Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Trying to get myself to wake up from alarms on the CGMS at night drives me nuts. Last night I went to bed with a blood sugar of 75. I ate a small snack at bedtime, and I raised the low alarm threshhold to 80, with a snooze of one hour, thinking I could wake up in an hour if I was still below 80, and treat again, but not wanting to overtreat.
I woke up around 7 AM. It was beeping. It said I was 67, and my meter said 61. The Dexcom showed my blood sugar as having been in the 50-75 range THE ENTIRE NIGHT. Did it wake me up? Nooooo. The Guardian wasn't very good at it either. I know I should get some sort of amplifier. Blech.

Fact:
1 international unit of insulin is equivalent of 1/22 mg of pure cyrstaline insulin. In the United States, you can buy insulin at a strength of 100 units in one mL (U-100 insulin) or at a strength of 500 units in one mL (U-500) insulin. You can also buy a dilutant to be used with some insulins and make insulin at any lower concentration.
Historically, U-30, U-40 and U-80 insulin were prevalent on the US market.
Using a higher concentration helps with absorption of larger doses (U-500 is recommended for those with a sustained need for more than 200 units per day), and a lower concentration helps with measuring lower doses (particularly for those who frequently need doses under 1/2 unit), but having different concentrations has sometimes caused dangerous mix-ups.
Historically the lower concentrations were due to the difficulty of concentrating the insulin.

2 comments:

Reyna said...

AWESOME FACTS...that I didn't even know as a nurse...with the absorption issues and concentrations.

AND BUMMER on NOT waking up Jonah. I have a baby monitor in Joe's room, I place Dexter right next to it and then sleep with the receiver by the head of my bed. Crazy life we all lead eh?

Scott said...

The dangerous mixups are still an issue between U-100 and U-500; the FDA issued warnings for pharmacies whose systems did not take sufficiently adequate steps to prevent such mixups. A YouTube video was issued in 2008 about this. See that video at http://youtu.be/qQuwjKhRMQ8.