Islets of Hope  What do onboard insulin, insulin stacking, and piggybacking mean?

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Onboard Insulin

Other associated terms:  piggybacking, insulin stacking

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Definition:  Onboard insulin simply refers to the amount of insulin still circulating in the bloodstream that may still be working.

Stacking or piggybacking insulin refers to when a patient gives more insulin before the previous bolus of insulin has finished working.  This creates even more onboard insulin.

When insulin stacking is done without care or proper understanding and direction from your doctor it can lead to serious episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

It is more common for patients on pumps and other infusion devices to stack, piggy back or carry more onboard insulin than it is for those on shot therapy.

The newer models of insulin pumps can now help a patient determine onboard insulin and calculate (based on patient's data input) a recommended adjustment in insulin if necessary to factor in the effects of the remaining onboard insulin.


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Page Updated 07/25/2007