Tolerance to insulin?

By BobMWade Latest Reply 2009-02-08 22:55:58 -0600
Started 2009-02-05 04:52:58 -0600

For about 5 months I've taken no more than 40 units of Humulin 70/30 in the morning and 35 units at night. Last week though, I've taken 70 units night and morning and am not seeing a big change in my numbers anymore.

My doctor has me on a sliding scale and lets me determine how much insulin to take based on what my numbers are.

I know taking this much with little to no effect is enough to schedule an appointment, which I plan to do next week, but I'm curious has anyone else experienced anything like this? And is it normal for a doctor to let you determine how much insulin to take based on what you will eat that day (morning dose) and your current blood sugar results? I record my results and how much insulin i take each day in Excel and print that out for my doctor every 3 months, so she can see how much insulin is used and what my BD levels normally are running.

Before last week, i knew that taking 40 units would reduce my BS by 100. and so on, but right now I have no clue because taking 70 units won't change it by more than 2-3.

10 replies

dj7110 2009-02-08 20:08:51 -0600 Report

with me there seems to be a tolerance to all medications for diabetis.. yrs ago I was first diagnosed with pre-diabetis and had good control with diet alone.. My history has been aprox every 6 months needing increases.. Maxed out on 3 different pills than went to small doses of Lantis.. than had the humalin 70/30.. I am currently on humalog 10-20 units every meal and Lantis 50 units at night. and high sugars again. (Hopeing to be able to start pumping after next Dr appt.). for me this has been nothing but a progressive disease.. stableizes with new or upped meds than goes off track running higher numbers.. David

Richard157 2009-02-08 22:00:33 -0600 Report

I have read of several other diabetics who have had similar problems and then started pumping. The ones I have heard from recently are doing so much better and they love their pumps just like I do. Good luck to you!

roshy 2009-02-08 22:08:01 -0600 Report

out of my hospital there is 36 type ones and the pump is just a recent thing in ireland. but outa the 36 around 15 have changed to the pump and from speaking to my diatition none of them would ever go back to the injections!!

pumps aperently lead to more stable bg readings which i think is brilliant!! im gona consider changing over myself but im a long long way off till then!

best of luck! x x

BobMWade 2009-02-08 22:55:58 -0600 Report

Well I went to my doctor and got my Humulin 70/30 changed to 40 units for am/pm and a sliding scale with Humalog. I started eating 4 times a day instead of 1, and healthier, and so far it hasn't gotten high enough for the sliding scale.

Today I just discovered my machine was not accurate at all, one reading was 71, the next 185, then 114, so went and got a new machine today. Am kinda curious if that was the problem all along. But then again, if it were just that then 70 units am and pm would have most likely put me in the hospital. I dunno will get back to you all after I've been doing the same thing a full week as I'm a bit confused right now.

2009-02-08 18:50:57 -0600 Report

I am also on Humulin 70/30., but NOT nearly the dose you are on, much lower AM and PM dose. My doctor told me to take less (3 to 5 mgs) depending on my morning fasting reading. I am always low in the morning, so I cut it back. I've done this for almost 3 weeks now. My readings are still 60 to 70 in the AM but have gotten to the point of going over 400 before the PM insulin shot. Sorry to ramble, trying to make this make sense. What exactly is a sliding scale? I have heard the term here, but not from a doctor. I do know I'm doing something wrong. Thanks, Angie

Richard157 2009-02-08 19:48:03 -0600 Report

Angie don't use a sliding scale, use carb counting. That would require getting away from the 70/30 insulin and starting the basal/bolus kind of control. Taking your long lasting insulin (basal) and your fast acting insulin (bolus) separately would improve your control so very much. A CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) could help you with carb counting and how to deal with the insulins. My control turned around completely and my number of highs and lows was greatly reduced by this kind of regime. If you keep on going from 60 to 400 every day you are very likely to have complications with your eyes, kidneys, etc eventually. If your doctor does not want you to quit 70/30 then change doctors. You do see an endocrinologist, right?


2009-02-08 20:00:25 -0600 Report

Hey Richard… I saw an endo last week, but he would only focus on my thyroid problem. I am seeing a new endo at the end of this week. My primary doctor which I saw last week did not feel comfortable changing the insulin. I have printed this and I am taking this with me to the endo along with my log book. What scares me is my one and only A1C test was 13.9 and it will be March 1st before I can test again. With my BS jumping up and down, I am worried like you said about damage to other body parts. As always, thank you for helping me! Angie

Melissa Dawn
Melissa Dawn 2009-02-05 08:43:27 -0600 Report

I've had this problem a couple of times and the reasons have always varied. One of the latest reasons ended up being an infection I wasn't aware of (in other words, I was sick without knowing it). Another time when I was using the Pen I found out that I'd filled it with an empty cartridge. Other times its simply been my body being weird, but I'd have your doctor check for any signs of infection and if you are using a pen… make sure the cartridge doesn't just contain air.

I am on a sliding scale and have been for years. I think its pretty normal — it lets you react to what you're doing instead of living life as if every day is the same.

Good luck!

Richard157 2009-02-05 08:35:43 -0600 Report

I used 70/30 for many years and had many highs and lows. Control was difficult to keep steady. I switched to NPH and Humalog and got away from the mixes. My control improved very much with a basal/bolus program. Newer insulins then came along. Lantus and Novolog is a very effective used by many diabetics. Levemir and Apidra is another good combination. The think that most improved my control was carb counting. I take my fast acting insulin before each meal and snack according to the number of carbs I am going to eat. Now my A1cs are consistently below 6.0. It has been that way for several years.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2009-02-05 08:15:41 -0600 Report

I have been on a sliding scale for many years and it seems to be working for me. I was having really high sugar for a long time and everytime it went out of wack I was on the phone with him(my MD) to tell me what to do and how many more units to take. I used to talked to him sometimes 3Xs a day. After about a 2 weeks, I started the sliding scale until I was able to get these blood sugars under control. I deal with this myself now. No more MD calls and much more happy to get this under control on my own…Debe