Long Lasting Insulin VS Fast Acting Insulin

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2017-02-19 10:49:13 -0600
Started 2017-02-15 06:12:41 -0600

The other day I was wondering about this. My doctor has me on a long lasting insulin that I take every 12 hours or so. It works okay, but my thing is while I have insulin floating around in my body all day, even when I am not eating anything, isn't it just counter productive to my goal of increasing my insulin sensitivity?

Would a fast acting insulin be a better option to take just as i eat, as my body would do naturally (well as close as I can manually get it) That way the insulin deals with my food and is gone.

I also see many of you take both a long lasting and a fast acting. Why is that? What is the benefit of doing that? I just don't really understand. Our bodies don't naturally secrete insulin for no reason.

My days of late have been filled with a myriad of odd questions…this was just one. What do you think?

10 replies

younes elkhoulti
younes elkhoulti 2017-02-19 10:49:13 -0600 Report

Based on what I know there is three types of insulin novolog fast acting and levemir long acting and toujeo which is the best long active. When I inject myself with toujeo my sugar is a lot better for at least 2 days it does not go above 180 but with novolog and levemir sometimes just don't work. I don't know why. But I suggest you to talk to your doctor about toujeo

suecsdy 2017-02-16 10:13:40 -0600 Report

When first dxd, I used both types of insulin…lantus at bedtime and Novalog with meals. After things got under control, I would often skip the Novalog, especially after my 2nd surgery, they would test me before meals and not give me insulin. When I asked about it, they said my nos were normal. When I switched to victoza, Novalog was the first to go. Lantus took a little longer.

GabbyPA 2017-02-16 10:19:53 -0600 Report

So does Victoza function as a combination of the two? Or something totally different?

suecsdy 2017-02-16 11:24:51 -0600 Report

No. Victoza ans Bydureaon work differently. They aren't a substitute for insulin, they encourage your pancreas to produce more insulin and I think tell your liver to not put out glucose. will have to go back and re-read my info before I say more. All I know is they work well for me.

Type1Lou 2017-02-15 08:36:01 -0600 Report

Fast-acting insulin can stay in your body as long as 4 hours. The goal is to mimic insulin levels that a "normal", non-diabetic would maintain. As a Type 2, you are still producing some insulin. If you were to fast and not eat anything, would the long-acting insulin alone be enough for you to maintain near-normal BG's? Long-acting insulin is meant to satisfy "basal" insulin (the 24-hour background insulin levels we all need) while fast-acting insulin is meant to deal with "bolus" (e.g meal-time) insulin requirements. I think your question is a good one but it may have very different answers depending upon the individual and their metabolism.

GabbyPA 2017-02-15 13:46:43 -0600 Report

Thanks, that makes it a little more clear. I didn't think that our body would release if not needed.

Browngary 2017-02-15 14:06:12 -0600 Report

As a Type 1, if I don't take a long lasting insulin, my sugars will rise throughout the day. Some of your meal is stored and can be released throughout the day - especially when I sleep.

The long lasting insulin puts me at that zero-sum so I can better accurately predict my meals.

There has been a few times where I completely forgot to take my Lantus and my sugars will swing wildly throughout the day as I overcompensate at mealtime.

Type1Lou 2017-02-17 08:49:22 -0600 Report

Gary, I am a Type 1 on an insulin pump since 2011 (dx'd in 1976) Prior to pumping, I was on Lantus and Novolog. Pumps only use a fast-acting insulin and deliver the basal dosages (provided by the long-acting insulin for those injecting it) in very small amounts throughout the 24-hour day. Different basal rates can be programmed according to different times of day based upon individual requirements. I use Novolog in my pump. My lowest basal rate of .125 units/hr is set from midnight to 3am and my highest basal rate is .625 units/hr from 3 to 7 am because I have "Dawn Phenomenon" issues. Of course the bolus dosage is calculated based on carb input and BG readings at that time along with factoring any active insulin that may be remaining in your body from a prior bolus. I resisted pumping for years but decided to try it when I began having more frequent and scary lows. I hope I never have to go back to MDI. I love the flexibility pumping gives me, enabling me to set temporary basals to compensate for exercise or illness.

WASHED OUT 2017-02-15 06:47:48 -0600 Report

Have you been tested to see how much insulin your body is making ? Been tested for antibodies from a autoimmune problem. The reason I am on both insulins is my body is destroying my pancreas insulin cells, my body can't make it so I have to inject it. The long term adjust my day in general and I can tweek my levels at mealtime with the short term. It works well. If you are truly a type 2 the your beta cells may have a problem of just shutting off and can be switched back on through normal blood glucose over a period of time. Remember insulin sensitivity problems are not the same as not making any. Even people who are type 2 can burn out their beta cells from overproduction and high glucose damage. In either case Insulin is required for the body to regulate to normal glucose levels staying out of either extreme ( the danger zones). Diet can only do so much in gaining that control. Some people have the means to become more insulin sensitive others do not.