I’ve been put on steroids due to an asthma attack. The doctor advised me this would impact how my body reacts to insulin. I’m on day 2 currently and my sugar levels have gone three the roof. So far I’ve taken 90 units of quick acting insulin (normally I only take about 25 all day), I’ve eaten less and my sugars are still high. Has anyone else experienced this and got any tips how to lower my sugar levels?

Hi @Streagus . I can’t respond specifically to your question about steroids but when my numbers are in my case over 300, no amount of insulin will bring them down until I wash out any ketones. One or two classes of water typically start the process for me although it may take a couple of hours to see the start of a very slow drop. After a while it starts moving more quickly for me although your pattern may be different.
Since this is your second day and it’s a weekend you might check in with your endo to see if you should continue trying to manage at home or at what point you should go to the hospital for help to avoid DKA.

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@Streagus Hi Sarah and welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum!

Steroids, even a small amount, are horrid in the way they affect BGL; I’ve had a couple of experiences with them and this is what I found worked FOR ME - it may work for you.

A couple of years ago following eye surgery I needed two tiny dropr per day of a steroid in one eye. As I expected, my BGL was elevated for the entire month I was using these two drops and found that the most effective diabetes management was increasing my basal/background insulin as well as adjusting my “Bolus : Carbohydrate Ratios” [B:Cr] so I’d take more insulin every time I ate. I use a pump so this was relatively simple. I created a pump profile where each of my timed periods throughout the day provided more basal insulin - over the course of the day I needed on average about 35% more basal insulin in addition to slightly more insulin with each meal.

This past summer, I needed a heavy dose of steroid during orthopedic surgery, and as expected my BGL was over 300 during the night folloeing the injection and to keep it relatively steady, but not bringd BG down, I took rapid-acting insulin every 3 hours - I didn’t want to overdue my body until I knew my brain was functioning properly. The next morning I started the prearranged pump profile that would give me additional basal of 140%. Even though the steroid was a single shot, the steroid kept my BGL elevated for about s month - as the weeks went on, I could gradually lower the basal from the 150% until I was back to “normal”

Both my steroid experiences were short-term and not continuing or ongoing like yours will be, so you will need to develop some strategy that works for you. It is going to be tough for you, but from what I’ve experienced I think your best way is to take more basal or background insulin. I’m not a “medic”, so I’m only sharing what I’ve experienced.

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Yup, steroids will pop your sugar… typically folks increase bolus and basals by 40%… if that doesn’t work, keep experimenting with different increases/decreases.
Re: Ketones - are due to a lack of insulin to cover BG so the best way to treat them is via increased insulin.

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Hi @Streagus funny you should ask, I’m on prednisone right now. In my opinion, long acting or basal rate (if you pump) and meal insulin typically have to be adjusted. I’m on 200% basal (twice my normal basal rate) and I’m taking almost twice my normal insulin for meals, and I’ve been in pretty good range at day 3 of 5 for the steroid. Please work with a doctor and test often. Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

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