Is there a magic number for insulin dosage intake?

No such thing as a magic number! It is whatever works for you! And your magic number isn’t going to be the same as mine. And what I am using now, is nothing like what I was using 10 years ago.
Of course there are guidelines that doctors and CDE’s use when first setting things up but they are just guidelines.
I am not a low carb person. I like food and use to enjoy the social aspect of dining (until COVID-19) so my numbers maybe different than some others. But I will say, my biggest learning over the past 6-7 years. More insulin for me, lead to more lows, which lead to more empty calories to fix the lows. So we just did a clean start and reset the basal at .6 for the 24 hour span excoriated work which was .3. And the amazing thing was, I was no longer bouncing back and forth. And while I could no longer snack and be ok without a bolus, I was losing weight and taking much less insulin.
And this questions is one I get every time I see a new doctor, “How much insulin do you take each day?” And my answer is always, it depends on what I am eating that day or what kind of exercise I am doing that day or how stressful work is that day. I can have as little as 12 units for the day to as much as 35 a day. It depends on the day.
A person who needs 100 units a day to keep their blood sugars in range is no different than the person who needs 20 units a day to stay in range. And unlike many, my numbers are a moving number. I’m thinking once I retire, I might stabilize some but while working a physical type job, not happening anytime soon.
Good luck and you will find your magic number. Only to see it change but that is why you are your own experiment!


11 or 12U of Toujeo, probably 7.5U Humalog, 5’2" 125lb, MDI. My endocrinologist tells me I’m doing exceptionally well at the same time I’m telling him how frustrated I am at the unpredictability of it.

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@machiya It can drive you a little nuts sometimes. You think you have it completely down pat and then your Bg’s just start doing something else. I want to fire it, but it won’t listen. :grinning:

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I have had T1 for about 52 years. My basal is PZI bovine insulin and I use 12 units a day, split dose - 6 in the morning, 6 at supper time. My bolus is regular porcine insulin and the amount depends on what I’m eating and what my BG is, but usually between 1 and 4 units. I rarely eat breakfast. So my daily amount with both insulins is between 14 and 17 units. I’m super sensitive to the pork insulin, and (perhaps because of that high level of sensitivity) I can’t use any recombinant human or analogue insulins. I’ve been hearing more and more about insulin resistance among Type 1s and wonder what’s causing it. It’s not caused by Type 1 diabetes.

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I was on pork before human insulin was available.
I made the switch with no issues. Same schedule.
It was nph and regular back then.
I’ve had my resistance checked and mine always come back minimal.
I’m glad you can still get animal insulin’s. They don’t make it in the states anymore.

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How do you get your insulin resistance “checked”?

Blood test

Is there a special thing to look for or are you basing this on the hb1ac?

Do you know why 50/50?

No, sorry, I don’t. Anybody else know?

For nondiabetics, “insulin resistance” is diagnosed with a glucose tolerance test.

I’m not sure that “insulin resistant” has any particular meaning for a T1 (who obviously should not undergo a glucose tolerance test!)

T1’s can have allergies to some or all varieties/brands of insulin that can require very large doses for effective use. BUT THIS IS NOT INSULIN RESISTANCE in the sense folks have been using it in this thread.

There is a glucose tolerance test with insulin levels for insulin resistance.
They give you a specific amount of glucose drink , usually that sickening orange stuff.

They check your glucose every half hour, normally on a gtt but if looking for resistance they also Check your insulin output.

If you are making large amounts of insulin to deal with the sugar that they give you, then they come up with a correlation number to determine your resistance, or lack of.
This will not work on a type 1 because we don’t make insulin or so small we can never bring down a high sugar on our own.

If you have ever been in a research study there is a more direct test, but I dont know how it’s measures it and apparently only done to determine your diabetes type when you start a clinical trial.
I’m pretty sure it’s only used in research.

However it is possible to be both type1 and type 2.
You would know because you would be injecting a lot more insulin than an average diabetic of the same weight.

I am 188 lbs and 6’3. I use about 40 units total per day, and it’s always been like that for 32 years. However I eat a lot of carb so I expect that is normal for me. I tried low carb and that number goes down to 25, but I just can’t stay on a diet like that because I lose weight too quickly and I get foggy brain.

