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How Much Is A Unit Of Insulin?

Insulin-to-carb Ratios Made Easy

Insulin-to-carb Ratios Made Easy

For those who take rapid-acting insulin at mealtimes and want any degree of meal planning flexibility, it is necessary to apply something known as insulin-to-carb (I:C) ratios. Now, if the mere thought of having to do math at every meal sends shivers up your spine, don’t despair. This is something that even the “mathematically challenged” can master in no time. The Method Behind the Mathematics One of the basic assumptions we make in the use of I:C ratios is that dietary carbohydrates, which include sugars, starches and fiber, are responsible for raising blood sugar levels after meals. Fiber, however, is usually not counted since it does not break down completely and does not raise blood sugar levels. And fat and protein have minimal short-term effects, particularly when consumed as part of a carbohydrate-containing meal. The rapid-acting insulin that we give at mealtimes is designed to offset the blood sugar rise induced by the carbohydrates. In most cases, insulin analogs such as aspart (Novolog/Novorapid), lispro (Humalog) or glulisine (Apidra) are used at meals. However, Regular insulin (Humulin R, Novolin R) may be used, but it tends to be less effective because of its slower action. Whichever insulin is used, success comes from matching the dose to the amounts of carbohydrate eaten. This is where I:C ratios come in. The I:C ratio specifies how many grams of carbohydrate are “covered” by each unit of insulin. For example, a 1-unit-per-10-grams-of-carb (1:10) ratio means that one unit of insulin covers 10 grams of carbohydrate. A 1:20 ratio means that each unit covers 20 grams. Calculating a meal or snack dose becomes simple when you know your I:C ratio: Simply divide your carbs by your ratio. If each unit covers 10g and you have a modest 20g meal, you wil Continue reading >>

Ask D'mine: A Killing Dose Of Insulin

Ask D'mine: A Killing Dose Of Insulin

Hey, All: if you've got questions about life with diabetes, then you've come to the right place! That would be our weekly diabetes advice column, Ask D'Mine, hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and clinical specialist Wil Dubois. Today, Wil tackles a very serious question that we hope is just one of genuine curiosity. It's about suicide, a sensitive topic to be approached with the utmost caution. Read on to see how Wil responds... {Got your own questions? Email us at [email protected]} Anonymous, type 1 from California, asks: How much insulin would you need to take to kill yourself? [email protected] D’Mine answers: First off, don’t kill yourself. Second off, if you are determined to do it, don’t use insulin. It’s slow and unreliable, with a distinct risk that the attempt will leave you permanently damaged, rather than dead. More on that in a bit. But first, let’s start the day by talking about the different ways to end your day. The Wikipedia entry on suicide methods lists the following ways to usher yourself out of this world: Bleeding, drowning, suffocation, hypothermia, electrocution, jumping from height, using a firearm, hanging, ligature compression, vehicular impact from trains or cars, taking poison, not treating a disease, immolation (including throwing oneself into a volcano), starvation, dehydration, and suicide attack—sometimes called Suicide by Cop. The entry even includes a discussion on the use of homemade guillotines as a way of suicide. But no mention of insulin. That’s odd. Or maybe not, because, as I mentioned, insulin is a crappy tool to try to use to kill yourself. Not surprisingly, studies of insulin suicides are somewhat scarce, but one looked at 160 insulin suicide attempts and found that 94.7% of the PWDs fully recovered, 2.7% Continue reading >>

