Insulin regimen is the way that your insulin injections are organized throughout the day. Type1 diabetics need more than one injection per day and use more than one type of insulin. The combination of insulins and the number of times you take your injections, frame your insulin regimen. There are numerous types of insulin regimens. Ideally, you will develop an individualized regimen that fits in with your life style. Two standard types of insulin regimen are discussed here.
1. Twice-daily mixture of short acting and intermediate or long acting insulin
It is a 'conventional' therapy in which a mixture of short and long acting insulin is given in the morning and then again before the evening meal. Insulin is either drawn up from different bottles into the same syringe or use the pre-mixed insulin (disposable pen injectors). One plus point of this regimen is that there is no need of insulin shot at lunch and dinner time, but it becomes very essential to maintain timings of each meal. And, delaying or skipping of any meal will be oblivious cause of hypoglycemia. Lack of flexibility is again a problem if, a pre-mixed insulin is used as it is harder to vary the insulin dose according to the changes in your daily routine. The doses of short and long acting insulin cannot be varied independently of one another.
This regimen works as follow:
- the morning short acting insulin takes care of breakfast
- the morning long acting insulin takes care of lunch
- the evening short acting insulin takes care of the evening meal
- the evening long acting insulin takes care of overnight insulin needs
2. Multiple daily injections of short or fast acting insulin with one or two separate injections of intermediate or long acting insulin
This type of regimen is termed as 'intensive' or 'flexible' insulin therapy. Short or fast acting insulin is given before meals and long acting insulin is given at bedtime. Although a lunchtime injection is usually required, the use of a pen injector can make it a quick and easy task. This insulin regimen is much more flexible especially for mealtimes. It can easily accustom according to the body's natural needs, by providing constant supply.
This regimen work as follows:
- the short or fast acting insulin takes care of meals
- the long acting insulin takes care of background insulin needs