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April 8, 2006

Insulin

Question from South Wales, United Kingdom:

According to my daughter's doctor, insulin levels shouldn't go above one unit per kilogram of weight, one and a half units at the most in adolescence. Other families we have corresponded with have been told that as long as they have a basically healthy diet, they can take as much insulin to cover this as they need. This seems sensible enough to us because, if you don't have diabetes, your pancreas produces whatever amount of insulin you need. If you are eating healthy and are not overweight but need to take over one and a half units per kilogram to keep blood sugars normal, are there any long term complications associated with this?

Answer:

Your doctor’s opinion is basically correct, but only on average. When you apply it at the individual level, your feeling regarding the need for as much insulin as it’s needed to keep blood sugar levels under the best control is valid as well, if not more. There are no complications whatsoever associated with a higher dosage of insulin, if the A1c is within the reference values.

MS