"Average" Insulin Requirements?

I wonder if anyone knows–or can point me to–what the “average” range of insulin requirements for adults with type 1 diabetes?

I ask because, since I started taking medical cannabis for intractable pain on March 1st, my insulin pump says my insulin requirements have decreased from 42 units per day to 31.06 (yesterday) Enhanced insulin sensitivity is the obvious answer, and I am looking for information to better assess at what point I might begin to wonder if my immune system has stopped attacking beta cells :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for your help, everyone.

I’m not sure the question is truly meaningful. Insulin requirements are affected by so many things—BMI, diet (what you eat and how much or little), genetics, other health issues, and so on and on—that I have to question whether a truly meaningful average, as such, exists. I mean, if you could query every diabetic in the world to find out how much they use, you could compute a theoretical “average” but I doubt it would have any application in the real world. Each of us needs what we need, whatever that is.


Is the medical cannabis helping with the pain? There are many possible reasons, but one possibility would be that being in less pain is removing a stressor and that could result in requiring less insulin. Stress can increase insulin requirements because stress hormones can raise your BG.


Yes, it is. 100% relief as long as I maintain approx. 200mg dosage per day 1 THC : 3 CBD And, yes, the absence of nerve pain and cascading cramps as surely helped my adrenals and impacted stress-related highs. Thanks for reminding me of that correlation.


I have a friend who has suffered for a number of years from diabetic neuropathy and associated pain. He also reports that cannabis makes a very significant difference.

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@David_dns I hear ya. It’s been a conundrum for me to asses for just the reasons you describe. Whenever I find myself in such a conundrum, I go looking for opinions to increase my breadth of perception :stuck_out_tongue:

From the points you make, what I conclude is that it might be better to look at this in another way… So, for example, if my norm was 42 units, and I am currently needing approx. 31 units, then I am experiencing a 27% reduction in the amount of insulin by body uses. So, now I’m wondering two things:

What are all the various factors contributing to the reduction (enhanced insulin sensitivity and reduced stress-related high blood sugars as @Eric2 points out… and the rest unknown to me at this point)

What kinds of reductions in insulin requirements have other people experienced in terms of percentages?

Any thoughts or suggestions?

I’ve often wondered this. I walk twice a day, eat moderately low carb and graze all day on healthy proteins and veggies… dark chocolate of course lol. I currently only need 1 shot a day of 14 units tresiba.
Once or twice a month I will run slightly high (130-150) and take 2 unit of humolog and I will stabilize. When I wore a pump I was on 13 units total.
I’ve been type 1 since 1997 and at one point was on over 50 units a day.

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Five years ago, in response to limiting carbs in my diet and other factors, I cut my total daily dose (TDD) from about 80 units to about 40 units, a 50% reduction.

My TDD has edged down since then but I’m going through another round of insulin reduction as I’m losing weight for the first time in a long while. My TDD of insulin has gone down from around 35 to 25 units, a 28% reduction.

I don’t think I, as a T1D, can reduce my insulin needs to zero. It’s just not in the nature of my disease. Furthermore, I don’t think my TDD diminished due to my immune system calling a “cease fire.” I think it’s simply due to losing weight and becoming more sensitive to insulin.

Your dramatic reduction of nerve pain and cramps using cannabis is good to read.

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I have also wondered what an “average” number might be for women of similar height weight…I currently take 12 units of Tresiba but still trying to dial it in with the new Trulicity which has reduced from 19 units per day to 12.

The marijuana effect is amazing! I wish I could try it to see if it would help me. Since it is not allowed for federal employees, and against federal law, I cannot partake until I retire. I also hear it helps many with pain. Do you take a liquid form? In food? or a smokable type? Curious what type in particular is working for you? That is AWESOME it has reduced your insulin requirement!!

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Thank you! It really helps develop perspective by reading your experience. I was over 50 units per day until I went on an insulin pump and reduced to 42. I know nothing about Tresiba. I am assuming that at least part of the reduction for you is the exercise and low carb. How do you think Tresiba impacts your blood sugar, if you don’t mind me asking?

I know, right? Still, hope springs eternal in me :stuck_out_tongue: I know that, in 2010, it was discovered that alpha cells continue to convert to beta cells even after diagnosis… it’s those antibodies that stop them from developing and producing insulin. And I know that CBD is an immune system down-regulator… so I continue to be willing :wink:

Thank you, regarding success with pain relief. It’s changed my life. I can do yoga again and walk longer and further and generally exercise more. That would probably reduce insulin needs as well, right? Should add that to my list of known reasons :stuck_out_tongue:

@Yoga62… I make my own oil-infused tincture. I wanted something that was solvent-free and wouldn’t get me high. Nothing like that on the market in Washington state. So, I developed a low-heat, solvent-free extraction into MCT oil that save the integrity of the terpenes (And I am officially patent-pending as of last week. Let me know if you have any investor friends :sunglasses:) It’s a ratio of 1 THC :3 CBD… only a tad of THC, but, still, would probably show up on a drug screen test, I’m sorry to say. Here’s to retirement! :smiley:

Tresiba and Trulicity… I know nothing about either of them. In your opinion, what makes them better than novalog through an insulin pump?

i have never used a pump. Tresiba is a basal insulin and modern. It lasts ~48 hours in the body but needs to be taken daily. People say it keeps them more stable than some other basals. Trulicity is helping to reduce my blood sugar and reduced my insulin from 19 units per day to 12. I started Trucliicy 3 weeks ago to help with weight loss. I gained 25-30 pounds on insulin very rapidly when I started insulin in October. Same thing happened 10 years ago when I was in Germany and they put me on insulin. rapid weight gain. I tend to bloat up like a balloon. Sounds promising with your invention! Congratulations! I wish I could try it. I wonder if I would test positive for THC? Maybe not? so you drink the oil? rub it in your skin? does it make you hungry? Back in the day when I lived in Alaska in the 60s-70s pot was legal and gave me the munchies!

