Insulin intake and how much do you think is a high dosage?

What is the highest does of insulin you’ve known anyone to be on? I take 45 units in the morning and 50 units at night of Levemir. Do you think this is a high dose?

My sister takes 100 units of humalog 3 times a day and 100 units of lantus at bedtime. She is type 2 and insulin resistant. I am type 1 and insulin sensitive. We also have opposite personalities.

If someone is insulin resistant, they can take very high doses of insulin. This doesn’t make the diabetes better or worse, just requires a different treatment. Some people use U-500 instead of U-100 insulin, which is 5 times more concentrated.

Just to add…insulin amounts are also based on weight (metabolically active tissue) and mostly carbohydrate intake. I started on very low doses some 30 years ago and now require much more per kilogram (kg) because 1) have no insulin production (pooped out completely about 1yr after dx w/ T1), 2) have gained weight! 3) less physically active 4) hormones changing 5) and was eating the normal American diet! The only thing that has helped me reduce my insulin usage/day is to limit carbohydrates. The western diet is very high in them:) I have cut back my insulin usage by 1/2 in following a low carbohydrate diet (30-50g/d). Was using 80u/d (called Total Daily Dose or TDD) and now using 55-55u/d. Did not effect my basal amounts much yet (only lost 10 pounds so far) but, suspect it will as I lose weight. The big change has been in the amount I need to cover food and the lowered amount needed to correct high blood sugars (BGs have been rock solid…very little variability even 30 mins after meal). Look forward to getting my first HgA1c since making these changes. PS: approved by my endocrinologist. Important to note that insulin resistance can happen for many reasons (in non-diabetics)…it naturally occurs as we put on more fat weight. Common rule of thumb for insulin dosages is 0.6-0.7u/kg body weight (if overwt use adjusted value which is IBW+25% of IBW). If you are overweight…could seem like you are on a lot of insulin/insulin resistant…and actually you are on a normal amount for your body size! Hope some of this helps in understanding the differences between individuals. Just to qualify…the calculations above are standard and known by caregivers…always best to know a little and then talk w/ your caregiver about your specific issues.

I am considered to be insulin resistant. However, I lost 50 lbs. last year but now it seems to gradually be creeping back up. As I said, I exercise 5-6 times a week. Sometimes I’m at the point of sheer exhaustion from working out. I’m trying so hard to get the few pounds I gained back off. It’s a real struggle. Most of the weight is being carried in my tummy. I think I have metabolic syndrome which as I said began with me havinga hysterectomy. My fibroids were so large it made me look like I was 6 months pregnant. After surgery, I never went back to being flat. I just don’t know what else to do.

I am one of those who take the u500 as a matter of fact. Yep it is 5 times stronger than the norm. When I was taking Lantus I was taking a split dose of 160 in the morn and 160 at night. Plus pills plus novolog. Then went on pump and took 200 units + a day. Now I take the u500 and glucovance. I run the u500 in my pump.

i get about 100 units a day everyday in humalog!
a lot of other diabetics i know think it’s a crazy amount!

I’m so glad that I’m getting responses because I feel like the odd girl out sometimes. I just feel like I hear about people who take 2 units, 5 units,etc. of their basal and I’m just like…“what the heck is wrong with me”…am I that much different from everyone else? As I said, I take 45 units in the morning and 50 units at night, along wtih Novolog fast acting insulin on a sliding scale. I also take Glyburide/Metformin 5/500 three times a day wtih my meals.

I will have to tell my sister about the u500. The reason she takes only 100 units at a time is because her syringes only holds 100 units and she doesn’t want to take another shot. She uses10 bottles of humalog and 3 bottles of lantus per month. I have seen her BS 500 before lunch and she still would take 100u. Her A1c is 13.

The most important thing is that your dose keeps you at target range without many highs or lows. That’s what counts more than how much. The problem with higher doses is more unpredictable absorption. Higher amounts don’t absorb as well.

