

In terms of side effects from insulin, insulin allergies do occur – very, very exquisitely rare.

Mainly as a hormone, the side effects occur through overdose: too much, or too little. If you’re not getting enough insulin, your blood sugars are high. In the short term that may make you feel tired, fatigued, cause you to pee a lot, disturb your pee because you’re up peeing at night, and you’ll feel very lethargic and your muscles will cramp.

Too much insulin causes a low blood sugar – hypoglycemia. And the symptoms of that depend on how severe it is. In a mild form, it may make you shake, you’ll feel your heart pounding, you’ll sweat, you’ll get a headache, you’ll feel hungry, when you eat food it will go away.

More severe low sugars can cause seizures or patients to go into a coma. So clinically, we like to prevent that as much as possible, and again it’s a coordination with how much you’re eating, when you’re exercising and the dose of insulin.

So in terms of trying to prevent low blood sugars or hypoglycemia as a side effect of insulin, the key fact is education. This is a disease that patients live with, day in and day out. And we as healthcare providers have hopefully provided you the knowledge – either by interacting with us, your pharmacist or a diabetes centre – that you have the knowledge how to balance food, exercise and insulin, and minimize the chance of having a low blood sugar.

And key in this is the ability to measure your own blood sugar with a blood glucose monitor by fingertip testing. The knowledge of how insulin works – in general and also in your personal situation – along with your knowledge and the ability to test your blood sugar, will allow patients with diabetes to get the very best result for themselves.

Presenter: Dr. Richard Bebb, Endocrinologist, Victoria, BC

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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