Advanced Carb Counting
You will be able to make more food choices as a diabetic by using advanced carb counting. This helps control your blood sugar levels. It is used with 3-4 daily shots of insulin or an insulin pump. This level of carb counting allows you to match your insulin dose with the amount of carbs you eat; this mimics the action of your pancreas. You can correct high or low blood glucose by adjusting your dose of insulin.
An insulin-to-carb ratio helps you adjust how much insulin you need to cover the carbs you eat. For example, you might take 1 unit of insulin for every 15 grams of carbs, but your friend may need 1 unit of insulin for every 20 grams of carbs. Your healthcare provider will set your insulin-to-carb ratio. Blood sugar should be taken before and 2 hours after meals to monitor if your insulin-to-carb ratio is correct. Each meal may have its own insulin-to-carb ratio, but these may change over time. To practice this level of carb counting, use the worksheet below.
To calculate and insulin dose for food:
- Add up the number of grams of carbs in your total meal
- Divide the total number of grams by your insulin-to-carb ratio
Example: Your total meal is 45 grams of carbs. Your insulin-to-carb ratio 1 unit:15 grams of carb:
45 grams of carbohydrates = 3 units of insulin to be given for this meal