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How To Calculate How Much Insulin To Take

Using The Plate Method To Approximate Carb Counting

Using Sliding Scale to Determine Insulin Dose

Theres another way to approximate carb consumption using the Plate Method. The Plate Method is a visual way of ensuring youre eating enough nonstarchy vegetables and protein while monitoring how many higher-carb foods are on your plate. This method also assumes youre using a 9-inch dinner plate. General guidelines state 1 serving of carbs should be about 15 grams of carbohydrate.

With the Plate Method, you divide your plate into:

  • Half non-starchy vegetables
  • One quarter with lean protein
  • One quarter with foods higher in carbs

Insulin Dosages On A Flexible Dose Therapy

If you are on a flexible insulin therapy , you will need to inject an appropriate dose to ensure your blood glucose levels dont go either too high or go too low.

When you start on insulin, your diabetes team should give you guidance on how much insulin to take. Insulin requirements will typically vary from meal to meal and can be influenced by a variety of factors see below for more information on these factors.

Blood glucose testing will play a useful role in helping you to judge how much insulin to take.

People on a flexible insulin therapy should test their blood regularly to help support dosing decisions and to help prevent hypoglycemia

Insulin Dosages On A Fixed Dose Therapy

If you are on a fixed dose insulin therapy , your doctor or diabetes health team will help you to pick the dose, or doses, which you need to take each day.

If your blood glucose levels are running either too high or too low, contact your health team who will be able to help you make any dosage adjustments as appropriate.

Check what the recommended sugar levels are, referred to as your target blood glucose levels

insulin duration chart

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Using A Cf To Correct A 2 Hour Post Meal Blood Sugar

Correcting for a high blood sugar 2 hours after eating is using your best estimate!

Things to consider:

  • how your insulin works
  • the type of meal you ate – high fat carbohydrate meal vs. high fibre, low fat carbohydrate meal
      • is it the type of meal that makes your blood sugars higher than usual for a longer than usual time, or
      • is it the type of where your blood sugars return to normal within the 2 hours

Remember how your insulin works insulin action or duration of effect.

Rapid acting

  • starts: 10-15 minutes

Do I Need To Know The Carbohydrate Content Of Each Meal

Insulin To Carb Ratio And Sensitivity Factor

You do need to know the carbohydrate content of your meal to use this calculator. It can be estimated by reading food labels or using tables and guidelines created for diabetic patients. When using the Nutrition Facts panel, you should always look for total carbohydrate section. Some labels might also have information about the carbohydrate units. One unit is usually 15 grams of carbohydrate .

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You’ll Need To Calculate Some Of Your Insulin Doses

You’ll also need to know some basic things about insulin. For example, 40-50% of the total daily insulin dose is to replace insulin overnight.

Your provider will prescribe an insulin dose regimen for you; however, you still need to calculate some of your insulin doses. Your insulin dose regimen provides formulas that allow you to calculate how much bolus insulin to take at meals and snacks, or to correct high blood sugars.

When To Call The Diabetes Team

You should always fix low blood sugars right away. Its also important to recognize when changes need to be made and adjust doses between clinic visits to reduce the chances of long term complications.

  • Your childs blood sugars are worse after making a change in their insulin dose or if you make more than 3 changes in the dose since their last clinic visit
  • Moderate or large ketones are present

Do you still have questions about when you should change your childs insulin doses? Contact the diabetes team at Childrens Diabetes Center, Childrens Hospital & Medical Center at ;for more information about insulin doses and pattern control.

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Carbohydrate Count: Dose Insulin With The 500 Rule 300 Rule And 100 Rule

Carbohydrate count is a simple tool for those who have diabetes and use insulin. Dosage of insulin is important, but time-taking. It is important that the dosage is correct in order to best balance your blood sugar. You should not have too high blood sugar or risk blood sugar falling. In the vast majority of cases, it is recommended to keep blood sugar in the range of 4.0 mmol/l to 7.0 mmol/l. This is because we are different old, have different body build-up, differences in insulin sensitivity, etc.

Your Childs Correction Factor Will Look Like This:

Meal time bolus insulin calculation – ‘Sugarman’
unit for every point that blood sugar is over

For example, a correction factor of 1:50>150 means your child will take one unit of fast-acting insulin for every 50 points their blood sugar is over 150 .

To calculate this, take your childs current blood sugar and subtract their target blood sugar. Divide the result by 50, and multiply that result by the number of units.

Here is an example of a correction factor calculation:

If your childs correction factor is 1:50>150 and their current blood sugar is 233:

  • 233 minus 150 equals 83
  • 83 divided by 50 equals 1.6
  • 1.6 multiplied by 1 equals 1.6

This means your child needs to take 1.6 units of insulin to bring their elevated blood sugar down to their target blood sugar.

