Daily Basal Insulin

I’m helping my brother who has Type 1 Diabetes. I’m curious to know how many units a day other Type 1 Diabetics take for their Basal Insulin. My brother is 63 and is currently taking 10 units a day for Basal Insulin. I’m curious to know if younger Diabetics need less basal insulin.

Insulin dosage varies person to person. There is no answer to your question.

I take approximately 30 units per day. I am 160 lb female - five foot, eight or nine inches tall.

I suppose there could be some affect from age in that it’s possible for a person with T1 to also develop some insulin resistance with age. But mainly the point of basal is that it’s supposed to keep you level between meals. You adjust the dose so your BG stays level while fasting. If it does that, you’re taking the right amount, whatever that is. 10units/day is actually pretty low for an adult. If he was diagnosed quite recently it may be that he’s still in the “Honeymoon” period and producing some endogenous insulin. Assuming we’re talking about Type 1.

Before going on the pump, I was taking 25 units of Lantis. twice a day.

15-22 units of novolog

Age 62, 30-35 U per day of basal. It is very individual, there is no right or wrong amount.

Currently I use 12 units via pump for daily basal. It has varied throughout my last 25 years of using pump, based on many different factors.

This article may be helpful, regarding how insulin is used.


1 Like

Thanks everyone. Your responses have helped.

31 units Tresiba,
11 from pump.
I’m doing this basal combination to lessen the insulin in my pump site. My sites get sore after the second day on just the pump, 65 units TDD.

I currently take 11 units per day Humalog via pump (7 different basal rates).

I’m about to turn 60, 5’7" and roughly 145lbs.

I use about 16 units of basal insulin via a pump but often add 1-3 instances of a 4-unit Afrezza dose for blood glucose corrections.

10 units / day of basal is considerably less than average dosage for an adult male type 1 diabetic. A loose rule of thumb is body weight in kg multiplied x .3 for basal and .3 for bolus is somewhere in the neighborhood of average…

So an “average” 180 lb t1 man might typically take about 25 units / day of basal and 25 of bolus. But it varies widely.

Just to clarify a bit, I think the OP question was specifically about age being a factor:

I responded above that there are several factors that might tend in this direction: older people may be more sedentary than younger people, muscle tone and fitness overall are easier to maintain when you’re younger, older people may start being more insulin resistant, etc. But as with basal rates in general, there are just so many variables that there isn’t any set answer. I’m actually taking a lot less basal insulin now on the pump than I was taking 6 years ago on MDI: Now, about 35 units, on Lantus about 50.

1 Like

Even though there is a lot of variation person to person, 10 units a day basal is very much on the low side.

A very rough initial guess to a T1’s daily basal dose, is to take the weight in pounds and divide by 10. That math happens to work out well for me. But like I said there is a LOT of variation around that.

13-14 per day (via pump) been like that for many years. I’m older than your bro. Sorry if I’m not in the demographic you were wondering about.

That’s my impression too, for a mature adult.

I’m not sure I’d say 10U is “very much” on the low side. I’m over 6’4, around 210 lbs and use exactly 14U currently. Sometimes a bit under 13. A smaller person could certainly be using 10 or less and not be considered unusual. We are talking T1’s who aren’t insulin resistant, are we not? If that’s not the diabetic type you all are discussing, I apologize.


I’m 45. Heavy hitter using 76u Toujeo. I was using 56u Tresiba until the rx plan no longer covered it. I’m moving to a pump at the end of the month so hopefully it will be less.

@Tim12 @DrBB - Most T1D’s don’t have 50yrs plus under their belt, pump+CGM and live a low carb (<15 gms/d) regime.