What is MDI? (Diabetes acronym)

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What is MDI?

MDI stands for “multiple daily injections.

People who need to use insulin for treating their diabetes have a choice between using an insulin pump or performing injections.

Most people who take insulin using injections will need to do them multiple times each day.  Most commonly, they take one or two shots of long acting insulin every day, and then also take shots of quick acting insulin with meals.

The long acting insulin is called the basal insulin.  Examples are glargine (basaglar), detemir (Levemir), and degludec (Tresiba).  Generally, a person takes the same amount of basal insulin every day, although needs can change over time.

The quick acting insulin taken with meals is called bolus insulin. Humalog is a common brand of bolus insulin.  The body needs additional insulin in order to use the energy from food.  The amount of insulin taken depends on the size of the meal, and more specifically the number of carbohydrates in the meal.  The dose is also adjusted based on the person’s current blood glucose level, exercise patterns, and other factors that may effect how much is needed.

Who does MDI?

Performing multiple daily injections is a common treatment method for anyone who needs insulin.   People with Type 1 diabetes need insulin because their pancreas does not make it.  People with LADA diabetes may still make some insulin themselves, but commonly LADA diabetes is also treated with insulin because over time the pancreas stops making it.  Everyone is different though.  Some people with other forms of diabetes, like Type II diabetes, also use insulin for treatment.

MDI vs Insulin Pump

There are many things to consider about whether insulin should be administered with a pump versus injections.  I’ve heard from some diabetics that switching to a pump was a great decision for them, while I know there are other people who have tried an insulin pump and switched back to injections.  Both treatment methods can be used to control one’s blood glucose.  It is an excellent topic to discuss with your doctor.

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