Monday, 5 April 2010

The Goldilocks Dose

The most common approach for people taking insulin these days is to use ‘carb-counting’ to try and determine just how much insulin you need to inject in order to match precisely the food you are about to eat. If only it were so easy! Having ‘counted’ the amount, in grams, of carbohydrate in your meal, you then have to know how many grams equate to one unit of insulin. Easy! Except that this ratio will most likely change throughout the day, with many people experiencing ‘insulin resistance’ early in the day when more insulin will be needed than, for example, in the evening.

Now you have to consider other things, like exercise or activity undertaken, the nature and duration of the activity, when you actually did it – or maybe when you intend to do it! Then, there’s the weather, the season, your weight, do you feel ill or not, what is your starting level on your meter, what is your suggested range and are you above or below the midpoint – anything I might have forgotten? Oh yes, make sure that you use the fast-acting insulin for your meals and slow-acting for your ‘background’ or it’ll go completely to pot!
If you’re taking insulin, everyone knows
You have to determine the Goldilocks Dose.
That’s the dose that’s just right for that moment in time,
So your levels are perfect and life is sublime.

Too little – you get hot, too much – you get cold,
You can’t be too timid, nor neither too bold!
And choosing the right insulin is a good place to start,
Or you might find they carry you off in a cart!

Count up the carbs for the food that you choose,
Some packets are helpful, some seek to confuse,
It’s not just the sugar, but all carbs that matter,
So don’t be misled by not choosing the latter!

Now, when did you exercise? How much did you do?
For it makes quite a difference – believe me, it’s true!
How much of a difference? Well, that’s quite hard to say,
It depends on the type and the time of the day!

Having taken all the variables into account,
Then fire up your pen with the perfect amount.
If your levels should spike, or you get one of those ‘lows’,
You’ll know you messed up with your Goldilocks Dose!

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