Lowering basal insulin dose?

Hi All!

Has anyone ever noticed their blood sugar levels decreasing when they lower their basal insulin dose?

A few months ago, I was taking Lantus, was fed up with a rash I believed (and still believe) it was causing, and ended up switching to Levemir.

Just before switching, I wound up taking significantly less Lantus than usual for a few days, maybe a 20% reduction (I honestly cannot remember why – maybe I just wanted to get through till the Levemir arrived?). I noticed my levels seemed to be a lot lower; lower fasting and lower throughout the day. I never needed to compensate with Humalog before eating.

I switched over to Levemir and am at about a 40% increase in units (and splitting the dose, morning and night) than I was on Lantus with much higher blood sugar levels than either dose (regular or reduced) of Lantus.

I don’t really remember if something else was going on that could have resulted in such great numbers at the lower Lantus dose, so I am curious to see if anyone else has ever noticed this. I am also wondering, if actually lowering the dose works for some people with Lantus, might it work with Levemir too?

I have only been diagnosed as a T1D for about a year and wonder if that has anything to do with it?

Thank you in advance for any input!

@mermaid861 hi Heather and welcome to the Type One Nation forum.

I suppose many things are possible here. In general insulin makes your blood sugar go down. Less long acting should make your blood sugar go up if everything else in the universe stays constant. And that is a mad-sized if.

You would have to look at your meal bolus insulin and if used more during the same time frame. You’d have to notice your activity levels and understand if you were moving more during the time you took less lantus and last- if you are eating less carbs during the time frame and keeping your meal insulin static.

Stress and inflammation increase your insulin resistance. Mostly. Some report low blood sugar during stress. We’re there any outside factors during this time frame?

Some folks can experience a glycogen high (glucose released by your liver) when their blood sugar drops. Rarely a low causes a high but it’s not impossible.

Anyway, with basal insulin you need what you need. You test if your basal is correct by starting with a good blood sugar and then skipping a meal and testing every 20 minutes. Good basal means your blood sugar isn’t rising or falling during the test period.

And then personal chemistry factors come in. If your blood sugar is good then whatever amount or kind of insulin you took was the right amount. Doesn’t matter if it was more or less. Of course if you are type 1 if you don’t take any, you’ll die, so don’t do that.

Hope you are ok. Cheers!

Hi Heather @mermaid861, a Warm Welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum!! I hope that you enjoy your time here and that you pick up information that is useful to you and that you freely share your experience living with T1D.

I’ll begin with agreeing with what @Joe shared and then add a little twist. The “bad” news [I very rarely use the word bad when talking about diabetes] is that your body and how insulin needs fluctuate significantly might be like my body. At times it appears as if I’m returning to a “honeymoon period” even after more than 60 years living with diabetes - but blood tests [c-Peptide] have proved that my body is not making its own insulin. You are not unusual, although what you are experiencing may not be really common; this has been documented in one of the Joslin Medalist Studies [Joslin Medalists have all had diabetes for over 50 years]. Yes, after doctors studied me for a week 35 years ago, in a captive hospital setting, I was diagnosed as “brittle diabetes” which in short means that for unknown reasons your need for injected/infused insulin significantly drops for a short period of time. About 10 years ago another endocrinologist with whom I had been working said, “you must know that you are very brittle”.

My suggestions, stay aware of your body glucose levels and be prepared to adapt your insulin therapy. I’m just coming out of one of those periods where my insulin need was diminished. I have a pump profile that I can use during those periods that can last a couple of weeks.