Lower Basal or Eat

Now that the CGM is starting to work better for me and I have gotten past the lag time aspect, I am wondering if any of you lower your basal as you see your bgs starting to go down too soon instead of eating more carbs.

Do you lower your basal or do you eat?

If you lower your basal when you see your bgs going low, does it work for you, and if you do use this method how much do you lower it and for how long?

Sometimes I don’t want to eat to fix a low that I can catch with the CGM.

I am just recovering from sensor burnout! I used the sensor 24/7 for 6 weeks and got really burned out. I’d love to hear the hints that are helping you with the CGM. I’m going back on it and am working with my awesome MiniMed clinical educational consultant on strategies that should help. I’m only going to wear it a few times a month, for 2-3 days at a time. When I start, I’m not going to look at any of the numbers and then download and look at the data. Less overwhelming for a perfectionist like me!

I have been on and off of it since January, so I am probably the wrong person to ask, especially when I stare at bgs over 200 for 4 hours or more, it really messes with my mind and not in a good way. I so understand your burnout and my goal is to get better with it so I can try walking 18 holes of golf this summer without so many lows, but I think that is more mastering the pump basals than anything else, but I can also see the CGM helping me out, at least hoping so. :slight_smile:

I have never used CGM, but I have not had much luck turning down basal insulin when I am going low. Because I find that I still go low, but then high two hours later. Remember that the insulin is active in you for at least 3-4 hours. So by turning off your basal, then you are only minimally reducing the insulin now, but greatly reducing it in two hours time.

I would be curious if anyone found a way to do this effectively-- cause I haven’t been able to get it to work!

Me either, but I have a pumper friend who swears by it, but I think he goes high later as well and blames it on other things. :wink:

Ooooo and that is why lowering my basals for exercise does not work for me either.

Someone suggested lowering your basal rate 1-2 hours BEFORE exercising. I am going to be testing this out this week. I’ll let you know if I can get it to work :slight_smile:

Hey there,
Great question and idea. Using the trend and temp basals to prevent hypo works great. A study that came out not too long ago had for every minute of disconnect (no insulin,) your blood sugar will rise 1 point. So if you see a 90 with slight arrow down (slow trend) you could cut off pump for 15-20 minutes so that when you hit 70, you will begin to rise back up to the 90 range. Danger here is obvious that if you are dropping too quick, this does not work, and also if you plan to eat not too long after, then it may require some extra bolus to make up for the lack of basal insulin on board.
I hope this helps.
Have a great day.

i used to think that shutting off my basal was the best way to help fight lows…but after being on CGM i quickly realized that for me, my insulin takes at least 20-30 minutes to start lowering my BS. Generally speaking, if i shut my basal off, i will still go low. But i am the type of person that usually drops really fast.

I also think there are so many factors that go into every move i make that what i do one day may work, but the next day may not. And time of day/reason from dropping can vary greatly…

I did adjust my basals significantly over night…and sometimes find that i do drop slowly over night…in those cases i can shut off my basal, but i usually go high… for me i am almost always better off eating 3 glucose tabs…i know that I will always go up 45-60 mg depending on how much insulin the tabs have to fight.


I just started my CGMS about 2 weeks ago and since then have adjust my basal rates down. I tweak them in very small increments. If you are really looking for more info on this I would get the book “Pumping Insulin.” It covers many details that you won’t find without looking really hard. I am also uploading a PDF file that has some great info.

8642-APM.pdf (1.41 MB)

Thanks for all the great replies and the great article, I especially understand the license plate. :slight_smile: