What Happens If I Forget?
Life is busy. No matter how good you usually are at managing your diabetes, there may be times when you may forget to take your insulin. While it may not cause an immediate emergency in most cases, it can cause your blood sugar to increase, especially if you forget often. You should talk with your diabetes care team about what to do if you forget a dose, so you have a plan in place.
When your blood sugar is too high, you may notice some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Feeling hungry
- Feeling very thirsty
- Feeling tired or exhausted
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
What will happen if I stop taking insulin?
Some days you may feel like you want to skip injections, but you should be aware that skipping insulin can cause serious problems.
Without enough insulin, your blood sugar will increase. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can make you feel unwell and can lead to emergencies such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)—a condition where your body is producing an unsafe level of ketones. Ketones are natural substances that are created when fat is being used for energy instead of sugar (since people with diabetes don’t make enough insulin on their own to properly process blood sugar), but too many ketones in your blood can cause unsafe changes in blood chemistry. Skipping insulin can also lead to other issues, like infections and increased risk for long-term health problems.
Lowering the risk of long-term problems
If blood sugar is consistently higher than it should be, it may increase the risk of some diabetes-related problems. That’s why it’s so important to keep your blood sugar at the levels recommended by your health care provider—to help to reduce the risk of these problems.
Your health care providers will look out for signs of these problems during your routine checkups. The tests they perform, such as urine and blood tests, and eye and foot examinations, can give important early warning signs of problems at a stage when they can be treated before they cause major damage.
Taking control of diabetes
It is important to learn how to manage your diabetes and how to balance your food intake, insulin doses, and physical activity. Maintaining good blood sugar control can help reduce the risk of some long-term problems.