Basal-Bolus Insulin Therapy Terms You Need To Know


Total Daily Dose (TDD): The total amount of all types of insulin you take in 1 day. TDD is often estimated at 50% basal and 50% bolus to start with, but this can vary and will change over time.

Insulin-to-Carbohydrate ratio ICR: A math formula that tells you how much rapid-acting bolus insulin you need to take to cover the carbohydrates you are going to eat, be aware that a diabetes provider will determine your ICR. For example, an ICR ratio of 1:15 means that you need 1 unit rapid-acting insulin for every 15 grams of carbohydrates you eat.

Correction Factor/Insulin Sensitivity Factor (CF/ISF): A math formula that tells you how much rapid-acting insulin you need to bring your blood glucose back into your target  range when it’s high.be aware that your diabetes provider will determine your ISF, For example, a correction factor of 1:50 mg/dL means that you need to take 1 unit of rapid-acting insulin for every 50 mg/dL your current blood glucose is over your target blood glucose that will be given to you by your diabetes provider.

Target Blood Glucose or Goal: Blood glucose targets vary from person to person, and your GluCare team will work with you to set a target that is right for you. For the purpose of basal/bolus insulin therapy, this is often estimated at 130 mg/dL.

Postprandial Blood Glucose (PPG): Your blood glucose levels 1-2 hours after your meal. This target is a critical checkpoint for people using basal/bolus insulin therapy. It is the way to see how well your bolus does and ICR ratio is working.

Multiple Daily Injection (MDI) regimen: Another word name for the practice of injecting basal and bolus several times a day.

Insulin Action Time: The amount of time it takes for insulin to start working. Different types of insulin have different insulin action times. You will see three different types of insulin action times:

  • Onset is when the insulin start working
  • Peak is when the insulin reaches its maximum effect
  • Duration is how long the insulin remains active.
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