Howtos

Insulin help

How to get help with deciding insulin dosage, by searching for similar situations in your database

When you are going to have a meal, and need some help with deciding on the insulin dosage, Diabetes Diary now contains a feature for searching your database for earlier situations, that resembles today's meal. Such situations we call “similar situations”.

When to use it?

Sometimes it's hard to decide on the amount of insulin to take together with a meal. The idea of the feature is to search your database for earlier situations, which are as similar to the current situation as possible. By looking at your older data, you can compare what happened then to the situation you are in now, and use this as a guidance for deciding on the insulin dosage for the meal you are about to take.

What makes a situation similar to the current?

This depends on a number of factors: the amount of carbohydrates you are about to eat, the time of the day, physical activity, the most recently registered blood glucose, etc.

For example, if you are going to eat 45 grams of carbohydrates for a lunch at noon and your latest blood glucose reading was 4.0 mmol/L, then a lunch you registered two weeks ago, where you also had 45 grams of carbohydrates, and your blood glucose level just before was 4.4 mmol/L, would match today's situation. A dinner you registered two weeks ago, where you had 30 grams of carbohydrates, and your blood glucose level was 8.7 mmol/L, would not match, and would be of lesser relevance.

How it's done

Start by registering your carbohydrates intake:

Then press the button for registering insulin. You will see a button with a question mark.

Press the button with the question mark. This will search your database for situations that are similar to the current, and you will see a list of the results.

The top part of the screen displays all matching situations. They are sorted by relevance, i.e. the situation that is most similar to the current one is displayed first. For each situation, the amount insulin taken is displayed, together with following next blood glucose registration.

The bottom part of the screen displays this situation in more detail. You can click on the found situations in the top part, to see each of them more in detail.

The algorithm to find similar situations is not perfect, and might find a situation that doesn't match that well. You will always have to decide for yourself if the situation is of relevance, and whether to take it into account for the current insulin dosage.

For example, in the figure above situation number 4 is from a meal which was one hour later than today's meal. This situation is maybe not the most relevant. The algorithm will also find situations where the next blood glucose registration is undesirably high or low. For the 6th situation above the subsequent blood glucose registration is 10.0 mmol/L around one hour later. This might have been a bit too high, and you should consider taking more insulin than was done then if situation is otherwise similar to today. The first situation appears to match well; about the same time of day as today's meal, about the same blood glucose value before the meal and about the same type of food with the same amount of carbohydrates. Perhaps today's meal would require roughly the same amount of insulin?