Insulin Control Secrets

You don’t have to be a math genius to try this test. This little bit of diabetes math offers great secrets about controlling your blood sugars, especially if you have Type 1 or Type 2 (on over 30 units of insulin a day) and are on an intensive management program.

The numbers calculated work best if you have normal insulin sensitivity and produce no insulin of your own. Therefore, this quiz is ideal for those with Type 1 diabetes, especially those who use flexible insulin therapy. A great many people with Type 2 diabetes are also using 3 or more injections a day and this information will be very helpful to them as well.

Note: Use the hypertext links for further explanation.

The numbers below are most accurate if you can answer “yes” to all the following questions:

  1. Do you have Type 1 diabetes?
  2. Are you on multiple daily injections or an insulin pump?
  3. Does your long-acting insulin (or basal rate) make up about half of your total daily insulin dose?
  4. Does the other half come from Humalog or Regular insulin given before each meal?
  5. Is your blood sugar control relatively good, say mostly 60 mg/dl to 150 mg/dl before meals, with infrequent lows?


Designed to helps you understand how to use insulin and the principles on which control is based.

  1. Minimum number of times per day blood sugar needs to be tested and recorded in order to maintain good control:  Ans.: = _______
  2. The number you divide your weight (in lbs.) by to determine typical insulin need per day: _______
    a. My weight divided by this number is: _______ units.
    b. The actual total # of units of insulin I use each day (my average daily dose) = _______ units
    What if there’s a big difference between the numbers in 2a and 2b?
  3. How much of my total daily insulin should come from my long-acting insulin or my basal rate? Ans.: = _______ %
  4. How many grams of carbohydrate will 1 unit of insulin cover for me? Ans.: = _______ grams of carbohydrate per unit of insulin.Hint: try dividing your answer from 2b into 450 or 500
  5. How many points will my blood sugar drop on 1 unit of insulin? Ans. = _______ points.Hint: try dividing your answer from 2b into 1500 or 1800
  6. How many points does 1 gram of CHO raise my blood sugar = _______ pts?
  7. How many hours after I inject my Humalog or Regular insulin does it peak in activity = _______ hrs?
  8. How many hours after I inject my Humalog or Regular insulin does it keep lowering my blood sugar = _______ hrs?

Specific To Pumps:

  1. Minimum number of areas recommended for infusion set rotation = _______ .
  2. The maximum number of hours an infusion site can be used before it needs to be changed to prevent infection = _______ hrs.