When Should You Bolus? Every Body Is Different!

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In 2014, Reddit user Sideburnt requested help figuring out when to bolus for a meal.

Redditors came back with a wide range of responses, reminding us that everybody’s body and everybody’s diabetes is a little bit different. We all react differently to food and boluses. So don’t get discouraged if you feel like you can’t get bolus timing down! It may take a while to figure out what your body needs.

We hope you find this list of comments a little bit humorous, a little bit reassuring, and perhaps a little bit helpful for figuring out your own bolus routine. We don’t recommend taking medical advice from Reddit, but knowing what has worked well for others may help you if you’re in the middle of a guess-and-check process with your insulin boluses. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before making any big changes in your insulin schedule.

Read on to learn when these 9 Redditors bolus for a meal.

(NOTE: Some comments have been edited for length or grammar.)

9. The “old faithful” method.

“10 mins before eating. Or 10 minutes after when I forget I have diabetes.” —Reddit user ABLA7

Salmon salad

8. Wait till your brain works.

“If I am a bit high, I take it around 15 minutes before eating. If I am really high, then even earlier than that (though I rarely test more than 15 minutes before eating). If I’m a bit low, I take it right before I eat. If I am really low, I eat, figure out how much to take when my brain works, and inject after.” —Reddit user jibbybonk

7. Before, during, or after.

“When I take my bolus depends on what I’m eating and what exercise I’ve done earlier in the day or am about to do and BG level before the meal. So anywhere between 5 minutes before eating to various points throughout the meal and sometimes just afterwards. I’m quite insulin sensitive though, so I have the opposite problem in that the insulin usually starts acting before the food does, hence why I often take it in the middle or after.” —Reddit user jUllrich

6. Depends on the meal.

“I have spent some time looking at when I inject versus the post-meal spike using my CGM. I now wait 30 minutes before breakfast after bolusing and 15-20 minutes for lunch and supper. Seems to have prevented most crazy spikes regardless of what I eat.” —Reddit user Guineapiggy3

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Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?