Testing Your Basal Rate

Making sure that your basal rate (background or long acting insulin) is correctly dosed is very important for a number of reasons. Your basal rate can be adjusted hour by hour, if you wear an insulin pump. And your body probably needs different basal rates throughout the day, so making sure those are correct makes you be able to function like a normal human!

If your basal rate is too high, you will probably go low often. If it isn’t high enough, you may tend to run higher blood sugars. Basal rate testing is not just for pumpers.

Please, consult with your doctor on running a basal rate test. I am only sharing MY experience, which is not medical advice. 

Here’s how I make sure I get an accurate basal rate test:

There are a number of things to consider before starting a basal rate test.

  • A safe blood sugar is necessary. Obviously, do not perform a basal test if you are not at a safe level (not too high, or too low). I typically only do a basal test when I am above 100, but below 150.
  • Stable blood sugar. This means your last meal should be more than 4 hours ago, the same rule applies for exercise and insulin too. There should be nothing impacting your blood sugar, or the test is useless. BE SAFE. Treat a low if you need to!

While running the basal rate test, I treat any lows that happen, as well as highs. This is important to find out, for reasons listed above.

I typically run a basal rate test for at least 4 hours so I have a good snippet of my day tested. During the basal test, I am testing my blood sugar every hour. Once the four hours are up, I can eat again!


As you can see from the results above, my basal rate is correctly set up in my pump. My blood sugar did not deviate much to cause concern.

When is the last time you did a basal rate test?




  1. I need to do one of these. So all in all it is for 8 hours right? No eating 4 hours prior and then do the actual test for four hours


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