Sensitivity/Correction Factor Confusion

I can never remember if the sensitivity factor goes up to down to decrease the units of insulin given to correct a high. Mine is set at 22 right now and when giving a correction bolus I am going to low therefore the roller coaster begins and I cannot stop it. I have gone online and used the formula to determine the factor but I must be calculating wrong and there seem to be several formulas to use. 1500, 1700, 500? Can anyone give me an easy answer for this? I suppose a call to my DNE would be best. I just changed endo’s. Thank you.

Hi Synthia @synstokesyahoo-com , your confusion is understandable so I’ll try to explain be showing a few examples. If you have adjusted your sensitivity rate in the wrong direction, I can understand why you are on a roller-coaster.

Let’s assume that you want to use a sensitivity factor to lower your BG to 135 mg/dl and your current reading is 200. That means you want to take enough insulin to drop 65 points:
(200 - 135 = 65)

  • 65 divided by your sensitivity factor of 22 means that you need 2.95 units of insulin.
  • 65 divided by a sensitivity factor of 35 means you need 1.85 units of insulin.
  • 65 divided by a sensitivity factor of 50 means you need 1.30 units of insulin.

You can see the importance of having this correct.
A way to determine your sensitivity factor is when your BGL is at least as high as 150 mg/dl and your BG is relatively level or steady [you haven’t just eaten, taken a run, taken a bolus] give yourself 1 unit of insulin and then check BG after 2 hours and four hours.

Thank you Denis. This forum is so lucky to have your knowledge and insight. I changed my sensitivity to 26. With my delayed gastric emptying I have to wait longer to take my carb bolus. I am going to watch it closely today and tonight. I have always used only one sensitivity but may have to add another one for night time. Do you use more than one?

hi @synstokesyahoo-com I use the 1 unit and check at hour 2 and 4 mthod.

I have a lower sensitivity number in the morning (for additional insulin to bring down a higher bs number). than in the afternoon and evening. I am using just the 2 settings now, again, based on time of day.

Synthia @synstokesyahoo-com, you are very welcome. What I didn’t say earlier, the larger the actual number for the times you are most sensitive to insulin - meaning when less “correction insulin” needed.

I use three sensitivity factors (60, 65, 70). As I’ve become older, my body has needed less insulin for the same amounts of food; and c-Peptide testing still indicate that my body does not produce any insulin at all.

Wow… you must not take much insulin at all. I take about 50 units a day, half bolus and half basal.

You guessed right @synstokesyahoo-com, my injected/infused insulin needs have decreased over time and lab tests still agree that my body can not, does not produce natural insulin.

Back in the day, after NPH Insulin was developed in 1954, it became common to manage diabetes with only one injection per day - that was a major improvement. Within 10 years I had to give myself two daily injections because a syringe was not large enough to give all insulin needed in one shot; the strongest insulin available was U-80 strength.
Now slowly over time, my total basal insulin needs have dropped to around 7 units and my bolus - to cover 225 grams of carb - is 14 units or less.

Synthia , I have never used a correction factor and I have been a type 1 for 66 years, I am allergic to my insulin and on the insulin antibodies test scale is 0-5 I came in at 55. The rule I live by is 1 unit = 10 grams of carbs. You can test this theory by your self. It is easier for me to be flexible 1 unit is supposed ti lower blood sugar by 50 points. So if I used a factor it probably would change hourly. I inject or pump based strictly on my blood sugar and my carb intake at the time. Or use the same rules to loer my BS even if it’s not meal time, but my allergy has caused my BS to raise, please understand the following is my opinion only–I do not worry about a sensitivity factor, I treat the highs and lows accordingly as they occur, I have never used a sensitivity anything. Don’t know if this helps, have a great day. Bye Jan

When I do night time corrections before bed I seem to go lower than when I do daytime corrections. There are so many variables involved. I just take it day by day. You have many health challenges. I admire you resilience. That is one trait we all need with this disease.

Synthia

I actually owe you an apology, I misunderstood the term sensitivity factor- I know the procedure by the term “sliding scale” Dr. B and I discussed it today when I saw her and I told her I was unfamiliar with the sensitivity term that is how I know it by the “sliding scale” term. At night you might want to modify your correction, it is common to be low in the am. I have to stay above 140 and below 200 to be safe at night. I am going to brag a bit, my A1c is between 7.0 and 7.5 and Dr. B told me today that here is nothing she can teach me, but I am teaching her. If you lessen the amount of your correction, your pm BS may be higher=better. Hope so. I hardly ever do a correction at night for the same reason you mentioned. Have a great day, hope this info helps. Bye Jan