Calculating Insulin Dose

Calculating Insulin Dose

You'll need to calculate some of your insulin doses. You'll also need to know some basic things about insulin. For example, 40-50% of the total daily insulin dose is to replace insulin overnight. Your provider will prescribe an insulin dose regimen for you; however, you still need to calculate some of your insulin doses. Your insulin dose regimen provides formulas that allow you to calculate how much bolus insulin to take at meals and snacks, or to correct high blood sugars. In this section, you will find: First, some basic things to know about insulin: Approximately 40-50% of the total daily insulin dose is to replace insulin overnight, when you are fasting and between meals. This is called background or basal insulin replacement. The basal or background insulin dose usually is constant from day to day. The other 50-60% of the total daily insulin dose is for carbohydrate coverage (food) and high blood sugar correction. This is called the bolus insulin replacement. Bolus – Carbohydrate coverage The bolus dose for food coverage is prescribed as an insulin to carbohydrate ratio. The insulin to carbohydrate ratio represents how many grams of carbohydrate are covered or disposed of by 1 unit of insulin. Generally, one unit of rapid-acting insulin will dispose of 12-15 grams of carbohydrate. This range can vary from 6-30 grams or more of carbohydrate depending on an individual’s sensitivity to insulin. Insulin sensitivity can vary according to the time of day, from person to person, and is affected by physical activity and stress. Bolus – High blood sugar correction (also known as insulin sensitivity factor) The bolus dose for high blood sugar correction is defined as how much one unit of rapid-acting insulin will drop the blood sugar. Generally, to correct a high bloo Continue reading >>

Mysugr Bolus Calculator – Get Help With Your Insulin Dose (currently Available In Eu)

Mysugr Bolus Calculator – Get Help With Your Insulin Dose (currently Available In Eu)

back to Overview It's time for lunch. Your blood sugar is 165 mg/dl (9.2 mmol/L). You have a big slice of pizza, a bag of chips, and a cold Diet Coke waiting for you. How much insulin do you take? I can think of a few ways this goes: There’s not much to think about. You always eat the same thing and always take the same amount of insulin. You define the phrase “creature of habit.” You hate thinking about all of this stuff, so you just guess. You love doing a bunch of math before every meal, so calculating your insulin dose is fun and easy. I can relate to the first two. There’s a lot of value in routine, and I’ve also done my share of guesstimating. That last one? Enjoying all of the diabetes math? I’m sorry. That’s just weird. (I’m teasing. Kind of…) But there’s another option, and it makes thinking about your insulin doses easier and more precise. I’m talking about a bolus calculator. If you wear an insulin pump, you’re probably already using one (they’re often built in). You’re welcome to stay and read, but there’s not much new information for you here. However, if you’re using injections (syringes or pens), like most people with diabetes, then stick around. This article should be helpful. So you don’t have (or want) an insulin pump, but I bet you have a smartphone. What does that mean? It means that you should meet mySugr’s Bolus Calculator. It’s a module integrated into the mySugr app that helps with your insulin doses (note: mySugr Bolus Calculator is currently approved for use in Europe). What the heck is a “bolus,” you ask? Great question. A bolus, in our case, is a single dose of insulin given all at once. In other words, it’s your mealtime shot or a shot to fix a high blood sugar. mySugr’s Bolus Calculator examines Continue reading >>

How Much Insulin Do You Need?

How Much Insulin Do You Need?

Getty ImagesIf you have type 2 diabetes and your doctor thinks it might be a good time to start insulin therapy, there are two important factors to consider: How much insulin do you need to take? When do you need to take it? And both are very personal. "You can't paint everyone with type 2 diabetes with the same brush," says Mark Feinglos, MD, division chief of endocrinology, metabolism, and nutrition at the Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C. "You need to tailor the regimen to an individual's needs." A person with type 2 diabetes might start off on half a unit of insulin per kilogram of body weight per day, especially if there is not much known about the nature of his or her diabetes. Still, it is not unusual to need more like 1 unit, says Dr. Feinglos. (One unit per kilogram would be 68 units per day for someone who weighs 150 pounds, which is about 68 kilograms.) Testing Each DayI test morning, evening, and before meals Watch videoMore about blood sugar monitoring A lot depends on your specific health situation. People with type 2 diabetes suffer from insulin resistance, a situation in which the body loses its ability to use the hormone properly. Early in the course of the disease, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas respond to insulin resistance by churning out even more of the hormone. Over time, though, insulin production declines. Taking insulin can help you overcome the body's insulin resistance, though many factors can affect your dosage. If your body is still sensitive to insulin but the pancreas is no longer making much insulin, for example, Dr. Feinglos says that you would require less insulin than someone who is really resistant to insulin. "But the most important issue is not necessarily how much you need to take," he adds. "Rather, Continue reading >>

