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Insulin to Carb Ratio

It doesn't matter if you infuse insulin with a pump or inject, you probably know how many units of insulin covers one carb. We use multiple Insulin to Carb Ratios (IC Ratio), in the morning Arden's IC is 1 to 16. One unit of insulin, for every sixteen carbs consumed. Her lunch, dinner and evening ratios are all slightly different. 

Two weeks ago Arden began experiencing unusual BG spikes after lunch, I'm happy that this happened, not because I want to see her BG high but because the anomaly caused me to draw a mental line between these new lunch spikes and a similar spike that I see too frequently after dinner. Post dinner spikes have been an ongoing issue for us this year. I was certain that they were happening due to bad carb counting but this new situation jarred something loose in my head and allowed me to see the problem from a different perspective.

I had become lulled into a false sense of calm by consistently good BGs from other times of day. Those triumphs clouded my ability to see simple issues that caused BG spikes, spikes that shouldn't have been difficult to diagnose. I made a mistake, focusing too much on the food in the equation and ignoring the insulin.


Diabetes: "Knock, Knock..."

Me: ("I'm just going to ignore that and see if he leaves")

I wonder now if I didn't subconsciously just need a break, maybe I didn't have enough energy to tackle another diabetes riddle. Whatever the reason, I figured it all out the other day... the answer ended up being so simple that I'm now annoying myself by retelling the story. 

Arden's insulin to carb ratios needed to be changed, one quick adjustment is all it took. I'm still fine tuning the dinner number and the breakfast ratio needs a little help from a temp basal but her BGs haven't been going above about 160 (CGM) after lunch or dinner since I made the adjustments. Everything has been so quiet around here for the last few days. No crazy highs, no panic inducing lows... it's almost too quiet, but I'll happily take that calm for as long as it lasts.

I'll be writing more this week about other simple adjustments that make a huge difference. Don't be afraid to make small changes, you can always put them back if they don't do what you expected. Please remember to record the old numbers before you make any changes in your pump.


Don't forget what the bottom of the site says... Always consult your doctor before making changes to your health care. I am not a doctor.

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Reader Comments (1)

Thanks for posting.
We just started an insulin pump on our almost 7 year old last week. It's amazing the difference it's made so for, but also amazing how much work goes into it initially. For 5 days she had a breakfast spike at 10 am and it took me that long to realize that I needed to change the breakfast ratio. Did it today, no spike, with very similar foods.
I just hope the gym today after recess + blouse doesn't cause a low, we're still trying to figure out how to manage that without confusing the heck out of the teachers.

February 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarjorie

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