Sudden Basal Increase After Sickness

So, precursor, I'm new to a pump (got it last month). My pump has had a basal rate of .732 for a while now and its been going fine.

On Monday, I got very ill with a stomach virus causing vomiting and nausea. I had to recover all day Tuesday. On Wednesday, I noticed my BG sitting around 140-160 most of the day. I had to take 1 unit boluses every few hours throughout the day to keep it at 140-160. Today, I set my pump to about .76 which has been keeping me within the range I previously had at .732.

My question, is this something that others have experienced after being sick? Having to up their basal? I'm just concerned that if I am just needing to recover more and I leave this .76 basal setting on that I might end up chasing lows all day sometime soon.....

Could use some thoughts. Thanks!


Just because you don't have overt symptoms doesn't mean you're entirely over the fight. I've seen increased insulin need for as much as a week after being sick and then feeling totally recovered.

One thing to check is see if you're just a bit more tired than typically in the evening. It can be subtle, and easily chalked up to a busy day, but when you look for it, you can notice it. That's lingering recovery.

Also, I know you are new to a pump, but at some point you might consider varying your basal rates if you are high or low at particular times of the day. That's one of the great advantages of a pump, being able to account for differing needs throughout the 24 hours. But first, I hope you feel better soon!

Oh, also, remember you can set temporary basal patterns too, so that when you are fully recovered and your needs decrease, you can just switch back to your regular basal pattern. If the temporary one worked well during your illness, you can just switch back to it if you get sick again (which hopefully won't be too soon!)

Good catch on the basal programs, Zoe! I completely forgot about that, and indeed I have a slew of different programs for all sorts of stuff, 3 different programs for illness depending on symptoms and severity.

Yes, I've noticed my higher basal insulin needs hang on longer than I expected. At one time I was worried that my basal needs would snap back to normal and leaving me in a perpetual hypo. That never happened to me.

Do try to fall back to your old rate(s) when you're well clear of the illness. I've found it's easy to stay with the higher basal rates and start to "feed the insulin." That's a weight gain trap!

I give good advice, but don't always follow it..! I don't work out and I never get sick so I only have one basal profile. And when I tweak my basals I just change that one profile, but I do write down all the changes I made.