How To Read An Insulin Syringe

How To Read An Insulin Syringe

As with all medicine, it is important to take the right dose each time ​ ​​Injecting yourself with the right dose of insulin is very important. This is why you need to know how to read a syringe. ​ Parts of an Insulin Syringe An insulin syringe has three parts: a needle, a barrel and a plunger. The needle is short and thin. It is made of a special material that allows the needle to slide through the skin easily with less pain. It comes with a cap to cover and protect it before it is used. The barrel is the plastic chamber that holds the insulin. It is marked with lines (calibrations) on the side. The lines show you how many units of insulin you are injecting. The plunger is the long thin rod that slides up and down the inside of the barrel. Its function is to either draw the insulin into the barrel or push the insulin out of the barrel through the needle. It has a rubber seal at the lower end to prevent insulin from leaking out. The rubber seal is fitted in such a way that it matches the line on the barrel. Syringes are meant for one-time use. Once used, they must be thrown away in special puncture-proof containers. How to Know What Syringe Size to Choose Insulin syringes come in different sizes. Syringe Size Number of Units the Syringe Holds 0.25 ml 25 0.30 ml 30 0.50 ml 50 1.00 ml 100 The larger the syringe size, the more insulin it can hold. When choosing the size of a syringe, consider: the number of units of insulin you need, and how well you can see the line markings on the barrel. Go for the smallest syringe size you can for the dose of insulin you need. This is because the lines on the barrel of small syringes are further apart and easier to see. How to Read a Syringe When measuring the amount of insulin, read from the top ring (needle side), and not the Continue reading >>

Your Insulin Therapy

Your Insulin Therapy

Your doctor has given you insulin to help control your diabetes. You need two kinds of insulin: basal and mealtime insulin. Sometimes insulin is premixed for you. Keep a record of your blood sugar and insulin shots every day so the amounts of insulin can be changed to fit your lifestyle. Your basal insulin type and dose are (your doctor will fill in the blanks): NPH insulin: Inject _____ units at ____ a.m. and _____ units at _____ p.m. Ultralente or glargine (Lantus): inject ____ units at _______ a.m./p.m. Basal insulin provides steady levels of insulin. NPH lasts 10 to 16 hours. Ultralente and glargine last 24 hours. Take your basal insulin at the same time every day. Do not skip your basal insulin shots, even if you are sick. Your body still needs the basal insulin. Do not mix glargine with other insulins. NPH can be mixed. Do not take glargine if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Your basal insulin dose should be increased every seven days until your fasting blood sugar level is between 90 and 130 mg per dL. Talk to your doctor about how much to increase your dose. Low blood sugar (this is called hypoglycemia) can happen if you take too much insulin. Symptoms of low blood sugar include shakiness, weakness, dizziness, confusion, and headache. Some people may not have symptoms. Check your blood sugar level if you have any of these symptoms. You also should check your blood sugar level during your insulin's peak of activity (talk to your doctor about this). If your blood sugar level is below 70 mg per dL, follow the Rule of 15: Eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrates (e.g., one half glass of orange juice or one slice of bread). Wait 15 minutes, and test your blood sugar level again. If your blood sugar level is still below 70 mg per dL, do steps 1 and 2 ag Continue reading >>