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Carbohydrate Count With 500 Rule

The sensitivity of the body to insulin increases during the day, which makes it necessary to use less insulin compared to the need for breakfast. Therefore, the 500 rule is used for other meals. The 500 rule means dividing 500 by your total daily insulin. The figure you get corresponds to the number of grams of carbohydrates that 1 unit of insulin is enough.


Johanna needs a total of 40 units of insulin for one day. This includes both fast-acting and long-acting insulin.500/40=12.5.That is, 1 unit of insulin takes care of 12.5 grams of carbohydrates. Johanna decides to eat a meal with a total of 25 grams of carbohydrates and then he calculates that he needs 2 units of insulin.

Is There A Guideline Or Formula For Calculating The Number

A: There are several ways to determine how much mealtime insulin to take to cover carbs. One method is to use what is known as the 1500 or 1800 Rule. One needs to calculate the entire daily dose of insulin and divide that amount into 1500 or 1800. The resulting number is a starting point for determining and fine-tuning the insulin-to-carb ratio. Another way to figure out insulin coverage for carbohydrate is to keep food records for several days, add up the carbohydrate at a particular meal, say, breakfast, and note how much mealtime insulin you took to cover those carbs . Sometimes healthcare providers will start a person off with a 1:15 ratio, which assumes 1 unit of insulin covers 15 grams of carb. Of course, this approach can be way off for people who usually require much more or less insulin. Its important to keep in mind that one may have a different ratio for each meal. If youre interested in trying what is often called advanced carb counting, Id strongly encourage you to meet with a dietitian who is well-versed in diabetes, because this level of carb counting is more of an art than a science. It requires careful and accurate carb counting , logging of both food and blood glucose, and frequent blood glucose monitoring to evaluate the ratio and then fine-tune it if its not correct. Also, in addiContinue reading >>

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Where Can You Get More Help With This If You Need It

If you like using your smartphone, you can use an app to help you calculate your insulin sensitivity factor and dosage.

Search for insulin sensitivity or insulin correction calculators on your iPhone or Android device. Find one that seems easy to use and play around with it until you feel comfortable.

You may also be able to find online resources, such as the American Association of Diabetes Educators website, or you can ask your doctor for help.

The Importance Of Blood Sugar Levels

Free Diabetes logbook with insulin dose calculator by ...

Our blood sugar level, or glycemia, refers to the concentration of glucose in the blood. This is commonly represented as milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood.

If you go all day without eating , you will likely feel the effects of low blood sugar . You may experience dizziness and confusion. Severe cases can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.

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How Do You Determine Insulin Dosage

Once you know how sensitive you are to insulin, you can figure out how much insulin you need to give yourself to lower your blood sugar by a certain amount.

For example, if your blood sugar is 200 mg/dL and youd like to use your short-acting insulin to lower it to 125 mg/dL, youd need your blood sugar to drop by 75 mg/dL.

From the insulin sensitivity factor calculation, you know that your short-acting insulin sensitivity factor is 1:60. In other words, one unit of short-acting insulin lowers your blood sugar by about 60 mg/dL.

How much insulin do you then need to lower your blood sugar by 75 mg/dL?

Youll need to divide the number of mg/dL you want to lower, which is 75, by the number from your insulin sensitivity factor calculation, which is 60. The answer of 1.25 tells you that you need to take 1.25 units of short-acting insulin to lower your blood sugar by 75 mg/dL.

These are rough calculations that are used by people with type 1 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, youll need to check with your doctor for guidance.

What Other Injectable Medications Deal With Type 2 Diabetes

Besides insulin, other kinds of injected medications are readily available. These medicines help keep your blood glucose level from going expensive after you eat. They might make you feel less hungry and help you lose some weight. Other injectable medicines are not substitutes for insulin.

What should I understand about adverse effects of diabetes medicines?Adverse effects are problems that arise from a medication. Some diabetes medicines can cause hypoglycemia, also called low blood glucose, if you do not stabilize your medicines with food and activity.Ask your medical professional whether your diabetes medication can trigger hypoglycemia or opposite results, such as indigestion and weight gain. Take your diabetes medicines as your health care expert has advised you, to assist prevent side effects and diabetes issues.

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What Is The Insulin Sensitivity Factor

The insulin sensitivity factor tells you how many points, in mg/dL, your blood sugar will drop for each unit of insulin that you take. The insulin sensitivity factor is also sometimes called a correction factor. You need to know this number to correct a blood sugar level thats too high. This is most useful for people with type 1 diabetes.

Tips For Calculating A Total Daily Dose Of Insulin

How to Calculate Your IOB (Insulin on Board)

You can use one of several methods to determine a safe, initial dose

Evidence keeps mounting that high blood sugars lead to worse outcomes in hospitalized patients and that sliding scale regimens produce both more hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

But as hospitalists switch from sliding scale to basal and bolus dosing, how do they calculate a safe total daily dose to start with? Experts say that physicians can use any of three different strategies, depending on whether patients have been using insulin as either an outpatient or in the ICU.

