Spiking from Coffee/ Caffeine SOS

i am on the pump and cannot figure out a way to drink coffee without spiking. i don’t know if i should be bolusing for it, and if i need to bolus, how much do i bolus. the most caffeine i have in my day to day diet is an occasional can of diet pepsi. other than that, i live in a caffeine-free world. (and i would love to have some caffeine.) the weird thing is, i can’t even drink de-caff without spiking. go figure that out :wink:

does anyone else have this problem, and if yes, what do you do about it???

i know this must sound a bit spoiled and silly, but i know that i don’t have to be limited by my D and there has got to be someone out there who knows that whatever the problem is, it is not petty.

thanks in advance,
Daisy Mae

@daisymae Are you talking about regular black coffee? AFAIK that should be a free food.

And if I had to take 100 units to keep from spiking from a cup of Joe, I would just buy more insulin. Nothing would keep me from my morning cup.


@daisymae caffeine acts very similarly to a regular hormone I believe. I know it is a common thing for some diabetics to spike on.

Since you know you spike on it, I figure that trying to bolus for it is worth trying. With my boy, I find that hormone peaks have a different correction ratio from food. So you might want to tread carefully to start with. But I don’t see why you would not be able to deal with it!

My suggestion would be to start with 1/3 the correction you would give for carb induced highs, and pre bolus by 20 minutes, then progressively increase the correction ratio and pre bolus advance until it works right!

If you do that you should have a coffee correction thread!


I bolus for black coffee—pretty sure the caffeine spikes my blood sugar a little, by causing some increased liver glucose release. It used to do it a lot more, but as I’ve gotten more addicted to my daily coffee, I react less. I’ve definitely heard this from other diabetics before—in fact, it was a diabetic commenting somewhere about how a barista swapping out decaf for regular could really hurt her because she takes insulin for regular coffee that made me realize I should consider taking insulin for mine/that that might be a contributor to my morning blood sugar issues.

I agree with @Michel’s approach—I usually end up taking a couple of units, taken with my first sip but I’m a slow coffee drinker, so it’s still basically a pre-bolus for the bulk of it.

1 Like

I am not on a pump, so I am not sure if this would be of any help to you. I am on MDI, Novolog and Levemir. I love my morning coffee, but it spikes my BG by a huge amount. What seems to work for me: If I drink a 12 ounce cup of coffee, I have to drink at least 12 ounces or more of water. When I do that, I don’t spike, if I don’t then I do spike. I tested this over several days to make sure. I eat the same thing every morning, so I know the coffee is the culprit. I assume it is the caffeine. What I don’t understand, a Coke Zero doesn’t spike my BG. I drink several cups of decaf green tea throughout the day, and that doesn’t affect my BG. I sympathize with you, nothing really can take the place of a morning cup of coffee. I hope someone has a trick that will work for you.

1 Like

@literaturesnob18, interesting!I wonder then if it’s dehydration in the morning that is concentrating blood glucose?
Everyone’s different but IMO coffee is worth a little insulin. Especially after a few nights of being up with Dexcom alarms!!


This is really fascinating.

There is SO MUCH that can be learned when we share experiences with others who are experimentally minded!

1 Like

@daisymae, I am really hoping that you are going to do some experiments and report on them on the forum! I’d love to see what you find out and how you are bale to indulge your love for caffeine :slight_smile: But this would also add a significant piece of knowledge to our collective experiences.

thx michel, since i have been in this “experimental” mode (as w/ my swimming) i should have no reason to give the coffee a try. and then i could report my experiences.

it makes me feel so good when i get encouragement from others like yourself to share my experiences.

Daisy Mae.

1 Like

Thankfully coffee doesn’t spike me, but since you are on a pump you could try the square or extended bolus for the duration you are drinking your coffee.

Afrezza is the only way I can keep from spiking when drinking coffee. Afrezza can be used while on pump therapy as just another tool to manage the first meal spikes. I use it in conjunction with Novolog all the time. You don’t have to switch entirely to it as your sole insulin. Every thing has its use in the tool chest, just use the right one for the job. :slight_smile:


i love your attitude. b/c of other meds i need to take, i cannot take Afrezza. :disappointed_relieved:

thx though,
Daisy Mae

Daisy Mae, does cold brew coffee affect you the same way as drip coffee?

i have to admit that i have never tried cold brewed coffee. i have only tried the drip. what is cold brew and how do you react to it any differently?

I also find this interesting. Thankfully I don’t spike with coffee at all (I drink it with a tsp of half & half and a few drops of liquid Stevia). I shudder to think how I would be in the morning without strong (and I mean real strong cup or 3 of freshly brewed java). :scream_cat:


Cold brew is made with coarsely ground medium roast coffe which is then infused on the counter or in the fridge (recipes vary) for 12+ hours. The coffee is less acidic and has smooth chocolate notes. You can make hot coffee with the concentrate or serve over ice with extra water added to taste. I like mine with half-and-half or cream, which heightens the chocolate notes.

I make mine at home but you can try it at Starbucks but be sure to specify unsweetened!


Note to self…defer all coffee questions to CatLady…


LOL :smile_cat:

1 Like

I saw “Cold Brew” at Sam’s club, but didn’t buy it because I had no idea if it would be of any benefit. Having just read your post, I am going to give it a try. Every little benefit that might help me enjoy a cup of coffee without excessive worry about a post consumption spike is great. Even when I do everything that “usually” works, some days I have spikes that I cannot account for, so adding cold brew seems like a good idea. Thanks for the info!

1 Like

@CatLady On a hot day I really do like to have an iced cold brew coffee, but half the time by the time I get to Starbucks they’re out of it.

I just bought a cold brew bottle on your recommendation. Thank you @CatLady!

1 Like