Apr 1 2011, 02:06 AM
I am amazed how much less less insulin my daughter needs now that spring has arrived in the great north. Her activity is very similar to a month ago ...the only big change is the temperature and the 4 feet of snow that has dissappeared in 2-3 weeks. My question is how to most people approach the changing of the seasons. Do you usually trying sticking with basals changes or usually end up playing with the ratios as well. I wish there was a magic calculator that figured out exactly where to make the changes that are necessary.
Apr 1 2011, 04:07 AM
Insulin needs only change with variations of activity, rest, diet, mental stress, and disease. Weather has nothing to do with insulin rates. Sorry, there is no "magic" formula. You have to deal with changes as they come. No offense intended- these are just the facts.
Apr 1 2011, 10:12 AM
QUOTE(mollygolly @ Mar 31 2011, 09:06 PM)
I am amazed how much less less insulin my daughter needs now that spring has arrived in the great north. Her activity is very similar to a month ago ...the only big change is the temperature and the 4 feet of snow that has disappeared in 2-3 weeks. My question is how to most people approach the changing of the seasons. Do you usually trying sticking with basal changes or usually end up playing with the ratios as well. I wish there was a magic calculator that figured out exactly where to make the changes that are necessary.
Spring is a big red flag for me, more activity and higher temperatures drive down my basal requirements. I have never
changed my I:Cís from spring to summer but I always eat a little less food during the summer. I also get a little fat
and lazy during the winter so just a small increase in activity in the early spring will bring on a Hypo. Temperature also
has a direct relationship with insulin sensitivity. I just take it one day at a time and try not to forget that my basal needs
are lower when I wash my car, work in the garden, walk a few miles at Home Depot...the list is endless.
Just keep your eye on the ball, chasing pump settings can be frustrating and sometimes counter productive. Most
good pumpers make small adjustments on the fly everyday...I know this is hard for a mom to do every day,
every meal, every activity...Iím sure your doing the best you can...;-)
Apr 1 2011, 01:24 PM
I notice the season change in my insulin usage. I double my needs in the winter from the summer. It's a slow rise in the fall and a slow descent in the spring. I'm down about 4 units a day in this last week! Spring is coming!
Apr 1 2011, 06:15 PM
I find that my insulin needs go down in the Spring & Summer. It's warm enough here in Florida that my activity doesn't change much in the "Winter". If anything, my activity decreases during Summer due to the heat & humidity. It is just trial & error for me, I couldn't imagine how difficult it would be trying to keep someone elses bgls balanced.
Apr 21 2011, 02:08 PM
Indeed, there does appear to be a correlation with changes in insulin requirements with seasonal changes. I myself have similar activities throughout the year: shoveling the driveway and bringing wood into the house daily during the winter, to cutting the grass, landscaping, maintenance during the summer. Increases in activity (a few hours) require a Temporary reduction in basal rate (usually 50% in my case, during and sometime after an atypical activity). Hiking in the mountains requires 24-hour decreases due to this activity's duration and intensity. However, throughout the year, sugars that were fine for several months at one time, are now no longer good, being either too high or dangerously low.
I have found that temperature and weather have no correlation: a couple of three-week trips to Asia (+11 hours), where the weather was hot and humid required no change in basal rates. Initially, I was told to change the clock on the pump to local time, and that turned out to be unwise for me. There was no re-alignment of my insulin requirements with the new time zone, and the whole trip was a challenge. During the next trip, I found that leaving the clock at the time at home resulted in no changes to basal rates, even with the change in weather. As a result of that, I leave the pump on our Daylight Savings Time and just add the hour as needed (pump is my watch too) during the winter months. Sugars were more stable as a result, but basal rates still needed changing over the seasons. The changes that I have needed usually entail increases of certain rates, and decreases of others, with the opposite trends 6 months later. My changes have not been doubling or halving, but more subtle, often being over the range of 0.05 - 0.2 u/h out of a 70-80u/day requirement.
Summary: weather does not change basal rates,
activity affects basal requirements, during and slightly after the activity,
basal rate requirements appear to be locked into a single 24-hour cycle, independent of time zone, and
changes in season require the adjustment of basal rates.
Many doctors I have mentioned these observations to raise an eyebrow and claim it is due to changes in activity (even though there are many days when there is the same level of activity, yet that change is still there....). They do not have the 24/365 level of understanding that patients have, unfortunately.
I hope this is helpful. Perhaps we could accumulate some data for a paper.
Apr 21 2011, 04:47 PM
I find that I use a bit less insuling during the summer months as I'm always outside doing yard work/ gardening, etc. As a result, I utilize the temp basul a lot, usually cutting back to 70% of normal. Also make an attempt to drink more fluids to keep hydrated. I'm also more concious of my infusion as when I'm working in the yard, I get a bit sweaty and find that infusion can come out. I also keep Hpafix on my insertion to help eliminate that possibility.
As others have said, there is no known factors that really change other than what your activities warrant. Can't really comment on what heat does to me regarding insulin usage as there are so many factors involved. Good luck with your child; I tip my hat to you!!
Apr 22 2011, 01:34 AM
for me, having 4-5 basal settings for 24 hrs, after many many basal testing sessions, I still have to do temp basals during heavy activity and hot weather as well. It's amazing how all of us are unique and respond somewhat differently. No one size fits all settings.
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