How much extra basal do you use when you have a cold?

I never get this right... I have a mild to moderate cold with head congestion and the usual stuff. My BGs are running high as you would expect, so this morning I set a temp basal of 120% on my pump. My sugar is still high (160, 3 hours post-prandial), but I'm hesitant to keep upping my basal because I know there's some lag time involved before it levels out. How long should I wait between adjustments? Has anyone figured out a tried and true method for dealing with a cold without wrecking a long string of good numbers? (next A1C test is in just 2 weeks!!!) How much do you increase your basal? Is there a right way to do this, or do you also use the "hit or miss" approach, like me? I figure by the time I get it straightened out myself, my cold will be gone (hopefully!). Thanks for any advice!

-Beth (Type 1 for 6.5 years)

I think this is highly individual… I think the approach is to keep increasing it slowly until you find the magic number. I had a bad cold (bordering on flu) two weeks ago that lasted a week with elevated BG’s. Eventually, I stabilized my BG with a basal rate 180% of normal.

As I started recovering, I was waking up every 2 hours at night and testing because I was paranoid about a sudden drop. That never happened thankfully, and after the symptoms diminished my BG gradually came down without a sudden crash.

Last time… 200% and that wasn’t enough… it really varies. I ended up just using an unused basal profile to set a flat higher rate. I was running 3u/hr for a few days and even that didn’t seem to make much difference in my BG… I just ran high.

Oddly enough as soon as I stopped worrying about it, things went back to normal.

Thank you for your replies JeffC and Sarah. Wow – 180-200% of normal basal rates! Looks like I’m being too conservative, fearing the sudden nighttime crash, too, I guess. I had some vague recollection that a pump trainer or my endo told me to start with 120%, but I could be wrong. Obviously it didn’t do the trick for me this time. I don’t get sick often enough to figure out what works, which is lucky for me. Makes sense that it would vary a lot from person to person, virus to virus, etc., but wouldn’t it be nice to have a worksheet or algorithm? :wink: Ever the challenge… Cheers.

This was timely…

Only Dx’d 1 year ago with T1.5 (sick for 2 yrs before that), on MDI.
My first real bout of a nasty cold right now, and my numbers
(which are normally good - below 6 most of the time) are
over 7, and I just can’t get it down. Had a bout of "rage bolusing"
yesterday, which didn’t seem to work.

I didn’t think about upping the basel. Thx.