Thursday, April 11, 2013

Basal... the other low treatment

I've had a few people ask me about this, so I thought I'd throw it in a blog. My disclaimer. I am most definitely not a doctor.

I'm a mom.
I'm a decision maker.
I'm a pseudo pancreas.

So this all started a little over three years ago. The second type 1 mom I ever met scared the living daylights out of me - and one of her horror stories (she told a few) was how her daughter (who I believe was around 8) had teeth so rotted they were falling out of her mouth. Why? Because she was so frequently treating low blood sugar with frosting and other sweet gooeyness. Okay, well honestly that whole teeth rotting out of the mouth didn't really sound appealing, so, as soon as Sarah started on the insulin pump, I started experimenting.

I found that SOMETIMES, when her low wasn't TOO low, when she had only a SMALL amount of IOB (insulin on board), I could resolve a low without using any carbs by lowering the basal rate to essentially match the remaining IOB.

Example: I check Sarah at midnight and her bg is 84, and she has .3 IOB. Her hourly basal rate at that time is .6 per hour. So instead of waking her to eat, I set a temp basal to -100 (turn it off) for an hour. I usually check 15-20 minutes later to make sure she isn't still dropping. If she's much lower, I will wake her to eat or drink something, but if she's holding steady or rising, I won't.

This has gotten SO much easier since we got Scout because he lets us know when she's trending down, usually starting in the 90's, which gives us LOTS of time to act.

So while I wouldn't necessarily suggest this, it's how we handle lows probably 60% of the time. It works for us when done safely and with extra monitoring. It does mean a little less sleep, as I probably have to stay up longer to confirm her bg is back into the happy zone - but so far (knock on wood) she has no cavities - and this makes me happy. Because diabetes is not supposed to be a teeth rotting disease, but really who treats lows at 2am and then makes their kid get up to brush???

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