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You can’t build a house without a strong foundation- this reigns true inside your diabetes management as well. You need to have a strong foundation of basal insulin so you can continue to build on top of your management. A solid foundation can make a huge difference in your management. Keep reading to find out the importance of basal insulin for better blood sugar mangement.
What is basal insulin?
Your basal insulin is an important component of your diabetes management because it lays the foundation for your blood sugar management. Your basal insulin works in the background to help stabilize your blood sugars during periods of fasting, such as while you are asleep or in between meals. Even when fasting, the liver is continuously releasing glucose into your bloodstream for energy and you need insulin to match that- that’s where your basal insulin comes into action.
When to test your basal rates
Testing basal rates if often overlooked in diabetes management. You may find yourself tinkering with your rates here and there, but if you haven’t done a formal basal test in a few years, it is probably time to do so! A general rule of thumb for conducting basal rate testing is when there is a change in your life, there is likely a change in your basal rates- consider big life events like going from elementary school to middle school to high school to college.
Your basal rates may need to be adjusted more often in between. You should consider reevaluating your basal rate again if:
- You miss a meal and your blood sugar goes high or low.
- You have to eat a bedtime snack every night or your blood sugar will go low.
- Your blood sugar is consistently elevated before meals.
- You have experienced elevated fasting blood sugar for 3 or more days.
How to test your basal insulin rates
You can use this blog post for reference on conducting a basal rate test.
What can cause changes to your insulin needs?
Your insulin needs can change day to day and overtime. Here are some of the main factors that may influence changes in your basal rates:
- Weight changes
- Hormone changes
- Physical activity
Having your basal insulin programmed properly will give you a solid foundation in your management. Plus, you will sleep better every night knowing your blood sugars won’t plumpet without your safety sandwich. It can increase your confidence and make you feel more empowered with your management that you may not have felt for some time. For more details on how you can get started with mastering your baselines, listen to Keeping it 100 Radio: Uncensored Diabetes Conversations Episode 48: T1D Tips with Jessica Hrdlicka: Master Your Baselines for Better Blood Sugar Management Phipps. Available now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.