Is it possible to see the current active insulin on board, on the PDM?

I can see it when I bolus, but, is there a way to look up the insulin on board via the PDM at moments when I’m just curious to see what’s going on?

You can always just “pretend” like you’re going to bolus, get to the screen that shows IOB, then cancel so no bolus is actually given.

Hm, I just tried that and I didn’t have the opportunity to cancel before confirming my bolus selection? Maybe I did this wrong? If you get this and can detail how to do this step by step, that’d be great.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Related-ish, does anyone know how or if you are able to see how many units of insulin you have left in the pod ?

Right now…out of the 100u initially injected into the pod…I have 50+ units remaining. This is an incon next to the remaining battery life at the top left of the PDM. Exactly how much…not sure. When it drops below 50 units…guage counts down unit by unit. When it’s less than 5 units display shows “Low”.

You should always have the “opportunity” to either confirm or cance a suggested bolus. By the way, Eic is a wise soul here…his advice is always well founded.

Thank you so much for your help, Janice. I see that now. So, I have 50+ units, which makes me mad. But too… I go to bolus - then I enter bg, or say next without entering bg, then specify eating or not, units, extend or not, then I am on Start Bolus? My choices are confirm, that’s it. So if I do, then I can cancel.

But too, at the next screen I don’t see what I have “on board” I only see the basal rate (not how much of it may be on board…, my last bg, what time it was, and my last bolus and what time it was. No insulin on board.

Which confuses me. So too, if I have 50+ units, it won’t tell me how many? I only see a bottle, that looks full up, though I have had this pod on 3 days. And 8 hours. And I use 30+ units a day, so… granted, well, it’d be handy to see what my last 3 days cost me, insulin wise, so I knew how to fill these up each time, more accurately.

The manual doesn’t address these things particularly, and they’d be nice to know.

If you go to my records, insulin delivery, you can then choose to scroll through the days and see how much insulin you have used each day. That can start to give you an idea of how much insulin you can put in the pod to go for your 3 days without wasting too much.

The IOB is tricky. I usually just look at when my last bolus was, and mentally calculate if any is still acting. It won’t show insulin that was taken for a food bolus, or basal as IOB. Just the insulin used for correction. Example - I had breakfast 20 minutes ago, and used 2 units. If I turn on the PDA, select bolus, say no to enter blood glucose, yes to eat now, 0 carbs, I will get a screen that had an area where IOB appears, and of course it says I have 0 iob. If i would check my sugar right now, I am sure it would be slightly high, as my food usually kicks in a little before my insulin, and my meter would try to tell me to take more insulin, even though there is insulin there. This is the one place where Insulets idea of IOB doesn’t make sense to me.

Hi K, thank you for your response. I think I noticed basically that as I went through last night, and came up with the same thought, that it’d be nice to note IOB from basal/bolus, too, really from all and any units taken.

Thanks for the note of when you see the IOB usually, though I’m fairly certain that mine doesn’t show that, there, 100% of the time, and I’m still not sure what makes it either appear or not appear, though feel like it’s possibly related to whether I’ve corrected lately?

If you haven’t delivered a correction bolus in the last few hours (depending on what you chose as insulin duration in Set-Up) it will always say 0.
Insulet chose to NOT count a meal bolus towards the IOB calculation because the bolus and the meal should “cancel each other out”, so technically you don’t have any IOB because it will eventually be used to bring your meal highs back to a reasonable level.
Maybe they should make this a user-selectable feature, since a lot of people like to count meal boluses as IOB, plus it’s safer to do so.


@ KcF…I had someone call me from Insulet today to explain the rationale behind this. At first, I was given the answer that “meals would cancel out the insulin”. Then, I gave her a couple of scenarios where the way the OmniPod handles IOB would be detrimental. I had a couple of serious lows 38/42 because of this in the beginning–exactly the situation that you detailed. It happened during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays last year. Then she had no answer even when I tried to press her about whether Insulet ever intended to address this issue. I also advised her that there many many other happy podders that have the same grievance. Then I got the “I hope that I’ve addressed your issues” response. I just let it go…after asking her whether she used the pod. She did not. I then added that if she did she would better understand the genuine concern.