1 Unit Insulin Lowers Glucose By How Much? Calculating Insulin/carb Ratio

1 Unit Insulin Lowers Glucose By How Much? Calculating Insulin/carb Ratio

Remember High School algebra? Problem after problem wondering, when am I EVER going to use this? I sure remember thinking that on more than one occasion. Well, it turns out math does have more practical application than balancing your checkbook, keeping a budget, and calculating tips for servers. If you have type 2 diabetes, simple math may be crucial to keeping blood glucose under control. Why? As it turns out, the total amount of carbohydrates is the single most significant factor in maintaining blood glucose control. While many other factors play a role – such as meal timing, quality of food choices, balance of food groups etc – consistently maintaining the proper number of carbohydrates at meal times is most significant. Foods Really Matter This means it is not only key to choose complex carbohydrate (not simple sugars) whole foods sources, but also to be conscientious of the amount of carbohydrates you regularly consume. The amount of carbohydrates to eat per day is a hot issue of debate, with recommendations ranging from 20 to 200+ grams per day! In most cases 200 grams is way too much for a diabetic, research indicating that a lower carb diet is best for glucose control. Still, what is best for you will depend on many factors including your height, weight, age, physical activity level, and how your body responds to carbs. Some people are much more sensitive than others. For example, some people can eat brown rice and oatmeal, while in many cases people find it difficult to control their blood glucose while still eating these high carb foods. It will take working with a team of trusted professionals and probably some trial and error to find out what works best for you as an individual. In theory, the more consistent your carbohydrate consumption is (all other Continue reading >>

How Much Does 1 Unit Of Insulin Bring Your Sugar Down

How Much Does 1 Unit Of Insulin Bring Your Sugar Down

Question Originally asked by Community Member karen How Much Does 1 Unit Of Insulin Bring Your Sugar Down Using a chart to give my mother her insulin, sometimes it just seams its not bringing her sugar down to a lower level. Answer The “correction factor” is the term used for the amount of insulin a person needs in order to bring their blood sugar down to 120. It is different for everyone! Your mother’s endocrinologist should have a note of what this dose has been in the past, but you can also figure this out purely by conducting SAFE trial and error. If her blood sugar is at 200, try giving her one unit of insulin and test her blood sugar a half hour later, and then an hour later. If it’s still high, give another. For example, in MY body, if my blood sugar is at 200, I take two units of insulin to bring it down to 100 to 120. If I was going to be doing any exercise also at this time, i would only take one unit as my “correction factor” because the exercise would help bring the blood sugar down, too. Ginger You should know Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Continue reading >>

U-500 Insulin: How Much Do You Know?

U-500 Insulin: How Much Do You Know?

In the case of significant insulin resistance (defined as needing more than 200 units per day), multiple injections of insulin are needed throughout the day to keep the blood sugar in check. There is no written rule about the maximum volume of insulin that can be absorbed by the subcutaneous tissue at one time, but many prescribers will split an insulin dose into multiple injections when dose requirements are approaching 70 units in a single administration. An insulin pen can deliver 80 units, and the largest size insulin syringe can hold 100 units. So if your insulin dose is somewhere between 60 and 100 units, you might need more than one injection to deliver all of that insulin at one time. In order to avoid becoming a human needle cushion, concentrated insulins like Humulin R U-500 were developed. What is the difference in insulin concentrations? Most of the insulins on the market today are U-100 strength, meaning there are 100 units of insulin per mL. Examples are Regular insulin, NPH, 70/30 and other mixed insulin, glargine and detemir. U-500 concentrated insulin has 5 times the potency of U-100 insulin, giving 500 units per mL. By reducing the injected volume, better absorption, less injection discomfort and decreased number of injections can be experienced. Until recently, U-500 was the only concentrated form of insulin. Since 2015, two concentrated basal insulins U-300 {Glargine (Toujeo)} and U-200 {Degludec (Tresiba)} have become available in the US. These have a strength of 300 units per mL and 200 units mL, also resulting in smaller volumes injected. Dosing conversion charts are used to safely move from a U-100 insulin to U-500 insulin. Who needs U-500 insulin? Good candidates for U500 insulin are those whose total daily insulin dose exceeds 200 units per day Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Counting Carbs If You Use Insulin

