Adapting your basal rate temporarily to better fit your daily activity
Spring is here and the sun is ‘occasionally’ showing its face (Well we do live in the UK after all) and we inevitably become more active, going for walks outside, playing sports with our friends or taking the children to the park. By being more active than normal, there is a good chance that your blood sugars may drop and there could be a higher risk of you having a hypo. Your MiniMed™ insulin pump has a great feature to temporarily adjust your basal insulin to better fit your daily activity and help prevent this.
When being active your sensitivity to insulin increases. Your body needs less insulin to keep your blood glucose levels right. That means that when going out for a long walk or spending time chasing the children around the garden there is a chance your blood sugars will go down if you don’t tell your pump upfront to ease off a little. This is where the ‘temporary basal rate’ comes in. With this handy feature, available on all MiniMed pumps, you simply tell it to ease off a little and inject less insulin for a programmed period of time.
It is also advisable in times of change to measure the blood glucose more frequently.
Setting a temporary basal rate using your MiniMed™ Veo™ insulin pump
- Open the menu of your pump and scroll down. Select the ‘basal’ settings.
- Then select ‘Set/Edit Temp Basal’.
- Adjust the basal rate of your pump for a restricted period of time. You can adjust from half an hour all the way up to 24 hours. Set the duration of the temporary adjustment in blocks of 30 minutes. Change the time using the ‘arrow keys’ and then press ‘Act’.
- Change the basal rate as a percentage of your normal basal settings with the ‘arrow keys’. For instance lowering the basal rate to 80% means the normal amount of insulin given at that time of day, is reduced with 20%. Suppose the basal rate of your pump is 1 unit of insulin/hour. After the adjustment it will be reduced to only 0.8 units/hour. Depending on the intensity of the planned activity you can set the basal rate to the required level and duration.
Before you start using this feature you should discuss this with your healthcare professional to make sure you that you do everything right. Setting a temporary basal rate is a great feature of your MiniMed™ insulin pump and can help you to manage your blood sugars and – more importantly – to help you prevent hypoglycaemia when you are becoming more active in spring.
Higher temporary basal rate can also be set and can be useful at times of illness when the body needs more insulin because of the lowering effect the body fighting infection has on insulin sensitivity – something you can talk to your HCP and we will cover in more detail in our next newsletter.
The new MiniMed™ 640G has the added benefit of Pre-set Temporary Basal Rates – Click here to find out more.
Reducing hypos: Your MiniMed™ pump when used with CGM can help you to reduce hypoglycaemia Click here to find out more