Hi Janice,
I just wanted to say that the decision to design the OmniPod system this way (not count meal boluses as IOB) was made by many people in the marketing, engineering and CDE departments. This group of people included several with diabetes (who use the OmniPod, and at the time used MiniMed, Animas, etc pumps) and endocrinologists.
I understand you frustration, but please don’t use the “it’s a diabetic thing and you wouldn’t understand” argument. It’s hurtful and unfair.

@ Gil
I definitely was NOT trying to be hurtful or unfair…you don’t know me. That is not my character. I was seeking an answer to my concerns; and received none…just that it was decided to handle it in this manner. Perhaps YOU can explain how to avoid insulin stackng w/o going around the usual programming. I had to figure out on my own that I had to enter my grams of carbs…note the intended amount of insulin…go back to the screen that asked me whether or not I was going to eat…pretend that I wasn’t…enter the amount of insulin that the PDM said that should be delivered if I were going to eat… complicated huh? Those lows were quite scary, as I live alone. Lucky for me that I had someone check on me because I coudn’t answer the phone. Seeking enlightenment in order to explain to others how not to experience the same situation is all. I still love my pod.

Cheers to you as well,

Yes, those are the steps I suggested on a different discussion to get around the issue.
As I said in my previous comment, "they should make this a user-selectable feature, since a lot of people like to count meal boluses as IOB, plus it’s safer to do so."

I simply don’t understand the issue with their IoB philosophy. There shouldn’t be any “stacking” problem. As long as your carb count is correct and your IC ratio is correct, bolus taken with meal is used up by what you eat. If you eat 50 grams of carbs, you take 50 grams’ worth of insulin. The next time you need to eat or do a correction, that insulin from last time is not relevant unless you didn’t eat what you told it you were going to.
Sorry, but in 20+ years as a diabetic I’ve never encountered a situation where I would have discounted a later bolus after taking a meal bolus. I can’t even think of such a situation (other than, as I said, a meal was interrupted or missed). What scenarios are people thinking of that justify wanting the IoB calculation to be altered?

My situations happened early in my pumping experience when I was in a situation where there was “grazing” involved. I am very accurate with my carb counting…always have been. I guess my mistake was checking my BG 2hrs after eating…needing a correction in addition to bolusing for dessert. Hey, it was a party. I ended up with with a BG of less than 38—passed out after finding that out; and was lucky that someone came by to check on me when I didn’t answer my phone. Perhaps a party option. :slight_smile:

As Janice mentioned, if a meal bolus does not show as IOB, and someone checks their BG less than 4 hours after taking that meal bolus, their BG might still be a little high. If they forget that they still have some IOB (less than 4 hours since the meal), they might deliver a correction bolus. This will lead to the lows.
Since you have a computer at hand (the PDM), why not use it to remind you that you still have some IOB (from the meal bolus). This might help people remember it, and avoid possible accidents.
It would be nice to have a user-selectable option for that.

You can see how much insulin on board the PDM says you have when you bolus. When you get to the Suggested bolus screen, press the “?” button. Its one of the four buttons at the bottom along with the Home button and the up and down arrows.

The PDM will display how the suggested bolus was calculated which includes bolus for what you are eating, a correction if you are out of range, and a subtraction for any prior correction bolus insulin that is still on board. The correction bolus insulin is assumed to be used equally over the insulin action time. (The path to insulin action time is: Settings; System setup; Bolus/basal/calcs; Ratios/factors/targets; Insulin action). My insulin action is set for 4.0 hours. I don’t remember if that was the default as shipped, or if my CDE had me change it.

Like Janice said above, the amount of insulin still in the pod is on the status screen, between the remaining battery life indicator and the time.

Can anyone tell me what the standard meaning of “insulin on board” is? I always thought is was the amount of unused insulin still in my body.

Thanks, Brad