When You Take Too Much Insulin, This Is What Happens

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that makes it possible for the body to turn glucose into energy. It also helps keep blood glucose levels in balance. When the body cannot use insulin properly or make enough of it, it is called diabetes. With Type 1 diabetes, the body does not properly make insulin. In people with Type 2 diabetes, the body needs more insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal, but the pancreas becomes overworked over time and cannot do its job properly (via Healthline).

People with Type 1 diabetes must use insulin injections. For those with Type 2 diabetes, a change in lifestyle and diet can help control glucose levels. However, when those changes do not work for Type 2 patients, insulin supplements can help. Different types of insulin are prescribed, according to several factors including age, activity level, and how long it takes the body to absorb and metabolize insulin. Insulin is usually administered with a syringe or a pump, per Healthline.

Too much insulin can lead to a drop in glucose levels

Too much administered insulin, however, can be a bad thing. According to Medical News Today, when you take more than is necessary, it causes your blood cells to absorb more glucose than they need, resulting in hypoglycemia or low sugar amounts in the blood. Mild symptoms of hypoglycemia include anxiety, blurred or double vision, irritability, confusion, dizziness, and a rapid heart rate. To get more glucose into the blood, you can drink fruit juice, eat a piece of candy, or take a tablespoon of honey. Severe hypoglycemia can lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, and death.

It is important to treat severe hypoglycemia immediately. You can rub honey on the inside of the cheek of someone who is experiencing severe hypoglycemia to help them. However, if they are unconscious, do not try to put anything in their mouth and instead call for emergency help. When in the hospital, a person with severe hypoglycemia will most likely receive an intravenous solution that will help normalize their blood sugar levels (per Medical News Today).