Important Facts About Insulin Dosage
Diabetes is one of the most dangerous diseases that can affect the quality of your life adversely. However, thanks to modern medical science, we have medications such as insulin to help control the disease. While insulin is a great advantage in blood glucose control, it’s important that the insulin dosage be carefully monitored and administered. In order to get the most benefit from insulin, it’s mandatory that patients take the appropriate insulin dosage at the correct time and the correct type of insulin.
Patients who are suffering from diabetes should consult their physician regularly and be sure to take the appropriate dose of Insulin at the specified times. For instance rapid acting insulin is taken prior to meals whereas long-acting insulin is typically taken just once a day.
According to experts there is no generalized and standard insulin dose that will work for all people or even for the same person in every circumstance. Generally, to ensure the best insulin dose for a person, health care professionals recommend patients check the level of sugar in the blood before and after meals. People are also advised to count the carbohydrate content of their meals and snacks in their diet. So, on the whole we can say that the dose of insulin that your family doctor recommends will vary and the variation depends on a number of factors.
Some of those factors are:
- The amount of carbohydrate present in your meals
- The level of sugar in your blood
- Degree and impact of any other medications and remedies that you take
- Any other medical conditions that you are suffering and if you are taking any medications for them
Because there is no generalized and standard insulin dose that will work for all people, insulin dosage amounts vary from person to person, day to day, time of day, diet, exercise, stress levels and other medical conditions.
Types of Insulin
There are different types of insulin which act in different ways. Each type of insulin has its own preset onset, peak and duration times. Types range from:
- Rapid Acting – with an onset of 15 minutes, a peak within 30-90 minutes and a duration of 3-5 hours
- Short Acting – with an onset of 30-60 minutes, a peak within 2-4 hours and a duration of 5-8 hours
- Intermediate Acting – with an onset of 1-3 hours, a peak within 8 hours and a duration of 12-16 hours
- Long Acting – with an onset of 1 hour, which does not peak and a duration of 20-26 hours
- There are also a number of premixed insulin types which have a variety of onset, peak and duration times.
Your doctor will determine which type of insulin is best suited to you based on a number of criteria. But be aware that your dosage and type of insulin may change a few times until the perfect fit is found. Your doctor may also change dosage and type of insulin over time as different insulin types, brands, method of injection and your diabetes management progresses.
Basics on Insulin Dosage
Of the insulin dosage taken daily, approximately half is used to replace insulin from times of fasting – i.e. between meals and overnight. This type of dosage is called a ‘background’ or ‘basal insulin’ replacement. This dosage is typically a consistent amount from day to day.
The remainder half of the total insulin is considered ‘carbohydrate coverage’ and ‘high blood sugar correction’ and is termed the ‘bolus insulin replacement’. This dosage is prescribed as a carbohydrate to insulin ratio. This ratio represents the grams of carbs covered (or disposed of) by each unit of insulin.
Keep in mind that your insulin sensitivity can and will vary depending on time of day, diet, exercise and stress. Because of this, your insulin dose amounts as well as the type of insulin you are prescribed may be changed as you work with your doctor, nutritionist, regulate your exercise and physical activity and more. Patients with Diabetes will find that following prescribed dosages as well as all the recommendations by their doctors will allow them to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle.
To sum-up we can say that insulin is one of the most important medications that helps people manage their Diabetes; however the medication can have adverse effects if taken improperly. Dosages which are too high can result in low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia) and dosages which are too low, will result in dangerously. high blood sugar (Hyperglycemia) among other diabetes complications.