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Diabetes

Adjusting Your Diabetes Medicine and Diet for a Barium Enema or Colonoscopy

The guidelines below will help you adjust your diabetes medicine and diet as you get ready for your test.

If you see a diabetes educator or diabetes specialist, contact them at least 1 week before your test to ask about adjusting your diabetes medicine or insulin.

Diet

  • Follow the instructions the GI Clinic gives you about what you can eat or drink before the test.
  • Treat the clear fluid days like a sick day. Use List 1 or 2 on the next page to choose what to eat and drink. Your diet can be changed to clear fluids in one of these ways:
    • If you count carbohydrates, try to drink the same amount of carbohydrate as you would eat at each meal and snack.
    • If you follow a meal pattern, any item from List 1 will replace 1 serving from the grains and starches, fruit, milk and alternatives, or other choices group.
    • If you don’t follow a special diet or meal plan, eat or drink 1 item from List 1 every hour.
  • If your blood sugar drops below 4.0 mmol/L or if you have symptoms of low blood sugar, take 15 grams of a carbohydrate-containing fluid from List 1.
    Test your blood sugar again in 15 minutes. If your blood sugar is still low, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate-containing fluid from List 1.
  • If you’re worried your blood sugar will run too low, take extra fluid from List 1.
List 1 - Fluids that have sugar (Each has about 15 grams of carbohydrates)(No fluids with red or purple dye.)List 2 - Fluids that are sugar-free​ (Choose as desired)(No fluids with red or purple dye.)
  • black tea, coffee, or water with 1 rounded tablespoon (15 mL) sugar or honey
  • ½ cup (125 mL) regular Jell-O®
  • ½ cup (125 mL) regular (sugar sweetened) Kool-Aid®
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) fruit drink or fruit juice without pulp (e.g., apple, white grape)
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) regular pop
  • 1 cup (250 mL) sports drinks (e.g., Gatorade®)
  • water
  • clear bouillon, broth, or consommé
  • diet pop
  • diet Kool-Aid® or Crystal-Lite®
  • black coffee or tea
  • diet popsicle
  • diet Jell-O®

Testing Your Blood Sugar

Test your blood sugar anytime you feel your blood sugar is low or high.

  • Test your blood sugar at least every 4 hours. Blood sugars in the range of 8 to 12 mmol/L are fine for these 2 days, even if it’s higher than your usual target.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes and your sugars are over 14 mmol/L,​ test your urine or blood for ketones.
    • If positive for ketones, you may need extra insulin. Moderate to large ketones may mean that you’re in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and need to go to the Emergency Department right away.
  • ​If you’re worried about your blood sugar level, speak with your healthcare provider or diabetes educator.
  • Adjusting Your Diabetes Medicine

    If You Take Insulin

    The Day Before the Test

    Morning

    • Basal Insulin: Take your regular dose of basal insulin (Humulin N®, Novolin® NPH, Lantus®, or Levemir®). Your dose will be units.
    • Premix Insulin: Reduce your dose of premix insulin (Humulin 30/70®, Novolin 30/70®, or Humalog 25/75®) by 25% (or the amount your healthcare provider tells you) for your breakfast meal. Your dose will be units.
    • Insulin Pump: Keep the same basal rate.

    Meals

    • Bolus (meal) Insulin: Reduce your dose of bolus (meal) insulin (Apidra®, Humalog®, NovoRapid®, Humulin R®, or Novolin® Toronto) by 25% (or the amount your healthcare provider tells you). You may need to reduce your dose of these meal insulins more if your blood sugar becomes low. Your dose will be units.
    • Premix Insulin: Reduce your dose of supper premix insulin (Humulin 30/70®, Novolin 30/70®, or Humalog 25/75®) by 25% (or the amount your healthcare provider tells you). Your dose will be units.

    Evening/Bedtime

    • Basal Insulin: Reduce your dose of basal insulin (Humulin N®, Novolin® NPH, Lantus®, Toujeo®, or Levemir®) by 25% (or the amount your healthcare provider tells you). Your dose will be units.
    • Insulin Pump:You may need to reduce your basal rate by 10% to 20% overnight if there are concerns about low blood sugar. If there are no concerns, keep the same basal rate.
    Test Day

    Morning

    • Bolus (meal) Insulin: Don’t take your morning meal (bolus) insulin (Apidra®, Humalog®, NovoRapid®, Humulin R®, or Novolin® Toronto).
    • Premix Insulin: Don’t take your morning premix insulin (Humulin 30/70®, Novolin 30/70®, or Humalog 25/75®).
    • Basal Insulin: Reduce your dose of basal insulin (Humulin N®, Novolin NPH®, Lantus®, Toujeo®, or Levemir®) by 25% (or the amount your healthcare provider tells you). Your dose will be units.
    • Insulin Pump: You may need to reduce your basal rate by 10% to 20% overnight if there are concerns about low blood sugar. If there are no concerns, keep the same basal rate.

    *Be sure to bring a source of fast-acting sugar and your blood glucose meter with you.

    After the Test

    • Premix Insulin: Reduce your morning dose of premix insulin (Humulin 30/70®, Novolin 30/70®, or Humalog 25/75®​) by 25% (or the amount your healthcare provider tells you) for your first meal after the test. Your dose will be units.
    • All other insulin: Take as prescribed.

    If You Take Diabetes Medicine other than Insulin

    The Day Before the Test
    • Take your medicine as usual in the morning and at lunch or as your healthcare provider tells you.
    • Don’t take any diabetes medicine with or after your supper unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
    Test Day
    • Don’t take any diabetes medicine until after your test is done and you’re eating. Then take it as per your scheduled dose.

    *Be sure to bring a source of fast-acting sugar and your blood glucose meter with you.

    For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.

Current as of: May 3, 2016

Author: Endocrinology and Metabolism Program, Alberta Health Services