I'm curious: how much insulin do folks go through in a typical day?

I just noticed I've been using about 30 units of Novolog a day. Is this high? Low? I weigh 170 pounds and am turning 24 tomorrow. Oh, and I'm male. I don't know what other factors matter. I exercise daily. Anyway, how much insulin do YOU use?

I take about 55u a day with a pump.  I'm not active (long commute, sedentary job, and studying for my classes and taking care of my family eats up my free time).  Back when I did shots I was a lot thinner and took about 70u a day.

The number of carbs you eat is a big factor in insulin dosing.  The biggest factor, and almost impossible to calucate, is how much insulin your body is still making.  76% of diabetics who've had diabetes 50 years or more still make insulin, according to the Joslin 50 Year Medalist study.  

There's a bunch of formulas to calulate a starting point for insulin, but of course it needs to be adjusted according to each individual's insulin sensitivity.  I got these from dtc.ucsf.edu/.../calculating-insulin-dose

Total Daily Insulin Requirement:

The general calculation for the body’s daily insulin requirement is:

Total Daily Insulin Requirement (in units of insulin)

= Weight in Pounds ÷ 4

Alternatively, if you measure your body weight in kilograms:

Total Daily Insulin Requirement (in units of insulin)

= 0.55 X Total Weight in Kilograms

Example 1:

If you are measuring your body weight in pounds:

Assume you weigh 160 lbs.

In this example:


= 160 lb ÷ 4 = 40 units of insulin/day

Example 2:

If you are measuring your body weight in kilograms:

Assume your weight is 70Kg

In this example:


= 0.55 x 70 Kg = 38.5 units of insulin/day

If your body is very resistant to insulin, you may require a higher dose. If your body is sensitive to insulin, you may require a lower insulin dose.

I'm also male, 170 lbs., 30 and I average around 70-80 units/day. I'm active and have a high metabolism. Not sure what "average" is out there though. 30 units just seems on the low side to me.

I average around 55 units a day on my insulin pump (Humalog). That's basal and bolus included of course. I have hit the 70's and 80's though like when the blood sugar just is not cooperating. I'm around the same weight as you and 21 years old. I do work out a lot so insulin is reduced at certain points during the day when I work out. I too would think that 30 sounds low. Does not mean anything though. Control is what matters.  Kinda cool to see how diverse everyone is actually.

I am consistently around 30 units per day. I am 5'9", about 175 pounds. I am quite insulin sensitive though, so to give 35+ units in a day would be a lot for me.

I am consistently around 30 units per day. I am 5'9", about 175 pounds. I am quite insulin sensitive though, so to give 35+ units in a day would be a lot for me.

I also use around 30 units per day; I'm 5'7" about 130 pounds, and am a very active catering chef and vegetarian.

165 pounds, 38 units (18 Lantus, 20 Novolog/Humalog) on an average day.  That puts me very close to Jenna's rule of thumb.


55 units - 165 pounds.  I find my stress makes me a little insulin resistant.  On vacation, or days when I am moving literally all day, it's about half (20-30 units per day).  

as in the last few responses - i hope your guessing that THERE IS NO RIGHT number, even if you average everyone and sort by body mass the variance is so high due to external influences the number will mean nothing.  The right amount of insulin keeps you under 140 mg/dl and above dead, doesn't matter if its 12 units or 150.  cheers, don't sweat the small stuff.

Hey, all! Just to be clear, I'm well aware there is no "correct" number or range and that the amount of insulin a person needs is determined by a whole host of factors. This is just a poll. I'm curious how much insulin you guys go through on an average day. Thanks for sharing! I find this interesting haha

I'm 6', 190lbs and my current TDD is around 80 units a day. That seems very high compared to most of the individuals on this site. My I:C is 1:5 and my ISF is 1:30. Just started the pump about 3 weeks ago. I use the Animas and love it!!

It's not high Brian.  When I was pregnant I took about 125u a day in the 3rd trimester!  I'm only 5'2" and weighed 150 by the end of my pregnancy (looked like a beach ball with legs).  

A lower dose isn't better... everyone's body is different.  

I am 5'4 and weigh 115lbs....I am quite insulin resistant, on average I take 54u Levemir/day and 10u Humalog :(

Honestly for each of us, things are different. I mean you see that each person does something slightly different or has a different body type. There is no one right way to manage your diabetes. If the 30 units is working for you now, that is great. I mean we use what we need to use. That's the best we can do.

Brian Q, it's just a poll.

I use 40 total, basil and bolus.  I am 6'1", 180 lbs.


On a typical day, I will use 34 units of basil and I do not have to bolus much at all.... typically less the 4 units per day. I am a female, 5'4 and about 150 pounds.

I know as a guy you prob dont wanna hear this --- but around "that time of the month", I always need more insulin. Somehow my body becomes resistant to it.

I take about 60 units of Humalog a day and 100 of lantus. I am insulin resistant so I also take metformin for the resistance too. So don’t ever feel like you take to much and my carb ratio is also 1:5 also.

@MIBrianH My ISF is also 1:30, lol.

My I:C is 1:6, and I take at least 50 units everyday and normally it’s closer to 60. I’ve definitely had days where I got up in the 70s and I remember one day I think I hit 80…It was a double whammy infusion site fail and party in the same day…oops!

@MIBrianH everyone is different. It depends on size, shape, etc. All of these things contribute to insulin resistance. Even stress, being sick, all these things up the amt you need per day. I take quite a bit per day - like today I have had 106U but its been a stressful day, I have my basal set at 150% (so I am getting 50% more than my normal basal because of the stress to keep myself in range), etc. I happen to have a fair bit of insulin resistance as well so my basal amount alone per day is 55U. Working on dropping a few and working out more, that will decrease my resistance.