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My Go-To Insulin Pump Feature: Temp Basal

Meet Your Individual Needs Using Basal Patterns | The LOOP Blog
One of my favorite things about my insulin pump (other than being pink, of course) is that I can use as few or as many of the advanced features during different phases of my life as I want. After over a decade on my pump, I’ve pretty much used it all, but I have a few “go-to” features that I use the most and one is the temporary basal rate (or “temp basal”).As a reminder, “basal insulin” is the background insulin needed throughout the day to maintain your blood glucose and accounts for about half of your daily insulin requirements. There are a few key terms related to basal rates which include “temp basal” “max basal” and “basal patterns,” all of which you can learn more about here.A temporary basal rate allows you to change the amount of background insulin you are taking for a set period of time (30 minutes to 24 hours). So for the life events that don’t seem to take long enough to actually change your pump settings like your day to day basal rates, this can really come in handy when you need to take more or less insulin than you usually do.

You can set the temp basal as a type: either a specific amount of units of insulin, or a percentage of your current basal rate. I use the percentage setting as I find that the easiest to comprehend, especially if I can’t recall all of my current pump settings off the top of my head.

The times that I find that I use this feature the most are during exercise, during times of sickness or stress, and any time I feel that my normal basal rates aren’t meeting my true needs for the day based on the numbers on the screen of my glucose meter.

Tip: If you want to suspend your pump for a specific time (like during a low, or if you know you don’t need insulin for a set amount of time but don’t actually need to take your pump off) then you can set the temp basal rate at 0% and keep wearing your pump. This will help you not forget to resume your pump out of suspend, and you will have the desired outcome for that period of time which is no insulin.

To learn more, check out the video below. For the button pushing steps and the best way to use this feature in your life, make sure to talk to your healthcare team or visit our website.

Let me know, do you use the temp basal feature? If so, when do you find that you use it the most often?


– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems

– The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
– Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

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