What’s a bolus advisor?

Friday, 18 May 2018

You sit down to a lovely meal. You then have to check your blood glucose level, count your carbs, calculate your rapid acting insulin dose, inject and then eat. This becomes tiring and tedious day in day out. Sound familiar?

First, let’s take a look at what’s going on. Basal bolus insulin is the recommended insulin regime for people living with type 1 diabetes and for some type 2 diabetes cases. Basal bolus insulin where long acting insulin, or basal insulin (Lantus, Levemir, Toujeo), is injected and managed blood glucose levels throughout the day. A bolus, or dose of rapid acting insulin (Novorapid, Humalog, Apidra), is then given with food and/or to correct your blood glucose level.

One way to help remove the stress and guess work from your rapid acting insulin is by using a bolus advisor. Bolus advisors, also known as bolus calculators, are incorporated into pump technology and make the process much simpler.

What’s a bolus advisor?

Bolus advisors are great – they can help alleviate fear of hypos, improve after meal blood glucose rises and reduce insulin dose errors. Did you know that currently only 30% of people living with type 1 diabetes are reaching their HbA1c targets? A bolus calculator can help you get closer to the mark. Bolus advisors can also help with sick day management when your insulin dose needs to be increased.

So how do they work?

Bolus advisors do this by taking a few things into account: your blood glucose level, your target blood glucose level and how many carbs you are eating.  It also takes into account any insulin still working from a previous bolus (injection of rapid acting insulin). Bolus advisors are to be used for rapid acting insulin only.

There are a couple of bolus advisors available. There are blood glucose monitors that have a calculator built in, such as Abbott Insulinx and Accu Chek Aviva, otherwise there are apps for both Apple and Android available to download .

Your Endocrinologist or your Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help get you started so have a chat with your team to determine which is the right one for you. If you would like more information call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 and ask to speak to a Credentialled Diabetes Educator. 

Me is all about what you need to do for yourself, managing your diabetes and doing what you can.

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