Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, May 29, 2008 karen, Community Member, asks

Q: 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.

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Answers (1)
Ginger Vieira, Health Guide
5/30/08 7:32pm

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.



zolar1, Community Member
12/14/10 9:31am

Your doctor should give you an ISF number.


ISF stands for Insulin Sensitivity Factor.


This number tells you how many carbs you can eat per unit of insulin.


For me, I have 2 numbers.


Couch potato number is          5g:1ui insulin

Exercise number (walking) 16.67g:1ui insulin

Gardening : generally none due to heavy lifting for long periods.


I was on that sliding scale of 1 unit from 150-200, 2 units for 200-250, etc., and had problems with control for about a week.

I got my ISF number and used the DAFNE system ever since.


I still have to bolus from time to time, depending on what I eat.

I know what a given meal can do to my blood sugars. I take 5ui every morning right before eating my typical breakfast. Most times it drops my typical 200 BS without insulin to around 120-ish with insulin.


Let's assume that you eat a given meal and 2 hours later you spiked to 200.

Well, the damage is done and A1c goes up slightly (cumulative).

If it took 2ui of insulin to bring BS back down to under 120, then take that 2ui right before eating.


Most of you already know what you generally eat. When in doubt, split your dosage. Take 1/2 the estimated amount at first bite.


If 2 hours later you need more, then you know you would need slightly more for that meal.


A bit of trial and error, but eventually you will get close enough to know how much to *SAFELY* take at mealtime.


By following the DAFNE method, you slow or stop spikes before they happen.


As always, consult your doctor before making ANY changes to your treatment plan.


SAFETY NOTE: you can never go back. If you take too much, you can never go back, if you take too little, you can always take a little more.


To quote a famous diabetic "small inputs make for small errors"

-Dr Bernstein

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By karen, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/14/10, First Published: 05/29/08