Advice on basal testing?

I know I need to…but I just hate the process. It just seems like the basal testing gods never align when I need them to. They say not to basal test when you have had recent highs or lows, and wait five hours after last bolus and food and the list seems to go and on to where the window of opportunity seems very narrow. I can usually get it started and will do a stretch but then run out of steam. So it is one part technique and another part motivation. Any suggestions? Anyone else hate this as much as I do and want to be a “basal testing partner” and we can do this together?

I wear a Animas Ping and don’t have a CGM.

I can only sympathize. I’m very good at putting off basal testing. I don’t have a CGM either and I try to test every hour while I am basal testing and completely fast (except water).

Before I tried eating no carbs while testing, but it turned out that my blood sugar went up from the 6 eggs that I ate enough to influence the results and lead to inaccurate basals.

So when I do it, I do it right. But I must admit that I’m always putting it off.

As Dave recommended, Pumping Insulin has a great guide for how to test. That’s what I (generally) follow.

Beginning my son’s first basal testing tonight. The overnight one should be easy. It think the lunch one will be the hardest for him. will try that one on a weekend. Not looking forward to it.

i’m going to elbow in with a slightly off-topic question: is everyone supposed to basal test? or is it necessary only when numbers are screwy? i’ve been pumping 12 years and i’ve never done it (nor has my endo ever used the term). in fact, i run the same basal i set up the day i got my pump. i’ve run a temp basal. i make adjustments by exercise and diet. it seems to work. never had an a1c above 6.3 in the last 15 years.
still … i’m clueless so any insight is appreciated.

I’ll be your partner. I need to & haven’t in a while. It’s a pain! My latest excuse is that I’m on Humulin Regular, which lasts a bit over 5 hours in my system. I can’t skip breakfast because of dawn phenonmenon, but am good with missing lunch & dinner.

I don’t have a CGM either.

Pick a date & we’ll keep each other motivated!

My niece was diagnosed 3 months prior to my son and she is seen at Johns Hopkins Hospital. My sister has never heard of basal testing either. She thought maybe it was because my niece has been in the honeymoon period but so is my son. I guess it just makes sense…this way you know how much underlying insulin your body is needing and then the main ajustments are just your boluses. But with all the many things that can effect the outcome of all of this…I don’t think there is an exact basal that is the “right” basal ever…do you? So…we will do what we are told and go from there.


It’s advisable to test basal periodically because it’s as changeable as anything else. If you’re not having highs or lows between meals, or while exercising or high morning fasting, then you’re fine.

I did a basal test once. I don’t like the disruptiveness of it. During the time that I eat who cares whether my basal rate should be 0.05 more or less when I am bolusing 5+ units. Different story when I don’t eat. I noticed that I always had to eat something at night. I reduced my basal rate so that this is not necessary. I also noticed that my BG was sloping upwards during the night. I increased my basal rate so that my BG does not budge at night.

Let’s partner up Gerri!!! Since I wrote this original post I have done all my time periods except lunch to evening. I’ve tried a few times and have gone low. I’ve adjusted basals but still need to retest. I don’t like to do them at work because I can’t concentrate when I’m hungry.

You have nudged and motiviate me. I’m going to try to get this done over the upcoming weekend. When do you think you will start yours?

I think you were motivated already:)

Ok, I’ll do it this weekend. You’ve got a date!

Well, I started with a new endo last fall and she has helped a great deal with moving me along.

Let’s check back Sunday evening. My doc will be happy. She has waited too long for me to fax in the last of the basal tests!! Thanks for the nudge.


My son’s first basal testings are showing that as long as he doesn’t eat or climb trees, bike, kayak or have too much fun his numbers are great!!! LOL As soon as he does one of these things…all bets are off!

i just got done with a basal test today… i just took it all at once and didn’t eat anything or drink anything with carbs in it for 24 hours (er, more like 30). Wasn’t all that hard though, cause i’m the type of idiot that will forget to breathe when playing an instrument, and forget to eat during the day haha

Wow, that’s great! I feel faint if I miss more than one meal. So, did you need to make any basal adjustments?

Basal testing is a pain. You’ve got to sort of trick yourself into it by skipping a meal ‘by accident.’

Morning basal testing is best done on a Saturday or Sunday, when you can sleep in. It’s the easiest, actually, since you’ve already spend 8 hours without eating.

For lunch do something like work through lunch or go for a long but lazy and non-strenuous walk. Or go shopping, run an errand, blah, blah.

For dinner - don’t skip dinner, just eat later than normal. Say two to three hours later. But have a mid-afternoon snack first. This is easier to do on a Friday or Saturday night.

You can also use those times when you’ve had to skip a meal for some reason as an ‘accidental’ basal test. A long day at work. A car trip. Visiting with someone. A late dinner. Having brunch instead of breakfast. All circumstances that can make up a basal test. You just have to remember to keep track. Relatively easy without a CGM if you test on a regular basis. So if you test before and after breakfast, before and after lunch and before and after dinner, even if you don’t eat, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for an ‘accidental’ basal test.

Good luck,


Yeah, a ton! My midday insulin spike was turned into a midday insulin dip. Used to be 1.8 from 6am to 12pm, but now it’s 1.6 from 6am to 10am, 1.5 from 10am to 12pm, and 1.1 (was 1.6 before) from 12pm to 8pm. Then from there to midnight it’s UP to 1.2 (1.3 before) then from midnight to 6am it goes up some more to 1.3. (the only one that didn’t change)