The pharmacology is never going to work if we dont follow physiology.;

~ Deepak Asudani, MD Baystate Medical Center

Any one of these approaches will produce a safe, conservative initial insulin dose, but experts warn that none of the strategies by itself is a slam dunk. You still have to bring art to each approach, adjusting doses according to such factors as illness severity and eating status.

Our February 2019 article focuses on basal insulin treatment: Basil insulin: What happens when patients go NPO?

Heres a look at how two hospitalists use these strategies in their day-to-day practice.

1. Base total sub-Q dose on insulin infusion rates.

Its a little correction to prevent any hypoglycemia, says Dr. Asudani. Because patients insulin needs are tapering down a bit as they exit the ICU, he adds, you dont need to supply the same daily dose.

Related article: Insulin protocol review: the transition from IV to sub-Q

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Top 7 Insulin Calculator Apps For Managing Diabetes

Daily insulin therapy can be tough to manage. Luckily, there is a lot of new technology out there to easily calculate the amount of insulin youll need and take some of the burden off of you.

Scientists have developed new, sophisticated algorithms that calculate how much insulin youll need per dose. Some are connected to specific prescription insulin pens, and some are calculators that anyone can use.;

The following are seven of the top apps for calculating insulin doses. Many can be set up with the help of your healthcare provider. They all feature graphs and sharing options to keep your healthcare team appraised of your status. With all of these apps, its important to stay on top of inputting your blood sugar, meals, snacks, and activity to get the most out of the technology and stay healthy.

What Medications Might I Consider Diabetes

The medication you take will differ by your kind of diabetes and how well the medicine controls your blood glucose levels, likewise called blood glucose. Other elements, such as your other health conditions, medication costs, and your everyday schedule might play a role in what diabetes medicine you take.

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How Protein Causes Blood Sugar Highs

The science behind this is pretty complicated. As protein breaks down to amino acids, it stimulates the release of glucagon. This promotes glycogenolysis, the breakdown of glycogen stored in the liver. In addition, our bodies can actually make glucose from non-carbohydrate sources, in a process called gluconeogenesis.

Image adapted from: Overview of Lipid Metabolism

Unlike carbohydrates, which are quickly broken down to glucose, protein-stimulated conversion of intermediates to glucose takes place over several hours, and thus can have a a slower and less intense effect on blood glucose levels. Nevertheless, the increase can be considerable.

For a long time, it was believed that the rate of gluconeogenesis was quite stable. In fact, recent studies have pointed out that shifts in the rate of gluconeogenesis occur based on the individuals diet. The amount of protein and carbohydrates that your normally consume may have an effect on how your body responds to a high-protein meal.

Additional Information About The Dose Calculator

How Much Insulin to Take for Type 2 Diabetes: A Helpful ...
Split doses

The InPen can deliver a maximum of 30 units per injection. For doses greater than 30 units, the dose must be split into multiple doses. If for any reason a dose is split into multiple doses, each dose that is delivered will be logged separately. To ensure that your insulin is tracked correctly, always take the larger dose first.;If you forget how much insulin was recommended, open the logbook to view the recommendation.

The math behind the dose calculator

If you entered a value in the carbs cell,;you can see the math used in the calculation by tapping the arrow in the recommendation banner at the top of the screen. Tap;Calculator;to return and save your;dose.;Note that dose recommendations are rounded down to the nearest half unit.

Blood glucose range

The dose calculator only accepts blood glucose values between 20 600 mg/dL. If you believe you receive the following message in error, then check the value you entered. If your blood glucose is outside this range, take immediate action to correct it prior to using the dose calculator.

Carbohydrate range

The dose calculator only accepts carbohydrate values between 0 – 200 g. If you;receive the following message in error,;then check the value you entered.

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What The Heck Is A Bolus

So you dont have an insulin pump, but I bet you have a smartphone.

What does that mean?

It means that you should meet mySugrs Insulin Calculator. Its a module integrated into the;mySugr;app that helps with your insulin doses . Btw. Insulin Calculators are also known as Bolus Calculators.;

But what the heck is a bolus, you ask? Great question.

A bolus, in our case, is a single dose of insulin given all at once. In other words, its your mealtime shot or a shot to fix a high blood sugar. mySugrs Insulin Calculator examines all of the messy numbers involved and then recommends a precise dose of insulin.

At mealtime, its super easy. Measure your blood sugar, tell mySugrs Insulin Calculator about your carbs, and well do the rest. Well even keep track of your active insulin .;All you have to do is dial up the dose and take it.

Never heard of active insulin? Its a concept that helps reduce hypos caused by stacking insulin. Well explain it in more detail below.


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