Hmm, if it works for you then it is the perfect amount…

I guess I have always asscociated high dosages of insulin with weight gain and I’m afraid of that happening little by little. I received my lab work results from my endocrinologist yesterday and she said she would like for me to increase my units. I must admit, I have been feeling really listless just in the past week or so. Even though I exercise like a crazy person, I have been feeling as if I have very little energy throughout the day. My A1C 3 months ago was 8.8 and now it is 7.8. I just feel so stupid for needing to increase my insulin. I’m just trying to understand why I need the increase even though I know it is necessary. Could it be that my diabetes is progressing?

Good work getting your A1c down!

Your endo wants you to increase dosage because she wants your A1c to be lower. Nothing to feel stupid about:) 7.8 is an average BG of 177 & that’s high. High BG makes you feel tired.

Higher doses doesn’t mean diabetes is progressing. Insulin needs change & it’s important to get your A1c down more to avoid complications in the future.

The only way I know to lower doses is to decrease carbs (since you’re already exercising a lot) so you won’t need as much insulin to cover what you’re eating.


I feel so encouraged now!!! I take a publication called Diabetes Forecast…I got the new one for this month just yesterday, and lo and behold, the very question I’m asking here about high insulin intake is saying the exact same thing you are say…word for word! I was so elated to see that my feeling inadequate is unfounded. You, too, have confirmed this and I thank you SO much!!! I increased my dosage yesterday and I did feel a little bit better as far as energy is concerned. And I feel even better today (this morning).

You put it to me very simply and I don’t feel so much like a failure. I know it’s a mind thing, but sometimes I just feel like I’m simply to blame for me having diabetes. I feel emotionally better toady. Even though I take Cymbalta, I think I go through these emotional roller coasters every now and then, but otherwise, I’m pretty upbeat. I don’t think these times are “pitty parties”. I truely feel at these times that I’m totally inadquate and cannot understand why this happened to me.


Glad you’re feeling better! Consistently high BG saps energy. Having level BG is the goal & doing whatever it takes to get there.

Geesh, is Diabetes Forecast stealing my words again:)

Type 2s are too often made to feel guilty & responsible. Don’t think Type 1s have it quite as bad in this area, though we don’t understand how it happened either & healthcare professionals can make us feel like failures. No one in my family has diabetes & there are many of us with no family history.

Not your fault & you’re not inadequate! People with diabetes are super adequate.

I am on 46 unit lantus once a day, 1000mg metformin, every time I try to decrease the insulin my numbers go way up

do have low during the day. i just when on u500 sometimes my low get to 50. i been to dr. change my setting too or three times. email me at for any help

My endocrinologist told me to increase my units, which I did. It’s makingg a big difference in my morning levels. She told me to test around 3:00 a.m. in the morning and see if the level is high. She said that if it is, it is likely I’m not taking enough units at night to cover me. I went from 50 to 55 units…that didn’t work. Then I went to 60 units…nothing…then I went to 70 units…now it seems to be working okay. I guess I’m so embarassed at having to take a high dose because it makes me feel like I’m not in the normal range with others who only take a small amount. But as Geri told me here, it’s not my fault. I have been reminding myself of his words all week and all weekend. It really does help that someone else understands what you’re trying to verbalize. AGAIN…I THANK GERI ! ! ! This has made a big difference in the way I think of me handling this uninvited disease. OH!! I worked out like a fool this morning!!! LOL…it felt great…my muscles were smiling when I finished…LOL…

I am waking up to much better numbers in the morning since I increased my units of Levemir. I suppose I was afraid that if I increased my dose I was abusing the insulin, but thanks to Geri and his inspiring words, I don’t feel so bad. Geri, you were right, the need for adjusting your insulin DOES affect your mood AND your energy level. I feel much better mentally and I’m not tired. I had a wonderful salad for lunch today and my BS was great afterward.

Hi Clee,

Am thrilled to hear your good news! So proud of you also!

No embarrassment, ok? You need what you need. You wouldn’t be embarrassed if you needed more water to drink than someone else or more oxygen to breathe, right? I didn’t sign up for diabetes & neither did you. Our responsibilty alone to take the best care of ourselves we can, but not our fault.

BTW, I’m a she:)