Ratio of Basal to Bolus

What is your Basal to Bolus ratio? Does anyone use anything other than 50/50?

@lewiscor Lewis, since the 1970’s when I worked under the direction of endocrinologists/scientists developing what was to become called MDI - the basis for the 1980’s DCCT Worldwide Study - my ratio has been closer to 70/30; that is 70% bolus [food + correction] and 30 % basal.

Thanks Dennis for sharing your experience. That is about what my ratio is (75% Bolus & 25% Basal), and has been since I went on a pump maybe 13 years ago. I have been a T1D for 49 years. I am going to a new Endo. and it looks like he wants me to change to 50/50 ratio. I am not sure I see the logic in changing.

Lewis and Dennis (@lewiscor & @Dennis),

When I first read your post I thought, “Holy cow! You’re going to get hammered to your knees!” And then I re-read what you have both posted and realized my insulin need is (and always has been) “upside-down” from the “standard.” Now remember, I need anywhere from about 14 to 19 units of Humalog per day, and my basals are generally 80% of the total (usually between a 1 and 1.2 unit bolus to cover a meal). So I’m scooting along at about a 20/80 ratio (20% bolus/80% basal).

I don’t have a clue what your new endo is wanting to see. But 50/50 would have me on quite a roller-coaster. And 70/30 would, well, it just wouldn’t work very well for me.

Good luck! I hope things work out very well whatever the end result.


@lewiscor Lewis, your “new endo” read a book - or a paper written by a diabetes expert.
About ten years ago an endo I was seeing showed me that and told me that I should try to get close to 50/50. I got about 2% closer and found the 50/50 wasn’t for me.

I currently use 6.5 units basal [32.4%] and 12.15 units bolus to cover the 200+ grams of carb I eat. That is the 7 day average my pump just told me.

According to my pump history, my 30-day average is 82% basal and 18% bolus. I eat low-carb (below 40 grams a day) and my A1c is 5.9%. Typically I stay below 30 units of Novolog a day.

I’m more of an 80/20 80% basil 20% bonus, but it comes down to how you eat how often you eat how many carbs you eat and how active, I maintain a very low carb diet, snack on small meals through out the day which matches activity. I’m active most everyday so having a constant basil that supplies the majority of insulin suits my purpose. Also I exercise some every day biking or dog walking and usually preload some carbs prior to exercise. I’ve heard several patient educators talk about the ratio as if there is some magic to the formula, I think that’s naive there’s so many other factors that affect your need for insulin and when you need it.