Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Basal Beats Food - Sometimes

Sometimes a low comes at the wrong time (and yes, I do realize that there is NEVER a good time for a low, except maybe right before you are about to eat a second piece of birthday cake).

There are a few really stink-o times.

Like right after brushing your teeth.

Or maybe while your sleeping.

Or when you are just not hungry.

Or sometimes when a friend is over and you just want to play.

Or when mom forgot to buy more tabs and all that is left are the yucky tasting orange ones

And if that low isn't too low, maybe hovering around 90, and if you aren't starving for a snack, it is time to call on our pumpy and pumpster friend TEMP BASAL RATE (Using Animas Ping Pumps, could be called something different in Medtronic pumps).

Basal rate, the lovely background insulin which we use in our insulin pump, comes in handy for a not-so-low-but-can't-be-ignored-kind-of-low. 

The way we use it is to do a basal reduction for a period of time to let blood sugars gradually rise back into a safe zone.

For example:  Oldest daughter has a blood sugar of 92 mg/dl at bedtime.  We set her temp basal rate to -10% for 2 hours.  At the 2-hour re-check, her blood sugar has increased to 123 mg/dl and she is able to safely sleep until the the 3:00 a.m. regularly scheduled check.  And yes, I still check almost every night!

WARNING:  I am not a doctor so please consult your endocrinologist or diabetes educator before trying anything which will alter your diabetes care plan. 

For our oldest daughter, reducing the basal rates when she has a minor low blood sugar has been a wonderful diversion from having to constantly eat some form of glucose.  Remember the whole fiasco with tabs?  They still do not like the flavor orange, which unfortunately, we have a lot of!

Our nutritionist echoed the sentiment at our last A1c appointment.  Her concern is always one of teaching our children healthy nutritional habits while making exercise a daily routine.  As part of our appointment, she reviews BMI for each child and notes an increase in their weight and height.  What she wants to see is the child following along on a healthy curve that does not indicate a problem.  Excessive snacking on empty carbs could be troublesome for long range health.

Not that ages 9 and 11 do we think there is a BMI concern but long term, we are trying to teach both of  girls many different ways to manage their diabetes, including reducing the basal rates instead of eating.  In this manner, we are supplying them with a "tool chest" of ways to manage their care.

Just something to think about.  And remember, I am not a doctor, just a mom, so be sure to clear any changes to your care plan with your endocrinologist before trying.

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