Maybe not, depending upon your dosage. I make a blend for my husband (who works at Microsoft) for stress/anxiety. It’s got a ratio of 1 thc : 4 CBD and he takes 5mg per dose (to my 50mg per dose) So, he probably wouldn’t test positive… but me on a 50mg per dose at a 1 :3 ratio I think would.

I use a dropper and let it sit under my tongue for sublingual absorption for about 30 seconds then swish in mouth and swallow.

On the topic of munchies… when I was doing my research, I discovered that there is a cannabinoid (less well known than thc and cbd) called THCV that suppresses appetite and enhances insulin sensitivity. So, when I went to purchase seeds, I looked for varieties that were descendants of the landrace strain where they found the THCV. My lab didn’t test for THCV when I got this batch tested, but they are adding the test this summer so soon I’ll know for sure if there is THCV in my blend…and, if there is, that will explain why I DON’T get the munchies, have reduced insulin requirements, and am losing weight, right? I will be the proof in the pudding, and I will continue to breed for THCV and develop a tincture for appetite suppression and insulin sensitivity. What a concept! :stuck_out_tongue:

By the way, topicals that you rub on your skin don’t get into the blood stream so you can use them with impunity if you have joint pain or the like.

Just one thing to know… topicals can and do get into your blood stream! The skin is a very large organ (the biggest, in fact!) and it most certainly does absorb into the blood. Just FYI :slight_smile:

I don’t know of anyone whose Type 1 “reversed.” As far as average insulin requirements–there is no such thing. You always start your dosing regimen based on age, weight and fitness level. But that’s only to start.
Just go with what your BG and body are telling you. That is, your diet should be a maintenance diet as far as weight (unless you want to lose weight) and your BG levels should be falling somewhere in the ballpark of your BG goals.

So if you’re using less insulin, just go with it. But don’t expect it to stay that way. The only thing you can count upon with T1 is that things will change.

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I see someone already commented about what Tresiba is. I will say thins… I wore a pump for 14 years and said there was NO other way to maintain excellent control cause if it’s precision. I was so wrong, I came off my pump in October, and didn’t look back. I am actually more controlled and experience almost no lows. As where on my pump it was chronic and site absorbency was terrible. I had strings of days where I would change out my sites daily or multiple times in a day cause I wan’t getting my insulin. My a1c on pump was 5.6 ON tresiba and less effort in diabetes management I am at 5.3!
I have this website to thank for the change. One day I just started reading a random post about it and after reading all the positive feedback I had to try it.

As far as insulin requirements I will also say i do a lot of things holistically and find some natural remedies help me to stabilize and enhance insulin sensitivity. I worked with a naturopath for years now I kinda just do my own exploration.

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As I understand the science, cannabinoids can only penetrate the dermal tissue if they combined with an abrasive pharmaceutical to make the skin open it’s junctures… like in a patch. With lotions and salves, the action stays in the dermal tissues and doesn’t make through the dermal tissue into the blood stream. I would love to hear more and understand better @karen57 how the lotions and salves penetrate through the dermal tissue. Can you explain for me or link to an article about it? Thanks :smiley:

@Ali4 Thank you for this information! Putting my research hat on now :smiley:

@Tim35 I’ve done a little research into this. Drug tests look for a certain volume of THC in the blood, and it takes more than 5mg of THC ingestion to register in the test. If a person is using only a 5mg dose of a tincture that has 1 mg of THC in it… even if they are taking that dose several times per day, the total wouldn’t reach 5mg. So “probably” wouldn’t show up. That said, I’m pretty sure that me expressing my opinion won’t compel anyone to do anything… so, it’s all good.

My understanding is the same as @Ahnalira’s. As I understand it, it’s the same reason that topical steroids don’t impact blood sugar whereas systemic ones have a tendency to send it through the roof.

Since legal issues have been mentioned, here’s another. Regardless of state action, marijuana is still a federally proscribed substance. Even in states that have approved the use of medical marijuana, doctors who prescribe it are still mandated to report the patient to the DEA as a drug abuser because of the existing prohibition in Federal law.

FYI. Just so you know.

@Ali4 Are you saying as a T1, since you switched from pump to Tresiba, you no longer need to take a bolus for food? Your total insulin needs are only a single shot of 13U of Tresiba per day!?? That is incredible. I also struggle w/ lows on the OmniPod pump. Well with highs, too, but more with lows since I tend to be very aggressive in reacting to up arrows:( My TDD varies but can range from 13U to more than 30U, as I react to Dex trend lines.