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so i see this thread is continuing. Does that mean 8 has been ruled out by the community? I still say anything as magic as a ball with answers on the bottom has to possess the answer. Now before we even pick it up it tells us. 8 of course. So 8 is the universal answer. Meaning 8 units is the magic number. See it answers everything.


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Yeah, that is why I asked, as the only way I know of to test insulin resistance would be that glucose tolerance test for non-diabetics. The only way I could come up with for t1s would be looking at insulin used per kilo, but a blood test?

Which blood test is this?

Insulin used per kilo just measures insulin sensitivity. I don’t think it necessarily measures insulin resistance (whatever that might be defined to be).

The frequent posters here on TuD tend to be extremely insulin sensitive with very small doses. And I’ve seen them invoke the words “insulin resistance” many times when really (by non-TuD standards) the person under discussion was taking less or similar insulin to the nominal 0.55 units per kg mentioned often in the literature.

I found this 2018 article, apparently a chapter of a book, published on a NIH site.

This article explores some concepts a bit beyond my ability to grasp but it does explore several direct and indirect techniques to measure insulin sensitivity/resistance.

As a long term T1D, I have direct experience with increasing insulin resistance. Over a ten year period I gained about 30 pounds and my total daily dose of insulin doubled from 40 to 80. I broke the back of this insulin resistance with a low-carb diet.

What alarmed me near the height of my insulin resistance observing aggressive correction doses of insulin having zero effect on my glucose level. It was like I was shooting saline. I was so incredulous of this that I suspected that I had bad vials of insulin.

When I cut my carb consumption down to about 100 grams per day, I started losing weight, my glucose control returned and the usual effect of insulin doses on my glucose levels became rational again. I don’t like the term, “double diabetes,” but I firmly believe that a T1D can become insulin resistant.

From my experience, I believe that it is insulin that causes insulin resistance. Injecting too much insulin causes the cells of the body to defend themselves from too much nutrition and they each resist the action of any further insulin increases. It’s as if the entire body is saying, “I’m stuffed full, I’ve had enough, insulin go away!”


I’m one of those often talking about insulin resistance, and trust me, I don’t fit that model. I weight around 130lbs (59 kg), and at that exchange, I should be taking roughly 32.5 units of insulin daily. The lowest I’ve ever seen is like 40 units in a day, and that’s like on a day I wasn’t wasn’t eating. I average about 100-150g of carbs a day, not a low-carber but also not excessive, and my typical insulin consumption varies between 55-75 units a day, and that’s AFTER taking 1000mg of Metformin daily to lower my resistance.

My BMI is a little high, but my actual fat percentage isn’t, done via calipers around the midsection. I have really muscular thighs and I am an extremely hour-glass shaped woman, though, so I’m not sure how the extra fat in breasts and hips might play into insulin resistance. Point being, though, my medical team doesn’t consider me overweight, even if the flawed BMI measure does.

My biggest problem is that I have extremely high levels of inflammation that nobody yet has been able to find the cause of, and inflammation does indeed cause insulin resistance. I thought for sure it was RA, but those tests, along with everything else, have come back negative. The only things ever off on my bloodwork are the inflammation markers.

Unfortunately, it’s fairly common for auto-immune conditions to travel in company. There was recently a thread where everyone listed all their other auto-immune disorders, besides diabetes. And a common factor of them is inflammation.

We’re also all aware of how much more insulin we need when we’re high and our insulin works about as effectively as water. That too, is indeed insulin resistance.

Not to mention Type 1s age just like other people. We’re going to be prone to the same insulin resistance that about 10% of the worlds population faces as they age.

Insulin resistance is undeniably relevant to Type 1s also.


As much as I didn’t want to believe it, the 50/50 rule is pretty accurate. If you have a typical number of carbs you eat per day and the one day eat a whole lot more, you will likely run high for 24-36 hours. Your liver stores and then later releases excess sugar. You typical basal rate won’t address this and you’ll find yourself issuing a series of corrections I’ve this time period. I used to think I could widely vary carb intake from day to day. Reality is that consuming the approximate same number of carbs per day is the best approach.


Have you ever considered or even used an elimination diet that might identify some food sources of overall inflammation?

While I’ve never done this myself, I’ve read many accounts of people who, using an elimination diet, identified dairy and grains (gluten) as triggers for inflammation and gut dysfunction.