Side effects of insulin

If your blood sugar levels are high before you start insulin, you might feel a little bit anxious, shaky, and hungry when you first take insulin. These side effects are temporary, and they usually go away on their own within a couple of weeks. Checking your blood sugar frequently is the best way to make sure that your sugar levels don't drop too low.

In the beginning, you might also notice:

  • Blurry vision. Usually temporary. In fact, as your blood sugar levels go down, your vision may improve.
  • Water retention. Initial swelling in your ankles and other joints usually disappears.
  • Disturbed sensations. Numbness, weakness, or pain in your arms or legs normally disappears.
  • Contact your diabetes care team if you experience any of these side effects.

Insulin Therapy and Low Blood Sugar
Insulin therapy can cause low blood sugar, so frequent blood sugar monitoring is the best way to find out how insulin is affecting your blood sugar levels. It's easier to spot patterns if you follow the injection instructions, plus stick to your meal plans and activity schedules.

It's also important for friends and family to be able to recognize the signs of low blood sugar and know how to treat it.

The Good News
The good news is that modern insulins are more similar to the insulin made by your body than the old insulins of the past. People react better to them and they're less likely to cause low blood sugar. The medical society continues to learn about the cause and treatment of diabetes every day, which makes diabetes a much more manageable condition than it once was.