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Re: [IP] basal rate theory

> I'm trying to understand basal rates better.  Assuming that your
> basal rate is not constant, does it depend on the time of day or on
> your activity?

Well stated question. Basal rate depends on activity level in the 
sense that what you are doing, how tired or rested you are, sick, 
etc... all contributes to your energy requirements and thus insulin 
needs. Most people have a fairly repeatable pattern so it is not too 
difficult to get a basal rate setting that is pretty close for most 

>  If you have your basal rate set properly, does it
> work even when you sleep in or take an infrequent afternoon nap? 

No, this represents a change of pattern. For some people it would 
work, but for most it does not. Example: Growing kids need extra 
insulin when they sleep because this is when the body works hardest 
to build new bones, tissue, etc.... conversely, someone that is not 
growing (kid or adult) slows way down when the sleep so the can 
easily get high if they take a nap. It should be pretty consistent 
for any given individual, but everyone is different.

> If
> you travel to a different time zone, does your basal rate adjust to
> the offset time? 

Yes, but beware of jet lag -- it can mess your basal rates up 
> I am assuming that the rate is affected by activity level (or 
> non-activity) level, or it would not be necessary for athletes to
> reduce their basal rates while doing extended exercise. 
Sometimes, but not always. Since it takes insulin to metabolize 
glucose, aerobic conversion of glucose to movement will increase 
insulin requirements. There are many articles available recently 
about this subject (olympics ya know) detailing the two types of 
muscle activity. See Scientific American and Nat'l Geo

> But is
> activity level the whole story?  What else could there be?  Some
> connection to the time of day?
Only because of circadian rythm -- which is related to activity level
But.... don't forget the effects of illness -- i.e. a fever burns 
lots of energy and raises insulin requirements.

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