On basal testing

basal testingBefore I had a CGM, my preferred method of basal testing was using one of the charts from the book Pumping Insulin. I would wait for a blood sugar in range, fast, and test my blood sugar every hour (or two) to watch for changes. This was especially fun at night.

Now I can’t remember the last time I did that version of basal testing. When Diasend worked with my CGM and/or when I still had a computer that was compatible with Dexcom software, I would just look at a chart comparing several days of graphs to spot any patterns.

graph ALL the WsOne side benefit of obsessively capturing pictures of your my CGM, is that I can use the resulting snapshots to try to capture the same type of trends. I don’t know what it is, but for the past week or so my basal rates just seem all wrong. I haven’t changed the type of food I am eating or the amount of exercise. Usually when the weather warms up, I actually end up reducing my amount of basal. Instead I’ve had to run a temporary basal increase every night to stay in range which I sleep, and I’ve bolused more times for corrections than I have for food. I took a little time last night to analyze all the dots, and I think I made all the necessary adjustments.

I had some supervision.

#bes the supervisor

I’m wondering if people with CGMs still do the “old-fashioned” version of basal testing. Anyone?


  • Old-fashioned, new-fashioned…. I don’t do either-fashioned, to be honest. I just make observations and tweak as I go along. It may not be the best way, but it sure is the easiest! Not to mention, if I don’t eat breakfast, my dawn-phenomenon kicks in in a big way, so my basal-needs without breakfast can be higher than they are with breakfast. I do believe something similar happens (to me, anyway) but in a lesser degree throughout the day — if I don’t eat to get energy, my liver kicks some excess sugar out.

  • I still do my basal testing while fasting and limiting exercise. I have the CGM graph to then go off of. It’s a pain in the butt, but the only real way to figure out basal needs.

  • I’m with Scott E. I don’t do either. That’s because I become a cranky beast when I skip a meal and because I know coffee raises my numbers and I can’t do a proper fast without skipping that, too. I, too, just watch the graphs for trends.

    I love your supervisor. So fuzzy.

  • I’m a non fashioned too like Scott.
    I dunno… I just never seemed to make sense of any of it. Though now that I’m on MDI it doesn’t really matter now does it?

  • Yes!!! My endocrinologist, whom I have been seeing since I was little, loves the CGM. However, she still prefers going off meter results when doing a basal challenge. She only has me test every 3 hours though, not every hour. Good luck with your adjustments!

  • My kiddo is 8 and would freak out if I made her skip a meal during the day. Not to mention that she still eats in between meals, so basal tasting during the day is just not feasible. The best I can do is night-time basal testing where I feed her an early low carb dinner & convince her to eat jello as a night-time snack if she’s in a good basal testing range at 7pm. Then I let the CGM take it from there. So no, I do not do it the old-fashioned way anymore!

    • I think overnight basals are the most important anyway. If overnight BGs are good, then HALF your day is good. That has to go a long way in A1c calculation. Plus when I am out of range when I wake up, I just feel like it takes sooo much of the day to get back in line!

  • I wear the DexCom G4 and still test my BG every 2 hours during the test. I do this because even though the G4 ROCKS there can still be discrepencies. Case in point: doing a basal test right now and Dex said 101 and meter said 160.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: