My diabetic truth.

Allison Nimlos, a very well known and respected blogger, (though she’s Known for way more than just blogging) that I came to find through the diabetes online community wrote a wonderful piece titled Seven things for an under 7% A1c.

In there she commented about something I have known about and participated in myself. Carb denial. Check out her post, if you haven’t already, but I am sure you can come up with what this means. Basically eating a certain amount of carbs but not calculating the right amount of insulin for it. Eating 70g of carbs but pretending like you only had about half of that. Which inevitably means that you may not be getting the right amount of insulin needed.

That got me thinking, what else am I in denial about..

Insulin denial.

Eating the carbs and taking the right amount of insulin but not being honest with others/myself with how much insulin I am actually taking in a day. Does that make sense? I eat 50g of carbs, which let’s say equals about 4-5 units of insulin. Cool. Taken. Done. Moving on.

But when I am asked how much insulin I ACTUALLY use in a day I might only admit to about half.

There is this weird question of, “How much is too much insulin?”

Some say there is no such thing as too much, just not enough. While others try to keep their daily dosage down in the teens. Which way is right and which way is wrong? Or maybe it isn’t so black and white? Maybe it’s just what your body needs. So I have decided to keep an insulin log from now, started on the 2nd actually, until my pump training begins so that I can give the proper information needed. And answer the age old question, “How much insulin do you use?”

 

I’ve found that it really varies but I personally take anywhere between 20-40 units of “fast acting” insulin along with my 40 units of “long acting” insulin (split into two shots) a day. I read some where that with your body mass and then calculating yadda-yadda-yadda you’re supposed to be taking x amount of insulin.

I think mine came up to 80 units a day. Usually I am under that by about 10ish.

Now, I may be wrong. Or I may even be over thinking some of this but I thought I would keep a log just in case my doctor/OmniPod training rep asks for such information. No more carb denial and no more insulin denial.

Do you worry about how much insulin you’re taking in a day?

Is this something that shouldn’t really be a concern? Let me know your thoughts.

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6 Comments

  1. The amount of insulin you take should correspond to your particular body size and metabolism (so the bigger and/or slower you are, the more you need) and of course, the food that you eat. As long as you are taking the insulin you need, I don’t see how there would be an issue. The one thing to keep in mind is that insulin is often a reflection of how much you eat, so if you notice that you are starting to take more, it could be an indicator that you are eating more/exercising less than you used to be. Purposefully keeping your doses low can either be bad (diabulimia) or a method to eat lower carb meals and prevent blood sugar excursions from higher carb meals. It really just depends on your thinking and how you approach your diabetes management. Great question though!

  2. When I was on the pump it was easier to see how much I took because it was always there. Anywhere between 35-50u/day.
    Since switching to shots I’m on about 22of lantus and LATELY I like to keep my rapid as low as possible. It’s usually around 10-12u/day but that could obviously go way up if I’m having a day of extra carbs or a pre-period week of highs.
    I know that my insulin usage correlates to poor health from MY OWN EXPERIENCE. Either I gain weight or I feel sluggish because it means I’m consuming more carbs and I’m high more often.
    Either way it usually doesn’t matter for most people. I’ve known some people to go through hundreds of units of rapid per day and it was just what their body required.

    • Thanks for sharing. The question came up when my husband and I were trying to calculate how much insulin I thought I used per day because he didn’t think I needed all 200 units that go in a pod. I told him that I probably did which lead him to question if I was taking too much at times. I go low sometimes but it isn’t due to too much insulin on board.

      Currently I am trying to get healthier and I know that sometimes, at a heavier weight, I will need more insulin. I didn’t think 20-40 of rapid insulin was too bad. Haha. I have spoken with others who take a whole heck of a lot more and are just fine and dandy.

  3. I think Allison is right on with her comment. I don’t believe there’s an inherent problem with needing a lot or a little insulin, but variances in those daily doses are clear indicators of changes in how much food we eat and how much exercise we get (or not). And those things are behaviors which may have a real effect on health.

    • I agree. I suppose I didn’t think about ALL the variants in why a person would use more or less insulin.

      I just wasn’t sure if I was using too much. I’m on the road to getting a bit healthier so perhaps I’ll end up needing less. Or maybe it’ll stay the same.

      Our bodies, much like diabetes, fall into the whole, “it’s the not the same for everyone.”

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