Lantus Dosing

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Well, I never thought I’d say this, but it’s a great week to be a person with Type 1 diabetes. With all of the bad news surrounding the Type 2 drug Avandia (rosiglitazone), it’s a relief to know I don’t have to worry about it. I recommended you read my colleague Tara’s blog entry (“Type 2 Drug Avandia Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Attacks”) for the full story.

That’s one of the first times in my life I’ve referred to someone as a colleague. What can I say? It’s just not a word in my describe-a-friend/coworker vocabulary.

While all of the controversy surrounds Avandia, I’m way over in Type 1 land contemplating whether or not to lower my daily dose of Lantus (insulin glargine). I’ve just started a brand new bottle of Lantus and I’ve been taking my normal 15 units in the morning and then eating a rather normal breakfast and lunch, but I’m still going low in the midmorning and early afternoon. This happened Monday after eating Brussels sprouts and whole-wheat pasta for lunch and only taking one unit of rapid-acting NovoLog (insulin aspart) to help out the Lantus.

I’ve known for a while that my body is sensitive to insulin, but lately it’s been a little more sensitive than usual. I took 13 units of Lantus yesterday and my blood glucose was 86 mg/dl before lunch.

I often wonder how much of an adjustment two units of Lantus is. While I’m very much locked in on an insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio with my NovoLog, it’s a bit tricky to judge how much the longer-lasting insulins affect your blood glucose. Is there a chart for your Lantus dose? I seem to remember something from when I was diagnosed. I wonder what Google will tell me to do.

I realize that Lantus doesn’t have a true peak the way some of the other insulins do, but sometimes it sure feels like it’s working.

Last night I had dinner with some friends at a great Italian place in Greenwich Village called Maremma. I took one unit of NovoLog for the few bites of bread and the polenta served with my entrée. Over the span of the meal I had a salad, two braised short ribs, a bite of sausage, a small side of polenta, and two glasses of red wine. I took my insulin right at the table and I think everyone was right in the middle of conversation and never noticed my sly little stabbing before dinner. I often feel pretty slick when this happens, though it is very unlikely anyone would ever say something if they did witness me shooting up. The other side of the coin is those who worry too much. I wonder if anyone who knows I have diabetes ever thinks “I haven’t seen him take his insulin, and those potatoes are really high-carb!”

Back to the story—when I got home an hour after dinner, my blood glucose was 81 mg/dl. I had a few bites of granola with a small glass of milk before going to bed. I often find it a little frustrating when I go low at night because the last thing I feel like doing after eating a big meal is eating more right before I go to sleep. Not that 81 is a really dangerous blood glucose level, but I prefer a small snack before bed if I’m in the 80’s. While it’s great to be in tight control of your blood glucose, sometimes a piece of fruit or a small glass of orange juice is not really what I’m looking for to put me to sleep. Especially if I’ve already brushed my teeth.

All right, I think I’ll search YouTube for Lantus and see what comes up.

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