Diabetes: Counting Carbs If You Use Insulin

Carbohydrate, or carb, counting is an important skill to learn when you have diabetes. Carb counting helps you keep tight control of your blood sugar (glucose) level. It also gives you the flexibility to eat what you want. This can help you feel more in control and confident when managing your diabetes. Carb counting helps you keep your blood sugar at your target level. It allows you to adjust the amount of insulin you take. This amount is based on how many grams of carbs you eat at a meal or snack. The formula used to find how much insulin you need is called the insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio. The insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio is not the same for each person. You and your doctor will find your ratio by keeping track of the food you eat and testing your blood sugar level after meals. To count carb grams at a meal, you need to know how many carbs are in each type of food you eat. This includes all food, whether it is a slice of bread, a bowl of lettuce, or a spoonful of salad dressing. Most packaged foods have labels that tell you how many total carbs are in one serving. Carbohydrate guides can help too. You can get these from diabetes educators and the American Diabetes Association. To find out how many carbs are in food that is not packaged, you will need to know standard portions of carbohydrate foods. Each serving size or standard portion has about 15 grams of carbs. By using the number of grams of carbs in a meal, you can figure out how much insulin to take. This is based on your personal insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio. For example: Your doctor may advise you to take 1 unit of rapid-acting insulin for every 10 to 15 grams of carbs you eat. So if your meal has 50 grams of carbs and your doctor says you need 1 unit of insulin for every 10 grams of carbs, you would need Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin

Type 2 Diabetes And Insulin

Getting Started When most people find out they have Type 2 diabetes, they are first instructed to make changes in their diet and lifestyle. These changes, which are likely to include routine exercise, more nutritious food choices, and often a lower calorie intake, are crucial to managing diabetes and may successfully lower blood glucose levels to an acceptable level. If they do not, a drug such as glyburide, glipizide, or metformin is often prescribed. But lifestyle changes and oral drugs for Type 2 diabetes are unlikely to be permanent solutions. This is because over time, the pancreas tends to produce less and less insulin until eventually it cannot meet the body’s needs. Ultimately, insulin (injected or infused) is the most effective treatment for Type 2 diabetes. There are many barriers to starting insulin therapy: Often they are psychological; sometimes they are physical or financial. But if insulin is begun early enough and is used appropriately, people who use it have a marked decrease in complications related to diabetes such as retinopathy (a diabetic eye disease), nephropathy (diabetic kidney disease), and neuropathy (nerve damage). The need for insulin should not be viewed as a personal failure, but rather as a largely inevitable part of the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. This article offers some practical guidance on starting insulin for people with Type 2 diabetes. When to start insulin Insulin is usually started when oral medicines (usually no more than two) and lifestyle changes (which should be maintained for life even if oral pills or insulin are later prescribed) have failed to lower a person’s HbA1c level to less than 7%. (HbA1c stands for glycosylated hemoglobin and is a measure of blood glucose control.) However, a recent consensus statement from Continue reading >>

How Do I Correct My Blood Sugar Level With An Insulin Dose For Diabetes?

How Do I Correct My Blood Sugar Level With An Insulin Dose For Diabetes?

