Insulin Dosage

There is no standard dose of insulin that will work for all people or even for the same person in all situations. For example, a long-acting insulin is typically taken just once a day, while rapid-acting insulins are taken before meals. To help determine the best dose for your particular situation, your healthcare provider may recommend that you check your blood sugar levels before and after meals and count the carbohydrate content of your meals.

Insulin Dosage: An Introduction

The dose of insulin your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
 
  • The carbohydrate content of your meals
  • Your blood sugar goals (which can vary from person to person)
  • Your blood sugar levels
  • Other medications you are taking, including other diabetes medications
  • Other medical conditions you may have.
     
As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically instructs you to do so.
 

Insulin Dosing Guidelines

There is no one "standard" insulin dose that will work for all people or even for the same person in all situations. Different types of insulin are dosed differently. For instance, long-acting insulins are taken just once (or sometimes twice) a day, while rapid-acting insulins are taken before meals.
 
There are also different systems for calculating an appropriate insulin dose. "Sliding scale" insulin dosing is used to calculate how much insulin it will take to bring a high blood sugar reading down to normal. This is rarely recommended as the main way to dose insulin, because it allows blood sugar levels to frequently be high and for extended periods of time.
 
You may be asked to measure your blood sugar levels before and after meals, and your healthcare provider may recommend carbohydrate counting. Both of these things can help you and your healthcare provider know how to dose your insulin. In general, smaller doses of insulin are necessary after meals with a low-carbohydrate content, while larger doses are necessary after meals with a high-carbohydrate content.
 
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