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

I am 13 and I go through about 70-80 units and I have a pump!

Been diabetic for 48 years. I weigh 205 pounds and I use on average about 33 units a day. I lift weights and exercise regularly for many years. My endo doctor says it is unusual. To me 70-80 units seems unbelievable. I am not sure whether it means my body does produce some insulin

Good question. I’m on Novolin by injections and I take a mixed daily dose of 80 units NPH and 21 units Reg every morning and use a sliding scale for night injection if needed. I’ve been T1D for 58 years. When I was on Lantus and Novolog I was taking so much that cost became an issue so I switched.

I used to take 36 units of Lantus twice a day, plus Humalog/Novolog for meals (I think a total of about 40 units?).

Now I’m on a pump using about 80 units a day on average.

Been diabetic for over 30 years, and my weight’s stable around 195. My endo said I’m just insulin resistant.

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Hi @Samljunggren welcome to Type One Nation. “Unusual “ to most doctors means “not median” or not average. That’s all. If you were making any of your own insulin, you would have c-peptide in your blood it’s an easy test. If you survey you will find many different results, I’ll play: I take 50-55 total units per day and I can drop to less than 30 when I’m working out.

Anyway the universal “right number of units” is the number that controls your blood sugar and doesn’t cause too many lows.

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I use 18-22 units of Novolog per day with the Tandem/Dexcom combo. I’m active and 18 units means I’m eating about 120 g carbs per day and I’m active, ~130 pounds.

Same here, my dpctor says I am too.

@Samljunggren Welcome Samuel to the TypeOneNation Forum!
Basically, there isn’t hard rule that determines how much insulin I proper. Some factors that enter into the calculation are foods eaten, activity, body size and composition.
I’ve had diabetes for 64 years, stay relatively active, eat about 225 grams of carb most days and, average 20 units of insulin per day. My Time-In-Range during the past 17 months is over 90% and HbA1c remains less than 6%.

Hi Joe, nice to meet you. I guess diabetes truly is very individual from person to person. I read a research paper from Oslo, Norway that says that approximately 75% of long-time diabetics still produce some insulin. You are right about the “right number of units”.


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Hi Dennis, nice to meet someone who has had type 1 longer then me. You obviously take great care of yourself. I eat about 300 carbs a day, and my alc fluctuates between 6 and 6.5. If I was under 6 probably would mean too many lows in my case. My blood sugar levels are very sensitive and can go up or down very quickly…my endo doctor has a word for it, but you get the point.

I guess my one question for you is, what “equipment” do you use to maintain such great numbers…pump, sensor, libre patch?

Sam Ljunggren

Hi Sam, I didn’t always take good care of my diabetes, especially during my teen and twenty years; ate, drank and did what everyone my age was doing.

Right now, I’m using what i believe is the most advanced iAIDs system; the Tandem t-Slim x2 pump, the Dexcom G6 continuous sensor combination utilizing the Control IQ algorithm. But, as you know, the “equipment” by itself isn’t enough - much depends on what we program (setting effective Profiles) personally into the device.

Dennis, your story sounds a lot like mine. I did not take care of myself either until I hit about 40 years of age. Of course I regret it, but that is what it means to be young. You feel invincible despite diabetes I suppose. I knew you must have a sensor to be able to hit target range 90% of the time. Right now, sensor is not in the cards for me. Don’t have coverage for it, and outside the budget. I have a pump, but nothing further. Hit my target about 60% of the time.

I am big on exercising and also eating healthy overall. Trying to bring my cholesterol down a bit…it is at 2.3 right now for the ldl.


I have the same question. I’m just shy of 16, physically active, 164cm, 58kg and at the moment I average at 27 units a day. I also eat about 900-1200 calories a day. Not to long ago I was eating 1200-1400 (1500 tops ever) and I was using 44 units a day. Been a diabetic for 14 years. I truly am lost because I don’t think that little difference would throw off the unit balance that much. I have a super slow metabolism but I’ve also heard that puberty and hormonal changes (especially periods for women) can throw it off.
A1C is 5.7

Hi and welcome. I hope you aren’t lost because you seem to have a great a1c unless you are getting too many hypos. There is no right answer here. You might need 100+ units a day in some situations. Cheers! :four_leaf_clover:

Your body needs what it needs. You might need more if you’re in a growth spurt. Or less if you’re burning more calories with activity. Your insulin sensitivity/resistance might change and interact with other hormones. There’s a lot going on. You’re eating less and needing less insulin. That makes sense, even if the drop is bigger than you expected. But you’re keeping on top of things and changing your dosage as needed. So, as Joe said, unless you’re having a lot of lows, it sounds like you’ve got things in hand.

The Pancreas wants what the Pancreas wants - or needs, as the case may be - and that can vary widely from person to person even with the same or similar demographics. Try not to focus too much on what others are using and just make sure you do your best to match your insulin to your needs. Keep up the good work!

Ditto what everyone else said. My daughter has needed anywhere from literally no insulin at all to as many as 200 total units/day, and she’s only had T1D for 6 years. I bet some of the more experienced posters here have needed even more at various times in their lives.

But aside from it being interesting (which I totally think it is; I’m all about embracing my geekdom :nerd_face:), it doesn’t really matter. If your pancreas worked, you’d have no idea how much insulin your body was using. It would just make enough to keep your BG in range, and you’d never know the difference. Sounds blissful, right? :wink:

Anyway, welcome to TypeOneNation. We’re sorry you’ve got T1D, but we’re glad you’re here! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Mine has changed drastically. I’m fairly insulin resistant the more I weigh. I was using an average of 80-100 total units in December last year. I’ve lost 50 pounds since (on purpose and working closely with my diabetes team through it all) and am now down to 36-45 units depending on carb intake and am way more sensitive to insulin. Your body needs what it needs and I anticipate I’ll need more and less at different periods for the rest of my life!

Taylor @Tee25 , weight or body-mass or body fat has a direct impact on the amount of insulin needed. whether it is a matter of “insulin resistance” or no is still open to investigation. T1D with greater body mass would often have similar I:C ratios to more slender persons indicating that insulin resistance is not a factor; the added insulin would be basal / background insulin.