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Bolus Options for Your Thanksgiving Feast

By Naomi Kingery

Social Community Manager

Posted:  11/21/2012 4:00 PM


As Thanksgiving approaches you might be thinking one of three things: the arrival of the pilgrims to North America, what you are thankful for, and what yummy meal(s) you might be eating the day of!

So as you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast, let’s talk about the word that goes hand in hand with feast, “bolus.” You recently heard from Karen about the advanced bolus features, the Dual Wave or Square Wave bolus which are both valid options for your high-fat or extended Thanksgiving meals. But if you decide not to use these, let’s look at the other ways you can bolus with an insulin pump and when you might do so.

• Bolus Wizard Feature: The Bolus Wizard comes in handy if you know (or can accurately estimate) the number of grams of carbohydrates in your meal. It allows you to enter your current blood glucose (BG) reading (or have it come directly from the BG meter if you’re using a linking meter), and will ask you how many grams of carbs you will be eating. Once that is entered, your pump will take into account what your current BG is, the amount of carbs, and how much insulin you might still have active in your system (also called “Active Insulin”) in case it needs to make any adjustments. You can access this through the “Bolus” menu or by hitting the “B” button on your pump.

• Manual (Normal) Bolus:  For some people, and some meals, you might find that when you glance at a meal to count the carbs, there might be times where it comes more naturally to say “that plate looks like it will take 5 units of insulin.” Although this isn’t as accurate as putting in actual amounts of the grams of carbs and it doesn’t take your varied settings into account, this allows you to be in control of exactly how much insulin you think your body needs. You can access this through the “Bolus” menu on your pump.

• Easy Bolus: If you typically bolus for a specific serving size and then decide last minute to pile on more cranberry sauce, you might find yourself utilizing the Easy bolus feature. This allows you to hit the “UP arrow” on your pump to add some additional insulin on top of what you have previously bolused without going through all of the steps. This comes in handy for smaller doses or making small dose adjustments, like 0.5 units for example.

With just a few button pushes, you are ready to go. Whichever way you decide to bolus, know that you have options. This is a great conversation to have with your healthcare team prior to the holiday season. Decide what works best for you, and make sure to give yourself insulin to try and avoid those high numbers many people with diabetes experience during the holidays! So enjoy that turkey (or tofurkey) and share with us in the comments which way will you be bolusing on Thanksgiving.


- 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.

Please visit for complete safety information.


Donna M. Theobald

Posted on Wed Nov 21 17:08:15 GMT 2012

Thank you for posting the different ways to Bolus for Thanksgiving Dinner. Happy Thanks giving to all at Medtronics

Steve Moore

Posted on Thu Nov 22 01:08:24 GMT 2012

I use the Dual Wave feature on my pump more than any other Bolus feature when its meal time. Thanks for being there Medtronic. Happy Thanksgiving.

Sharon M. Garrett

Posted on Thu Nov 22 03:32:58 GMT 2012

I use the Dlual Wave feature every day. Love it. A great feature of the pump.

Colleen Brannan

Posted on Thu Nov 22 15:58:11 GMT 2012

Thanks for reminders. I've already checked my carb-counting book since I will eat some foods I don't have often.

Dorothy Noe

Posted on Tue Nov 26 20:41:55 GMT 2013

My most used feature is also the dual wave @ each meal and the sensor graphs. Keep those improvements coming.

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