What does bolus mean?

I thought I’d throw in a few T1D vocab posts in every once in awhile. I am a teacher, after all.

Today’s T1D word is:


According to Miriam-Webster, a bolus means: a large dose of a substance given by injection for the purpose of rapidly achieving the needed therapeutic concentration in the bloodstream.

04 01 insulin pumper

In the T1D World, we’ve turned the word bolus into a verb. When we bolus, we first calculate carbs and enter them into Luke’s pump. It’s then that the pump magically calculates the amount of insulin Luke needs to cover that meal. (Okay, so it’s not so magical. We have the pump programed with the formulas he needs.) Once submitted, the pump will bolus the insulin through his pump tubing and into his body.


Before the wonderful world of the pump, we would do all of the calculations ourselves. Once we figured out how much insulin we needed to administer, we used insulin pens to bolus the insulin through Luke’s thigh, belly, or arm.

While Luke uses the pump regularly (It is an amazing invention!), we do have several insulin pens on hand in case of a pump site failure or some other emergency. Insulin is, after all, what keeps Luke alive every day. (I’m pretty fond of the invention of insulin, as well.)

And there you have it. Bolus.

Class dismissed.


One thought on “What does bolus mean?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s