Both insulin pump therapy and injections try to copy your body’s normal insulin needs. They both give:
- basal insulin to cover the glucose your liver makes throughout the day (in between meals and overnight)
- bolus insulin (meal insulin) to cover the carbohydrate you eat
- correction insulin to correct high blood glucose
The graph below shows giving basal insulin steadily throughout the day and extra bolus insulin (the 3 peaks) at mealtimes.
Graph showing steady basal insulin and extra bolus insulin given over 24 hours.
Image credit: Alberta Health Services
Remember that no system is perfect. For insulin pump therapy and injections, you could still have the following problems:
- You may not have enough insulin at certain times of the day, which causes high blood glucose. You'll need extra bolus insulin (correction insulin).
- You may have too much insulin at certain times of the day, which causes low blood glucose. You'll need to treat the problem with a fast-acting sugar.
For both injections and insulin pump therapy, you still need to do many things:
- Watch closely and record your blood glucose at least 4 times a day (before each meal and at bedtime).
- Decide how much rapid-acting insulin to give yourself for meals.
- Decide how much rapid-acting insulin to give yourself for high blood glucose.
- Treat low blood glucose and always carry a glucose meter and glucose tablets or other fast sugar with you.
- Check for ketones when your blood glucose is above 14.0 mmol/L to decide if you need extra correction insulin to stop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from happening.
- Adjust basal and bolus doses regularly for changes to food, exercise, body growth (in children), lifestyle, weight, and other factors.
- Count carbohydrate correctly, which could mean weighing and measuring food.
- Make healthy food choices to manage your weight. Or help your child get good nutrition so they can grow and be healthy.