Extra insulin taken because of a high blood sugar level before a meal is called correction insulin. Just as you need to establish an insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio, you should try to figure out your individual correction factor, the approximate fall in blood glucose level that you expect from a unit of insulin. Obviously, no one can ever know that number exactly because it will vary somewhat from one situation to another. But with a little trial and error, you can usually figure out that 1 unit of insulin will lower your blood sugar by about 25 points, by 30 points, or by whatever you determine to be your number. You'll have to go through some trial-and-error testing, keeping careful records, just as you did with the insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio for food. For most people, it's reasonable to start with the assumption that 1 unit of insulin will lower the glucose by 50 points and then set a target for the upper-limit premeal number you'll accept. For example, you might decide to correct for any glucose number over 120 before meals and assume at the beginning that 1 unit of insulin will drop you by 50 points. If your premeal blood sugar level is between 121 and 170, or up to 50 points above the 120 mark, you'd take 1 extra unit of insulin; if it is between 171 and 220, or between 51 and 100 points above the 120 mark, you'd take 2 extra units; if it is between 221 and 270, or between 101 and 150 points above the 120 mark, you'd take 3 extra units, and so on. If your correction insulin isn't lowering your sugar as much as it should or is lowering it too much, you'll have to adjust your correction factor up or down. You'll have to try 1 unit for every 30 points of glucose above your target or 1 unit for 25 points until you can reliably reach the proper range. You may have to Continue reading >>

Interactive Dosing Calculator

Interactive Dosing Calculator

Lantus® is a long-acting insulin analog indicated to improve glycemic control in adults and pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus and in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Lantus® should be administered once a day at the same time every day. Limitations of Use: Lantus® is not recommended for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis. Contraindications Lantus® is contraindicated during episodes of hypoglycemia and in patients hypersensitive to insulin glargine or one of its excipients. Warnings and Precautions Insulin pens, needles, or syringes must never be shared between patients. Do NOT reuse needles. Monitor blood glucose in all patients treated with insulin. Modify insulin regimen cautiously and only under medical supervision. Changes in insulin strength, manufacturer, type, or method of administration may result in the need for a change in insulin dose or an adjustment in concomitant oral antidiabetic treatment. Do not dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. If mixed or diluted, the solution may become cloudy, and the onset of action/time to peak effect may be altered in an unpredictable manner. Do not administer Lantus® via an insulin pump or intravenously because severe hypoglycemia can occur. Hypoglycemia is the most common adverse reaction of insulin therapy, including Lantus®, and may be life-threatening. Medication errors, such as accidental mix-ups between basal insulin products and other insulins, particularly rapid-acting insulins, have been reported. Patients should be instructed to always verify the insulin label before each injection. Severe life-threatening, generalized allergy, including anaphylaxis, can occur. Discontinue Lantus®, treat and monitor until symptoms resolve. A reduction in the Lantus® dose may be re Continue reading >>

Insulin Types And Amount

Insulin Types And Amount

Insulin & DAFNE DAFNE uses human genetically engineered insulin. There are other insulins, such as pork and beef, but here we concentrate on the insulins used in the DAFNE program. How much insulin do you need? In type 1 diabetes, most people need a total of 0.5 - 0.8 units of insulin per kilogram of body weight each day. Roughly half this insulin is needed for food intake, and half is the basal rate. In DAFNE half is therefore taken as long-acting insulin and this is divided into two injections of Levemir (detemir) insulin. One injection when you get up in the morning, and the other in the evening at bedtime. For most people, this is about 24 units in 24 hours. The amount of background insulin does not depend on what you eat, and the dose should be low enough to allow you to miss meals without the risk of low glucose (a hypo), whilst still keeping the glucose levels within the target range. The remainder of the total daily dose is taken at meal times, as a quick acting insulin. Sometimes these are given as insulin mixtures, but not in the DAFNE program. Quick-acting insulin The quick-acting (QA) part of the total daily dose is taken at meal times, matched to the carbohydrate. Think of this as food-related insulin that is taken immediately before food. Generally, you need 1-3 units of insulin per carbohydrate portion (CP) at breakfast, and between 1-2 units QA insulin per CP at other meals. These ratio of QA : CP may vary depending on the time of day. Detail Everyone has different insulin needs...you learn how to calculate your own requirements on the DAFNE course. The quick acting insulins that are now popular in the UK are Humalog (Lispro) Novorapid (Aspart) Apidra (Glulisine) They start to work 15 minutes after the injections, and continue to lower glucose levels for Continue reading >>

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