New to Insulin Pump

Hi everyone, My name is Karah and im getting the Insulin pump next week and im just wondering if anyone here could help me with how to carb count? I kind of get how you do it but yeah its all a little bit confusing at the moment lol... any help would be appreciated

karah =)

If you go to the Lilly web-sight they have some info for people who are just starting to count carbs. You can probably get buy just using a Calorie king book or their web-sight and you can also access Calorie king with a smart phone.

I agree the Calorie King book is useful although I'm not an enormous fan of their website. When I got my pump, I got Calorie King (one copy myself and they gave me one too!) and a scale from Target to get the hang of eyeballing portion sizes and I would recommmend the scale too. I leave a bowl on it and toss stuff in, unless it's wet or gooey or whatever, then I just get another bowl. After a while, I think you'll get the hang of it. Part of the fun of the pump was seeing things fall into place but I'm sure that paying a bit more attention to what I was eating also has helped.

A food app I like a lot, and also use in conjunction with my scale, is "Lose It!". I like the interface more than the one on myfitnesspal and it will calculate the # of carbs and protein (which can also be useful to count, as 53% of protein will convert to carbs...) and a few other properties. MFP provides a bit more nutrition information, so I used that for a bit last summer when I was trying to pound potassium, but the interface isn't as useful as Lose It! for increments of food.

I hope you enjoy your pump as much as I have!!

Good recommendations on the carb counts. I was wondering if you are just asking how to count the carbs in food, or also about how to dose insulin. If the latter, Using Insulin by John Walsh is a great book to have. Basically you have to figure out your Insulin to Carb ratio (written I:C). That means how many carbs one unit of insulin will cover for you. We are all different so the best way to find your I:C is trial and error. A good starting place is 1:15. One unit of insulin to cover every 15 carbs. Then after you do that for a couple days, carefully track your results two hours after eating. If you are generally too high try reducing it to 1:13 for a few days. If too low try increasing it to 1:17. Different meals will often have different I:C's.

Have you met with a dietician? Usually, before starting on the pump, they will have you meet with a dietician to show that you know how to accurately carb count. It's mostly measuring and reading the nutritional information. I find iPhone apps really helpful for figuring out how many carbs are in restaurant meals or foods that are not labeled (using Carb Finder at the moment on my iPhone). Also, carb counting isn't always an exact science. There are some times when you have to really guestimate how many carbs are in something, especially when eating out.

I agree with Zoe that the best way to learn carb counting is to get the "Using Insulin" or "Pumping Insulin" book from Walsh - since you are pumping I would recommend the latter. Simply knowing the carb count of different foods (the info you get from Calorie King or other web sites) isn't sufficient since it is critical to get your basal adjusted correctly, and your bolus and correction ratios correct. Walsh takes you step by step through the process of figuring out all these numbers that are needed to guide you when carb counting.

Hi, Yeah I am meeting with a dietician when I get the pump but I just wanted to start doing some homework on the whole carb counting thing before I went lol. Ive been looking for some good apps so I'll check out the carb finder app.

Thank's for your help & advice

Karah =)

Thankyou JohnG, I'll check those websites out!

Karah =)

Your advice has really helped.

I hope I like the pump, Ive heard so many good thing's about it... There's only one way to find out though!


Karah =)

I'm sure you'll like it, but remember there is a learning curve, so it might be awhile before you get everything all straightened out. So be patient through it all and things will fall into line!

If you want, we can skype and I can show you using some old labels I have how my Endo taught me?

Hi Karah, I am kind of new (only 3 month) using a pump. I eat mostly the same food every day so once you know how many carbohidrates have them, it will be easy. Your pump calculates the insuline dosis automatically. If I ate something new, just read the label and calculate carbs of the portion am eating. Hope it helps.

A few thoughts… As was recommended below, I too would suggest the pumping insulin book by Walsh… It is very good!

Second, if you got on or are getting a medtronic pump, I would recommend watching their online training videos. They have several on carb counting and it will help a great deal.

Carb counting is a bit of a learning curve at first but honestly, once your versed in it after doing it for some time, it is not hard at all.

Good luck!

Dumb question, Karah: Didn't you carb count on MDI?

Hey there.. I am also new to pumping and hope to get mine within two weeks. The TSlim. If you have an Iphone.. the best thing I have found is the Glooko app that will tell you carbs for anything you search within the app. For instance, if you type in cheeseburger it will ask you the details, size, oz, 1/2, etc. and then after you select the details it will tell you how many carbs, calaries, etc. it has and you can dial it up. I love this app.. it is a life safer since I have been doing insulin shots since december 2012. PUMPING SOON! Yay! ;)

I was told how to carb count when I became diabetic (1976). No one ever told me it was out of fashion so I carried on. I was surprised that the others at my pump lessons hadn’t been given the knowledge to carb count as it is fundamental to good control either with MDI or pump. Make sure you get some training. Our hospital has plastic portions of rice etc so you can see how much to serve up for a certain amount of carbs. Keep a little note book with your most common foods and the carb values of those, and measure everything at first as it’s easy to start to increase the portion sizes without realising. Good luck!