Using insulin requires a good understanding of how to calculate the total dose. Use the Insulin Dosage Calculator to get the accurate dose. Know more.
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Insulin is one of the most important drugs prescribed in the management of diabetes in patients of all ages. Although it is commonly prescribed, using insulin requires a good understanding of how to calculate the total dose. It is equally important to know the symptoms of abnormal blood sugar levels to prevent serious complications. Read ahead to know more about the Insulin Dosage Calculator, which can help you manage your diabetes.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. Blood sugar levels are controlled mainly by insulin and glucagon. Chronically high or low blood sugar levels are associated with several problems. After we eat a meal, blood sugar levels tend to increase. In this case, insulin helps glucose leave the blood and enter cells where it can be used for energy. It also helps the liver store excess glucose.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic condition that affects glucose metabolism. There are mainly two types of diabetes people struggle with that are mentioned below.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM): It is an autoimmune disease that is commonly found in children and young adults but can develop at any age. The treatment for this is usually insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM): It can happen if:
The body cannot generate enough insulin.
There is insulin resistance and the body is unable to use insulin.
Note that diabetes can also occur in pregnancy known as gestational diabetes.
Insulin is used in the treatment of all the above mentioned types of diabetes. Sometimes patients who are on oral medication for diabetes may also need to take insulin if their sugar levels are not controlled or before a stressful situation such as undergoing surgery.
Here’s an overview of the types of insulin therapies.
1. Basal or background insulin dose
This dose is to be taken daily to maintain baseline hormonal effects irrespective of food.
2. Bolus insulin dose
This is generally rapidly-acting insulin taken depending on the carbohydrate content of meals to control the sugar spike after eating meals.
This is known as intensive insulin therapy. While your doctor will prescribe the basal dose, the bolus dose of insulin needs to be calculated separately for each meal.
Usually, about 40% of the daily requirement is given as the basal dose and about 60% is given as the bolus insulin dose.
To calculate the basal dose, it is important to find the insulin sensitivity factor. This is defined as the amount that one unit of rapid-acting insulin will drop blood sugar levels. Generally, this level is 50 mg/dl. This can be calculated by:
dividing the constant 1700 by the total daily dose of rapidly-acting insulin (usually given as bolus) or
dividing the constant 1500 by the total daily dose of short-acting insulin (usually given as basal).
This dose depends on the insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio. This represents how much carbohydrates one unit of rapid-acting insulin will help utilise. Usually, this amount is between 12-15 grams. This is calculated by dividing the constant 500 by the total daily insulin dose. Both these values vary widely from person to person and depend upon many factors, such as stress levels.
Look online for a reliable website or a mobile application featuring the Insulin Dosage Calculator and then input the following details followed by pressing the calculate button.
The carbohydrate content of your meal
The carbohydrate ratio, as described above
Your current blood glucose level (this can be checked at home using a glucometer)
Your target blood glucose concentration
The insulin sensitivity factor, as described above
The daily dose of insulin is the total of the basal (or background) dose and the bolus dose. This number is best assessed by a physician or diabetologist. It is not recommended to adjust your insulin dose yourself as blood sugar levels being too high or too low are both risky conditions. Besides, other than the carbohydrate content and blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity varies from person to person.
For packaged foods, the carbohydrate content can be calculated by checking food labels. For others, there are several calculators and lists available with details about the carbohydrate content of common foods.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that affects several organ systems in the long term, especially the cardiovascular system. Diabetic involvement of the heart and kidneys can even be life-threatening. That is why it is important for all diabetic patients to maintain blood sugar levels in the normal range.
Try to maintain a healthy body weight.
Regular exercise, such as going for walks, is helpful.
Follow a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables.
Add healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, etc. Also include healthy unsaturated fats like ghee.
Reduce added sugar
Stop smoking and reduce your consumption of alcohol.
Ask your doctor about your target blood sugar levels to know what range to maintain.
Measure blood sugar levels regularly.
Learn how to use a glucometer correctly.
Store insulin at an appropriate temperature.
Learn the correct method of injecting and do so confidently.
Always inject at different sites to avoid skin changes secondary to the injection.
Make sure to take the correct form of insulin at the correct time.
Time your meal appropriately after taking insulin to prevent a drop in blood glucose levels.
A lot of people with chronically high blood sugar levels do not understand until it is too late. Some of the common symptoms include feeling very thirsty, urinating frequently, weight loss, feeling tired, and recurrent infections. Diabetic patients with very high sugar levels often need hospital admission with fluid replacement and insulin.
Blood sugar levels below 70 mg/dL are usually accompanied by symptoms such as shaking of the hands, profuse sweating, blurring of vision, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, irritability, etc. Patients who are diabetic may experience a sudden drop in sugar levels if they forget to eat on time. Therefore, they are advised to carry a sugary treat such as a chocolate with them and to consume it immediately if they experience any of the above symptoms.
A general health advice for insulin management would be to keep a check on your sugar consumption and stop smoking and drinking.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes.