What Is An Insulin Pump Used For?
People with diabetes do not make adequate insulin naturally, which means they depend on insulin injections to keep their blood sugar level. The most common options available are insulin pen injections and insulin pumps.
Pumps are one of the most common and reliable ways to deliver insulin into the bloodstream.
What Are Insulin Pumps Used For?
Insulin pumps are small computerized devices, the size of a small phone used to deliver insulin doses into the bloodstream on pre-programmed schedules via a thin tube under your skin.
They usually have a battery-operated pump, insulin cartilage, and a computer chip that allows you to control the amounts of insulin it releases. They have a thin plastic tube (an infusion set) attached to them, which has a cannula at the end, via which the insulin passes.
The cannula is the part of the pump that you insert under the skin, and you have to change it every two days. You can disconnect the tubing when you are showering or swimming. You can choose various infusion sites, but most people choose the stomach, thighs, or buttocks.
You can wear your pump attached to straps under your clothes, on your belt, in your pocket, or with an adhesive patch on the arm or stomach.
They release insulin into the bloodstream the same way your body would do it naturally. They have a steady insulin flow known as basal insulin during the day and night and an extra dose known as bolus during meal times. That helps handle the increased blood sugar levels from your meals.
Once you get the device, you program the bolus and basal doses according to your insulin needs. The pump utilizes your blood sugar levels and the information you provide about your food intake to determine your bolus dose.
It then recommends the bolus dose and cannot deliver the insulin until you approve the dose. Other pumps adjust your basal doses automatically depending on your glucose levels from your continuous glucose monitor.
Insulin needs differ from patient to patient depending on lifestyle, sleep, and activity level. If you eat a lot of food, you need to set a higher bolus dose. According to how your doctor instructs you when using a pump, you still need to monitor your blood sugar levels.
They are usually a perfect option for kids or forget to take your insulin injections. They are also ideal if you:
- Are active and need an insulin pause when working out
- Are diabetic and want to get pregnant
- Have severe low blood sugar reactions
- Have delayed food absorption
If you do not want to deal with the external tubing of a traditional pump, you can use an insulin patch pump. These have the cannula and insulin delivery chamber in one pod that sits on your skin using an adhesive patch.
You only need to place the adhesive patch directly on your skin and control the pump wirelessly using a handheld controller.
Advantages Of Pumps
- Privacy and flexibility
- Adjustable and consistent insulin delivery
- Fewer insulin injections
- Better blood sugar levels
- More accuracy
When looking for an insulin pump, ensure to research and compare brands and buy it from the most reputable brands like Tandem Diabetes Care.
You also need to consider other factors like ease of setting up and use, cost, lifestyle, pump reservoir, amount of insulin it delivers, and compatibility of the pump software with your laptop or phone.