No particular insulin dosage is suitable for all diabetics. Even for any diabetic, the insulin dosage varies according to the different situations. Thus, a diabetic may take a long-acting insulin once each day and a rapid-acting insulin before each meal. To know the correct insulin dosage to be injected before a particular meal, the diabetic has to know the glycemic index of the carbohydrates to be consumed in that meal, and monitor the blood sugar levels before as well as after the meal.
Factors Determining Insulin Dosage
The insulin dosage recommended by your doctor will never be constant as the amount of insulin needed depends upon various factors, such as:
- Medications, including any other diabetes medications.
- The levels of blood sugar in your bloodstream.
- The blood sugar level you have to achieve.
- The glycemic index of the carbohydrates in your meals
- Other health problems you have.
However, unless advised by your doctor, never change the insulin dosage he has prescribed.
Calculating Volumes for Injection – Video Guide
Insulin Dosage – Guidelines
Each individual diabetic is given a dosage suitable only for him or her. The dosage given depends upon the amount necessary to control only this particular diabetic’s condition. Furthermore, the dosage for all other types of insulin are different from each other. For example, long-acting insulins which are injected only once daily and rapid-acting insulins for before meals have different dosage.
There are different ways to calculate the right insulin dose. For example, “sliding scale” insulin dosing is applied to measure the amount of insulin required to lower a high blood sugar level to a normal level. However, this is not often employed as a method because blood sugar is allowed to rise too often and for too long a time.
Your doctor may require you to test for blood sugar levels before and after meals, and count the carbohydrate content of the meals. The results of the tests and the counting will assist your doctor to know the insulin dosage required. Meals with a smaller carbohydrate portion should need less insulin than meals with a larger carbohydrate portion.
Some General Information on Your Insulin
Below are some information that may be useful to diabetic who use insulin.
- There are insulins which are permitted to be mixed with other types of insulin in a syringe while others are not. Unless instructed by a doctor to do so, do not mix different types of insulin in the same syringe as it may not be safe to do so.
- Insulin settles into a clear liquid after some time although it may initially be seen as a suspension. This insulin must be gently shaken or rolled in order to get it to become a suspension again. It is important to follow whatever instructions are given for your insulin.
- To know how to do an insulin injection, get your doctor to show you how it is done. The skin and the layer of fat in the abdomen, thigh or upper arm.
- At present, insulin is administered with an injection needle into the subcutaneous layer below the skin, by the use of insulin pumps, or by IV in certain circumstances. At one time, inhaled insulin (Exubera®) was used. However, it is no longer available because of poor sales.
- Insulin can be dangerous to the body unless it is used according to the instructions of a doctor. Even then, always monitor your blood glucose levels, following the recommendations of your doctor. Never use an insulin without the knowledge or recommendations of your doctor, even though a particular insulin can be purchased over the counter, without the prescription of a doctor.
For any uncertainty on matters regarding your insulin dosage, always seek your doctor or pharmacist for further information or explanation.