Bolus and Basal Injections and What You Need to Know


The bolus-basal insulin injection regime for those living with diabetes works like your body should, but may not be a suitable fit for everyone.

If you have insulin dependent diabetes, you’re very familiar with bolus insulin, the type of insulin that is short-acting, typically taken with meals. However, not as many people with diabetes are as familiar with the other kind, basal insulin or, for that matter, the bolus-basal insulin regime. Read on to learn the difference between bolus and basal injections and why a bolus-basal routine might be right for you.

The bolus-basal routine involves taking multiple insulin injections throughout the day. It requires the use of a longer acting form of insulin, basal insulin, to keep blood glucose levels stable through periods of not eating, where cells convert glucose into energy. Basal literally means “background” so this is the type of insulin that remains in the background of the bloodstream and is taken once or twice a day. Bolus insulin is the shorter acting insulin taken at mealtime to prevent rises in blood glucose levels as a result of eating.

The bolus-basal regime is an attempt to emulate how a completely healthy body would deliver insulin. The routine is applicable to people with both Type I and Type II diabetes.


The main advantage of a bolus-basal regimen is that it allows you to fairly closely match how your own body would release insulin if it was able. Another big advantage is that it allows for greater flexibility when scheduling meals and for how many carbohydrates you can consume per meal since insulin is adjusted and injected throughout the day. This can be a large perk for adults with busy schedules and less control over meal times and type of food available.


If there are advantages, there must also be disadvantages. One downside to the regime is that it requires more frequent insulin injections every day. This may be a bigger issue for some more than others, like children who must grow accustomed to the habit.

Of course, not every type of routine is right for everyone. Consult your doctor if you think the bolus-basal injection regime might work for you.

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Low blood sugar tied to ‘hangry’ fights with spouse

We’ve all been “hangry,” so hungry that we become angry at the slightest frustration or provocation. But could low blood sugar make you so hangry you’d abuse your spouse?

In an effort find out, scientists asked married couples to secretly stick pins into a voodoo doll representing their spouses, and blast noise in their spouses’ ears. The results, released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), does appear to show a link between lower blood sugar and marital spats.

Led by Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, the experiment tested a hypothesis about self-control.

The researchers had 107 couples monitor their blood glucose levels with over-the-counter monitors once in the morning and once in the evening for 21 days. Every evening the partners were to privately stick needles into voodoo dolls to indicate how angry they were with their spouses, zero meaning not at all, up to a high of 51.

Even after controlling for a number of variables like overall relationship satisfaction, people with lower glucose levels stuck more pins in the dolls. There was no difference between men and women in how they were affected.

Then Bushman had couples come into his lab to play a simple computer game against each other while sitting in different rooms. In fact, they were playing against a computer and the results were rigged so they’d win and lose about the same number of rounds.

As a punishment for “losing” a round, the victor could play an obnoxious noise — a combination of fingernails on chalkboards and other irritating sounds like an airhorn — into the earphones of the loser at a volume the victor selected, up to about the level of a smoke alarm. (Actually, the computer controlled the noise level.)

Those people with lower glucose levels, and who stuck more pins into the dolls, also tended to blast the noise.

“Thus,” Bushman and colleagues wrote, “low glucose levels might be one factor that contributes to intimate partner violence.”

Many experts believe that self-control can be depleted like a battery, as illustrated in one famous 1998 study: Two groups of hungry people were placed in a room containing a plate of freshly-baked cookies and a plate of radishes. One group was told they could eat cookies, the other told they could eat only radishes. Both groups were then asked to complete a puzzle they didn’t know was unsolvable.

The cookie group worked twice as long on the puzzle. People in the radish group gave up sooner because they had to exercise more self-control to avoid eating the cookies. So there was less willpower left to work on a frustrating puzzle.

A number of factors can deplete self-control, said Brandon Schmeichel, a professor of psychology at Texas A&M University who studies this phenomenon. Performing a task that requires self-control — like not eating a cookie when you really want one, or doing math problems, or filling out your 1040 form — can do it, as can mood, alcohol, and one’s ability to keep your eye on long-term goals, rather than short-term impulses. “That can be difficult to do,” Schmeichel said.

Glucose is a more controversial factor. Proponents argue that the brain uses a lot of energy, especially the pre-frontal cortex that exerts control over our baser instincts and helps us reason. Low glucose can leave the brain low on gas. And being low on gas weakens self-control.

But others point out that some studies suggest self-control is not always limited, and that experiments trying to link low glucose to low self-control are contradictory. Some show an effect, some do not.

Bushman believes there is a cause-effect link and that “aggression starts when self-control stops.”

Professor Florian Lange, a neuroscientist at Hannover Medical School in Germany, praised some parts of the study, but via email said he’s not convinced there’s “a significant role for glucose in self-regulation/self-control.”

A number of other factors could explain the experiment’s results “equally well,” Lange said. For example, he speculated, “who are these violent people having low blood sugar?” he asked.

“Maybe they eat healthier in order to be fit to do extreme sports, an activity they like to pursue because they are more risk-taking,” Lange suggested. “This latter variable could explain why they show more aggression.”

Whether or not low glucose specifically depletes self-control, though, most experts agree that hunger can. As Bushman said, “hungry people are cranky people.”

So, he said, “if you are having a discussion with your spouse about a conflict situation, make sure you’re not hungry.” He advised skipping candy bars and other high-sugar foods, which can spike glucose but lead to a crash. Instead, say, before that last minute tax return debate, eat something nutritious.

source; today

Tequila plant sweetener could help reduce blood sugar, weight among diabetics

A sweetener created from the plant used to make tequila could lower blood glucose levels for millions of type 2 diabetes sufferers and help them and the obese lose weight, according to researchers.The main reason it could be valuable, they explained, is that agavins, a natural form of sugar found in the agave plant, are non-digestible and can act as a dietary fiber, so they would not raise blood glucose.

Their report was part of the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world`s largest scientific society, being held at the Dallas Convention Center and area hotels.

“We have found that since agavins reduce glucose levels and increase GLP-1, they also increase the amount of insulin,” Mercedes G. Lopez, Ph.D said.

GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) is a hormone that slows the stomach from emptying, thereby stimulating production of insulin.

“Agavins are not expensive and they have no known side effects, except for those few people who cannot tolerate them,” she added.

In addition, agavins, like other fructans, which are made of the sugar fructose, are the best sugars to help support growth of healthful microbes in the mouth and intestines, she said.

Lopez, who is with Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios Avanzados, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, also noted that agavins can help people feel fuller, which could help them eat less.

Agavins contain fructoses, which begs the question: Are agavins like high-fructose corn syrup, a processed sweetener that has gotten a lot of bad press recently?

Lopez pointed out that, indeed, high-fructose corn syrup is loaded with fructose sugars and, therefore, can raise blood sugar levels. But agavins are fructans, which are fructoses linked together in long, branched chains.

The human body can`t use them in that configuration, so they don`t affect blood sugar, she explained. Agavins also sometimes get confused with agave nectar or agave syrup, which appears on many health-food store shelves.

These products contain fructans that have been broken down into individual fructoses, so they are much more similar to high-fructose corn syrup.

Source: Zee news