Which Plan Is Right for Me?
Over the last decade, several new insulin options have been introduced to the market. As a result, your doctor has more options than ever before when it comes to creating a treatment plan just for you.
Insulin therapy is not "one size fits all." Different people need different insulins. The insulin plan that's right for you should be based on these things:
- How do you live your life? Do you eat your meals at different times every day? Do you go to the gym? Do you have a daily routine and don't want dosing to disrupt it? Let your doctor know what's important to you. The details of your life will make some insulins a better choice than others.
- What does your body need? You need some insulin all the time, more when you eat, and less when you exercise. If you have type 1 diabetes, all of those needs will be met by your injected insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, some of those needs may be met by your body's own insulin.
- How can the plan fit your lifestyle and your needs? There are lots of ways to combine insulins to meet your different needs, as well as several insulin delivery options. Your doctor will consider your lifestyle when selecting an insulin that will also meet your body's individual needs.
How much insulin do you need?
Here are some of the things that affect your need for insulin:
- how much you weigh
- how much you exercise
- how fit you are
- how much fat and muscle you have
- how sensitive your body cells are to insulin
- how much you eat and the foods you choose
- your emotions (such as your amount of stress)
- what other medicines you take
Getting the right insulin dose is a lot like tailoring a suit. You might start with a suit right off the rack. Then, the tailor nips and tucks until it's just right. It doesn't matter how large or small the suit is. What matters is that it fits you. Your blood sugar (glucose) reading tells you when you've got the right fit.
How is insulin measured?
Just as height is measured in inches, insulin is measured in "units." A unit is a small amount of pure insulin.
- Vials of insulin sold in the United States have 100 units of insulin in each milliliter of fluid. Such vials say U-100 on the label. The amount of insulin in a milliliter is called the insulin's concentration. Each vial contains 1000 units.
- A prefilled pen contains 300 units. A box of 5 prefilled pens contains 1500 units, the same amount of insulin as 1.5 vials.