Having confidence in the basal rates that are set up on your insulin pump is incredibly important to ensure that you can trust your pump and the amount of insulin it is giving you.
How do I know if my basal rate is set correctly?
Your basal rate is set right, if, in the absence of food and exercise your blood sugar level is fairly stable. If the results of the basal test show a rise or fall of more than 1.7 mmol/L in either direction between blood sugar tests, you may want to consider adjusting your basal rate.
To test or not to test?
If basal rates are not set properly, everything else can seem out of place. For example, receiving too much basal insulin, or receiving it at the wrong times, can result in frequent low blood sugars, or even weight gain. On the other hand, receiving too little basal insulin can result in high blood sugars.
Hence, the right amount of basal insulin is vital for controlling blood sugars. You may need to fine tune your basal rates from time to time, especially if you undergo significant lifestyle changes – changes in weight, exercise habits, work schedules, etc..
How much do I adjust my basal rate by?
Your basal rate should be changed in increments of 0.05 to 0.1 units/hr depending on your usual settings – we always suggest confirming changes with your healthcare provider before doing so on your own. Changes to the rate should be made approximately 2hours before you see a rise or fall in your blood sugar, as the rapid-acting insulin takes about 90 minutes to peak. For example, if your blood sugar begins to rise at 5AM, you may wish to change our basal rate around 3AM.