What a 5% Basal Change Accomplishes in Various Scenarios

I’m constantly striving to find strategies that (1) keep my bg as consistent as possible under changing conditions and (2) give me the most accurate use of my insulin so that I’m not carrying unnecessary IOB that I have to keep feeding later on to avoid lows. My ideal would be to accomplish flatter lines than I currently have, but not via using so much extra insulin that if I miss feeding an oncoming IOB-generated low that I’m going to be in major trouble.

So, I’m tinkering with taking an extra 5% basal from one hour before eating to one hour after eating (basically a two hour window). I am experimenting with this during a consistent, well-known meal so that I have an accurate view of what the 5% is accomplishing. And I must say, it has helped turn my meal spike gently downward much sooner than with bolus alone. Once I get comfortable with this effect, I’ll try it on other larger meals to see what happens. YDMV.

Having said that, an extra 5% basal on top of a well-matched basal profile is impressive in its effect. It is something that I take seriously. However, an extra 5% FOR ME when my basal profile is becoming less effective due to insulin resistance from female hormones (I’m looking at you, progesterone), is SO mild. Progesterone in my system causes the Up and Stuck at higher than ideal bg’s. Once I’m getting Up and Stuck north of 150 I start adding 5% basal which very mildly brings my fasting numbers flat around 100-110. This is what happens in my body with my hormones. Same tool, but under different scenarios it accomplishes very different things. And I think this sort of thing might be useful for others, especially women.


Nifty tactic. I think I’ll try it myself tonight!

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I love your ideas here and am following along to see what results you get from these basal adjustments!

Do you adjust your bolus & its timing when you add the basal?

You add the basal on top of corrections?

Sorry I promised I would get to the women’s health category and still haven’t gotten my lazy butt to do so :sweat_smile: this weekend! I promise…

Also this is giving me a lot of ideas to try out too so thank you :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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I haven’t changed my timing for breakfast and it’s been great. I tried it on lunch today and it was all kinds of messed up (probably didn’t give bolus enough time to get going). So…not sure. Playing around with it.

As to your other question which I can’t quote for some reason, my basal has to get scaled up in 5% increments to handle my hormone highs in weeks 3/4. This is separate from correction doses. The extra basal is set to try to keep my fasting numbers level somewhere between 90-150 as best as I can.

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@LarissaW, this is what +10% in the face of hormones did for me last night. As you can see, for me going off of a flat week 2 profile, adding 10% in week 4 does not make me tank low, it just keeps me from running probably around 180-200 if I didn’t have the extra 10%. YDMV.

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@T1Allison such a pretty overnight! Do you have the +10% basal going just overnight or all day when you’re battling down highs from hormone surges?

I’m getting to my later weeks and am starting to see some resistance. If I’m noticing resistance today I’ll try out the +5% basal

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I use the temp extra 24 hours a day during weeks 3 and 4. Sometimes I need 5% less at night than during the day. This is from years of tinkering, so just start slow and test often! :grinning::grinning:

I’ll try the 5%, always adjusted Lantus by 10% but that didn’t work well. Thanks for the tip!

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I’m really liking this 5% thing! It really does even out post-meal rises for me, in a way that changing IC ratio, pre-bolusing or super-bolusing don’t. The latter two can quickly lead to crashes if there’s any delay in eating, but this small rise in basal doesn’t. Time in range the past few days has been 96 and 88%, with no change in diet, a significant improvement over the usual approx 60 to 75%.


Yay!!! That’s so awesome!!!

I’m in my most challenging hormone days to asses so I’ve had to stop tinkering with the 5% for the moment. I’m just triaging a train wreck for a few days and once I have fewer variables I’ll get back to trying it.

I up’d my basal from +15 to +20 last night before bed bc objectively I needed it. But it made me nervous. It did take my baseline from a stuck 170 to a flat 80…resulting in a few super conservatively set Sugarmate calls at 5AM. I’m glad the extra basal helped me but this sort of change is also why I have so much respect for its potential effectiveness.

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