Diabetes Education

Here, I will post some information, mostly definitions and descriptions regarding insulin pumps and their settings. These are my interpretations, and are not copied from a medical dictionary. Again, I am not a doctor or CDE, please DO NOT change settings on your insulin pump, or change anything in your diet or plan based on my blog. These are my settings, and I do not recommend changing anything without consulting your doctor or CDE.

Type 1 Diabetes: A form of diabetes that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. The subsequent lack of insulin leads to increased blood and urine glucose. This is not reversible, and is fatal unless treated with insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes: A metabolic disorder that is characterized by high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. More simply, people with Type 2 diabetes will have a pancreas that produces insulin, but their cells resist the insulin so it is not efficient in lowering blood glucose. This is not reversible, but Type 2 is often initially managed by increasing exercise and dietary modification. As the condition progresses, medications may be needed.

Basal Rate: The term basal rate is used to describe the rate of steady or continuous (with an insulin pump it is periodic or intermittent delivery of insulin, usually every few minutes). My basal rate changes multiple times per day, and ranges anywhere from 0.85u to 1.15u (per hour), and the pump will release this evenly over the period of an hour and can be adjusted at increments of .025u/hr.

Temp Basal Rate: A temporary rate of basal insulin usually (in my case) set in a percentage. Example is when exercising a temporary basal rate of 75% could be set so that a low blood glucose can help be avoided. Temporary rates are usually set at least 1 hour previous to the time in which the exercise would begin. A basal rate can also be set for over 100% for situations such as illness.

Bolus: The insulin that is released when food is eaten. A bolusis a burst of insulin that is delivered by injection or by the insulin pump to “cover” a meal or snack or to correct for a high blood glucose level.

CGM: Continuous Glucose Monitor. In my case I use a Dexcom 7+ system. It has 3 pieces, a sensor, transmitter, and a receiver. The sensor lies in the interstitial fluid and reads approximate glucose levels. The sensor is connected to a transmitter which wirelessly transmits the glucose level to the reciever every 5 minutes.