Resources for insulin pumping

Hi there! I have been on an insulin pump for probably 15 years. I was trained by the med Tronic rep who came to my house at the time and met with a dietitian just to learn about carbs. I just asked a question a few days ago regarding white potatoes and why my blood glucose levels went so high when I bolused for it and got really good information from everyone. My question now is how in the world did you all get this educated? Are there any resources out there you would recommend?
Thank you again!

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Following because I’m in the same boat and need to start learning about carbs better. I’ve never counted carbs. I’ve been on a fixed dosage of insulin at every meal. Now that I’m back on a pump I need to learn to use that to dose since I’m not using the Guardian 3 with my 630G. I’m using Dexcom G6.

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These are the 3 books that are generally considered the best resources
Sugar Surfing by Stephen Ponder
Pumping Insulin by John Walsh
Think Like A Pancreas by Gary Scheiner

People love these books for the information they supply and most of these guys have websites that will give you some information too. But frankly I have never read one of the books. An awful lot was learned from experience. And then I learned a lot from other people just mentioning something and then would dig into what they were talking about?

I keep thinking I should read the books…lol people really do say they are wonderful!


I read the last two right before I started pumping. They helped me immensely in preparing for a pump, as I had zero knowledge up until then and was very apprehensive going from MDI to pump. I read Sugar Surfing a few years after I’d been pumping and had already been doing sugar surfing but didn’t know I was! This book validated to me that I was on the right track and gave some great examples and inspiration.

I’d recommend all three books, as well as this and other t1d forums. The best advice comes from those who have experience!


Ditto to everything @Marie20 and @Trying said. Been pumping 25 years when those books weren’t available and carb counting was like learning a new language compared to “exchanges”.

Sugar Surfing is great with CGMS and how to dynamically dose insulin based on bg trends and taking into account “food on board”, “insulin on board”, "activity on board"and “what am I going to be doing next”. For those with newer pumps that adjust insulin, there is less effort thinking about those things.

Parts of sugar surfing are also online.


Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you might have. We will take at them. We need stuff to do right now. This forum is great because you can get a variety of opinions back and see what works for you. Not all questions that you ask will have a hard and fast answer. We all dont do things exactly the same, but different people have specific areas of deep expertise.

What do you consider areas of interest for you?

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Although the books are good, the reality is we are all different, and constantly changing. For women, monthly periods can wreak havoc for some, and minimal impact for others.

Some T1s (including me for awhile) also take metformin. This can reduce insulin used and often help with weight loss/stabilization or more predictable insulin dosing/carbs.

ditto on think like a pancreas and sugar surfing

I’m still taking 1000mg of Metformin - been diagnosed LADA for 3 years. I was put on a Medtronic 630G pump last April with a Guardian 3 CGM and knew NOTHING about counting carbs or anything. It was all automatic for me and my A1C in June of last year was a 6.9 from a 7.9 in March. I have just recently started back on the pump, but this time using a Dexcom G6. And I have a trainer who is BIG on carb counting and bolusing 15 minutes prior to eating to give the insulin a head start to work. So, I’m going to have to learn something that was automatic for me before. It feels all new again.

You might find helpful info in Sugar Surfing.

Thank you MM1…I’ll put it in my Amazon Cart now! :slight_smile:

With dexcom, and as described in Sugar Surfing, you wait for the “bend” and bg rate of change to help know how long to wait.
Sometimes a quick exercise can hasten the drop. 15 minutes was the rule before CGMS, but you will find it varies.

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For example @EGreen76 I normally prebolus for a lot of my meals, half my dose a half hour before I eat when I start out between 95-105. If I am below about 95 I will only prebolus 20 minutes before. The rest when I eat. This allows me to have the insulin ready to go when I eat and allows me to make an adjustment to my dose if I eat less or more.

But say pizza (vegan for me) gets a third a half hour before, a third when I eat it and the other third a half hour after I eat. It’s high fat and high carb!

The trick also becomes with you is, it might change as time goes on. We all can change of course, but you might still have some kind of honeymoon period going on and as time goes on your needs might increase but also stabilize better.

T1D here for about 49 years. Those three books are in my library - and never get loaned out. If someone wants to check them out, read a chapter, whatever - they do it in my living room under my watchful eyes. I buy every new editions as they are published (every several years or so). Proof of how helpful they are: My A1C has been in the mid-5’s for the past 15 years and my time-in-range (70 - 135 about 95% of the time. Those books taught me how to make best use of the various tools and R’s out there and how to be my own PCP


I am not on CGM, the monthly supplies are not fully covered by my insurance. I test before eating and 2 1/2 hours after, generally 6 - 7 times a day. I get free glucose monitoring supplies/test strips from Livongo so I test all the time. In my case would the Sugar Surfing be applicable since I am not on CGM?
Thank you all again for your help and suggestions!!

I think it would. Check out the website to see if helpful.

The books recommended are must haves in a persons diabetes library. I still even after pumping for 30 years, pull them off the shelf to double check things.
Another great tool is TCOYD. Taking Control of Your Diabetes. They have day long conferences throughout the country and a great website. They also have great YouTube videos. There are podcasts, websites, blogs. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed with all that is out there. But I have found my few that I like and you will too!

For me it is mostly my own experience and record keeping. I write down what I ate, how much insulin was used and how my body reacted. Usually it takes about 2-3 times to figure out exactly how to bolus for this or that food. Now I can just flip my notebook to say white potato and see all the information I need.

There is also yearly Friends for life conf in Orlando. But due to COVID, they are doing online sessions, no cost.
July 14-19 2020.

Good answers from everyone, Yolanda. One other thing I’d like to point out is this: If you look up “potato” in a carb-counting book, it’ll give you the average count for a small, medium or large potato. Problem is twofold: a) how do you measure exactly what’s a small, medium or large potato? Some are wider and thick, some are narrower and long. So it’s kind of hard to measure and b) for fruits and vegetables, again the count is only the average count. The soil it was grown in, how much sun the fruit/veggie got while growing, etc, can all affect the exact carb count. My take on it (and this is only my personal experience) is that when I go way over what I expected to be at the two-hour post-prandial mark, I underestimated something. Maybe it was sauce on meat or vegetable, maybe it was the size of the serving (i.e., potato was larger than I bolused for). There’s almost always some sort of reason, but it’s really hard to bolus perfectly every single time.

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