The sweet smell of insulin!

The sweet smell of insulin

Many people laugh when I say I like the smell of insulin, but it’s true, I do!

To me, insulin is the smell of pregnancy and is a happy thing. I get gestational diabetes in all my pregnancies, I always need insulin and when you’ve been told that you’ll never be able to have children, it just becomes something you expect and enjoy as, you know what, it means I’m having a baby!!


Let the chasing game begin!!.. High insulin resistance

In the Facebook support group we see many ladies struggling with fasting levels and many ladies needing to start insulin as a result if Metformin does not work. I should add that I tried Metformin in my second pregnancy, but although it can be an amazing drug for many reasons, it made me very poorly for weeks on end and so I opted to use insulin as in my first pregnancy it worked well with no adverse side effects. Therefore this time, I once again opted straight for insulin.

Many ladies in my FB group are so disappointed that after taking their insulin injection they do not see an immediate response in their readings. It’s a huge deal having to inject yourself, you finally manage to do it and then BOOM, the reality for many is no difference in levels or they see even worse levels?!

I’ve used insulin enough times to know that I will require quite a large dose before I get anywhere with it and if it’s anything like my second pregnancy, I may need to chase my fasting levels throughout the entire pregnancy.

Some ladies are lucky, they hit a magic number and levels become satbilised, but some of us it’s chase, chase, chase!

Just to make this clear, my diabetes team are more than happy for me to manage my own insulin doses and so although this is how I ‘chase’ my levels, it can be quite dangerous to do this and cause hypos if you take too much insulin. Insulin increases appetite and the more insulin you take, the more insulin resistant you become (so it effectively worsens the condition). It’s for these reasons that I advise ladies to still stick to a strict gestational diabetes diet whilst taking insulin, instead of using insulin to cover the meals/food/drink consumed. Insulin should be used as needed but not so that you can eat what you feel like, however this is my own opinion which will not be shared by all. But why make this hard condition harder for yourself if you don’t need to? In my case you will see that despite great post meal control, my fasting levels are another story and are another reason why many professionals will presume I have pre-existing diabetes. Please seek advice from your medical professionals around insulin doses, do not copy my doses below unless advised.

Let me show you my fasting levels and the doses I’ve had to increase to achieve target levels:-

  • Day 8 – 7.9 – start slow acting insulin, 4 units morning & night 
  • Day 9 – 6.7 – 6 units morning & night
  • Day 10 – 6.9 – 10 units morning & night
  • Day 11 – 7.0 – 12 units morning & night
  • Day 12 – 6.4 – 15 units morning & night
  • Day 13 – 6.7 – 15 units morning & night
  • Day 14 – 5.7 – 20 units morning & night
  • Day 15 – 6.2 – 20 units morning & night
  • Day 16 – 5.6 – 25 units morning & night
  • Day 17 – 5.7 – 25 units morning & night
  • Day 18 – 5.9 – 30 units morning & night
  • Day 19 – 6.1 – 30 units morning & night
  • Day 20 – 5.4 – 35 units morning & night
  • Day 21 – 4.4 (wooohoo!) – 35 units morning & night
  • Day 22 – 6.9 (booooo!) 35 units morning & night
  • Day 23 – 5.2 – 35 units morning & night
  • Day 24 – 5.6 – 40 units morning & night
  • Day 25 – 4.6 – 40 units morning & night
  • Day 26 – 5.3 – 40 units morning & night
  • Day 27 – 4.3 – 40 units morning & night
  • Day 28 – 5.8 – 40 units morning & night
  • Day 29 – 4.4 – 40 units morning & night
  • Day 30 – 4.1 – 40 units morning & night
  • Day 31 – 4.0 – 40 units morning & night

So that’s 80 units of slow release insulin a day at only 8 weeks pregnant! I’ve played around with having bedtime snacks versus not having them and have noticed that my best results are when I drink a large glass of whole full fat milk before bed.


More About me, Jo, owner and author of Gestational Diabetes UK

To read more about me and Gestational Diabetes UK please read the About Us page