Any other type one diabetics using a very small amount of insulin?

Ive had type one for going on 8 years now, and ive since always used a very small amount of insulin. When i was on MDI, I would use a total of 17 units a day. However after starting the pump, I realize that i basically cut my insulin doasage in half, as my daily averages work out to be 7.5 units a day.
So it seems my insulin sensitivity is very high;
Is this normal, and can anyone else relate? im also wondering if there are any dangers of being on such a small amount of insulin?

I don’t think that there are dangers of using small amount of insulin as you do …only if the blood sugar numbers are not within the normal range for you . Pumping insulin is a much more effective way of using insulin , compared to MDI …I believe this is a fact . I use about 21 u daily , prior to pumping 28 u

People report using less insulin on pumps. That’s great!

There’s no danger being on less insulin, as long as your numbers are good. No advantage to taking higher doses. In fact, the less you need the better. Lower doses are absorbed better, among other reasons.

What pump are you using?

im using the medtronic paradigm 522, my last a1c in December was 5.6; I stick to a very low carb, but leant protein high fat diet so i don’t bolus a whole lot. I feared a little however about going into DKA faster if something malfunctioned with the pump because I will not have a whole lot of active insulin in me.

i’m still on low doses, my basal only being about 6.5 units a day, but i am also really active with sports and other activities

I think your fear of going into “DKA faster” because you use very little insulin is unfounded.

When you say that you use “a very small amount of insulin” I assume that means you need that little. As in, if you set your basal rates higher, you would continuously go low?

Remember, insulin needs are on a sliding scale. If your BG was in the high 100s-200s with the amount of insulin you are using, then yes, without that insulin you would likely slip into DKA faster. However, considering the fact that the amount of insulin you are using keeps you in target range (right?), I don’t think you have much to worry about.

In fact, considering your body requires so little insulin to stay in target range, if you were in a situation where your pump stopped delivering insulin you probably would NOT going into DKA as quickly as someone whose insulin needs are higher. Think of it like this, the more insulin one needs, the more drastic it is for them when that insulin supply is compromised.

I don’t see any dangers associated with needing small amounts of insulin. The only thing that your high insulin sensitivity would worry me (if I were like that) would be needing to make small corrections requiring an extremely low amount of insulin. Being on the pump, however, should mean you don’t have a problem with that.

Unless your sensitivity is spectacularly low. For example every 0.1 unit of insulin drops my BG by 5. So if I were 125 and I wanted to be 120 I’d take 0.1 units. If your sensitivity is much higher than that I assume you’d have some trouble calculating correction boluses perfectly.

I would think if your non meal insulin needs (basal) are low and you can maintain a “normal” BG when not eating throughout the day, everything cool.

35-50 mgdl drop in BG for ever unit of insulin is pretty in the norm.

I learned a lot about this from reading “Think like a pancreas…”, it really put things in perspective.

Normal insulin amount are what ever it takes to maintain normal bg. For me, on the pump, it is 18 u for basal needs and a ~ 1/15 U/CHO ratios for boluses. Before I was on the pump my needs were a bit higher, although that may have created a lot of low chasing when I look back.

Do your unit numbers (17 VS 7.5) include the basal coverage for MDI and pump?

yes indeedy

That is very unusual. How high do you spike after meals? I am asking this because it is believed that T1 diabetics exist that have some beta cells left (after the honeymoon phase). These beta cells would work like a buffer for you. They would make your spikes smoother and they could reduce their output in case of a low - making the low less severe (in theory).

how low of a carb diet are you on how many carbs in a meal?

the highest i usually go after a meal is upper 8’s and lower 9’s. I have been told before that my honeymoon period lasted close to 3 years; so that is an interesting comment about beta cells, because I have very few lows and very few dramatic highs.

Pat, I have 15 carbs for breakfast, 5 for lunch, and 15 or less for dinner

Well, 8 to 9 mmol/L is equal to 144 to 169 mg/dL. With a good insulin sensitivity this can also be achieved without the help of beta cells - especially with a low carbing lifestyle. Combined with your fewer lows I still think this is unusual. You should ask the team of Dr. Denise Faustman if you are a candidate for a blood donation (I do not know if that can be practically done over distances).

wow, thats nice! Afraid to say i’m not one of those. i take about 40 units of Humalog a day, plus another 20 units Lantus at night when i go to sleep

I’m still on the honeymoon. 10 units of Lantus, 1 unit Humalog per 20 carbs plus corrective. But it’s only been 4 months and I’m very sensitive to Insulin too.

I’m at 7.8 units basal and about 8-10 more for boluses. My a1cs since I went on the pump have all been under 6. I don’t eat low carb, but I keep it to under 60 per meal most of the time and I average about 140 carbs per day.
I am very insulin sensitive in the afternoons- my correction factor is 100 and my basal is 40% lower than for the rest of the day and I still have to be careful about unexpected exercise or having a drink (even with carbs) after work.
My doc thinks my beta cells are still working a bit and we just hope they will keep going. I was 22 at diagnosis, so I think that I’m a bit more of LADA than younger people. I’m also a petite woman, 5’3" and 115 lbs, so that is part of my low needs.
No one on my team thinks that my amounts are too low. I was having trouble with lows when I was on MDI, so the pump has been amazing. The Pumping Insulin book charts say I’m too low, but I have good control so I think that that is hogwash.

I use about 20 units/day.