How to Use the Diabetes 500 Rule
Whether you have been recently diagnosed or have battled diabetes for many years, there are tips and tricks that can make learning how to manage diabetes easier. One of those tricks is called the Rule of 500. This rule tends to only apply to those with diabetes mellitus type 1 because those with diabetes mellitus type 2 tend to still produce small amounts of insulin. Those looking for a new way to control the signs and symptoms of diabetes may find the Rule of 500 very helpful. When a person is initially diagnosed with any type of diabetes that requires insulin, their doctor or dietician will estimate their safe carbohydrate to insulin ratio based on different factors. The ratio is then adjusted over time using the person’s blood glucose readings taken before and after mealtimes. The initial carbohydrate to insulin ratio can be determined using the Rule of 500.
Each person responds to insulin differently. For instance, some adults may find that a single unit of fast acting insulin is enough to secure 15 grams of carbohydrates, while a child only needs 1/10 of that dose to cover 15 grams of carbohydrates. Patients who use Humalog or Novolog can determine their carb to insulin ratio by simply dividing 500 by their overall daily insulin use. The quotient is the number of grams of carbohydrates covered by a single dose of insulin. For example, a woman takes 50 units of Humalog per day. So, to determine her carbohydrate to insulin ratio, divide 500 by 50. The result is 10. A single dose of insulin covers 10 grams of carbohydrates for this woman. There is a slight variation in the equation for those who use regular insulin. Instead of 500, the daily dose should be divided by 450. Using the previous example, should the woman use regular insulin, her new carb to insulin ratio would be 9. It is important to follow your healthcare professional’s medical advice and to adhere to diabetes guidelines to prevent complications of diabetes. Do not attempt to adjust your insulin dose or diet without seeking medical advice first.
Filed under: Food for Diabetics
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