How much insulin do you take?

I was just recently diagnosed with type 1 and I’m taking about 20 units total (12 Lantus and 8 Novolog) per day. I’m curious how much insulin other people with type 1 take and if it’s changed much over the years.

Thanks much!

60 units a day, on average. It’s increased over the years. I’m type 1, but believe I have some insulin resistance.

Hi Ilana,

What other people take is quite variable. Insulin doses are based on weight, activity level, other meds being taken, how many carbs per meal, etc. You can’t compare your doses based on other people’s. A newly diagnosed T1, who may be still in a honeymoon phase, will take a different amount also.

Insulin doses usually do change over time.

For me, it varies. my basal rate is normally around 35u/day, and depending on my activity level and how much i’m eating, i might take anywhere from 20-40u for bolus. I’m a bit insulin-resistant, and i’ve had type 1 for 6+ years.
And Gerri is right, everyone is different

That’s about what I use, and ditto with the resistance… but I didn’t see any improvement on metformin.

Hey there Ilana.

I was also just recently diagnosed as type 1, about 6 weeks ago. At first the docs
had me taking 30units of Lantus every day, and Novolog per meal according to some scale.
After a bit, I figured out my basal dose was too high, and the scale they gave me was also too
much. I’m still kinda learning to count carbs and do an insulin-to-carb ratio and all that,
So right now I take 25units of Lantus per day, and like usually 3-5units per meal, depending on carbs.
Usually its about 10-15units of Novolog per day. So a grand total of like 35-45 units of total insulin per day.

I took Very little Insulin when I was dxd. at age 3, of course. Now I take 42-46 units a day to help cover my carbs and Prednisone doseage. I am not IR.

I agree with Gerri, it’s not too meaningful to compare to other people’s doses. What matters is how the doses you are taking work for you to control your blood sugar.

Just to chime in, I currently take 12 basal, split 6 and 6, and about 9 bolus. The bolus of course, varies with my I:C ratio, and my basal has varied between 11 and 16. Find what works to keep you in target range. (and then it will change…lol)

I use between 30 and 100 units per day. 30 units when I am smart. 100 units when I overindulge. For some reason I resist being smart all the time.

I understand that, but I’m still curious about how much it varies across people. I’m specially interested in how much it changes over the years. I’ve only had T1 for a couple of months, but I’ve already had to increase my dose by about 5 units. I wonder if that’s normal.

How come you split your basal? I take about the same amount (12u) but just once in the morning.


To get a clearer picture you must differentiate between basal and bolus. Bolus is a choice. High carb diet, lots of bolus. Low carb diet, little bolus. The part that you don’t have any influence over is basal. I started out with 8 units TDD 37 years ago. Now my basal is 16 units per day. Everything above and beyond is determined by my diet.

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16 units of Levemir and 26 units of Novorapid = TDD of 42 units. This has not changed much since 1987 but with the analog insulins I am more sensitive to insulin and this is mainly because of the rapid onset they have. I expect that my TDD will be pretty stable for the next 10 years. My parents had only little weight gain over the years and I think this genetic predisposition is quite helpful for me. I expect you will see one massive increase in your TDD when your honeymoon phase is over (aprox in 1 to 2 years from now).

With shots it is not easy to differentiate between basal and bolus. If the 12u were basal then your BG would stay level if you don’t eat anything. Is this the case? Pumpers have more flexibility. Pumpers can set up a basal profile that keeps them level 24/7.

Newbies start off with a Basic Formula, then it is increased and since they start to regualte their Bg’s alot better, they will also Gain some of the weight they lost prior too being Diagnosed… Then that means, they will be needing more insulin ( the weight has alot to do with the Formula ) …

Basic Formula for taking Long Lasting? One method is Your Weight into Kilo’s x the ave of 0.35 to get a TDD of Long Lasting… 150 lbs x 0.454 = 68 k x 0.35 = 24 TDD of LLi…
And the TDD of Fast Acting maybe the Same TDD of LLi or in this example, 24 TDD of Nlog… And TDD of both = 48 u’s in a 24 hr day…

Then the X factors of Physical Activity, Eating Lower or Higher Carb meals, Snacks enters into the equation… And then the Big One… Insulin resistance… The More Weight beyond a Certain Level of BMI and the need for more Insulin comes into play…and thus as we age, less activiy and naturally we will gain weight = More insulin is required…

And having More Fat vs Muscle comes into play…

If you gain say 10% More Weight, doesn’t stand to reason you will probably have to take a combined of LLi and Novalog or TDD of 10% more Insulin? Just as a staring point…

get the Books> Think Like a Pancrease and Using Insulin… can help better understand all this Complicated mess were in…and not only answer some questions, but give us some Dr. Insights and secrets they don’t want to tell us… and maybe not have to pay them as much…!

both of you try vitamin d… its reduced my resistance a lot! i take 1000iu pill per day… i took 5000iu and my sugar was constantly dropping so i stopped lol

There is more to that: is is a pharma myth that basal insulins will cover 24 hours. Lantus will most likely only cover 22 hours and the normal Levemir will cover 16 hours at best. Of course there are people will full coverage but the likelyhood for this perfect match is low. Pharma is just repeating this mantra because convenience is the seller in the market. I am sure that a two shot regime of Levemir would improve the quality of control for many users. But two shots seems too much of a burden although bad control is the real burden to fight. This is why Levemir will be available in the next year with 1 1/2 days of coverage. There is no other chance to place the product in the US although it is highly superior. Would 1 1/2 days be the right insulin for me? Sadly not, because I need the flexibility to adjust my dose for days with sport. Only by reducing the night dosage I will make sure to not go to low at night.

Thanks for the advice! I just ordered the book.

I take about 375 units on average

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