Living with Diabetes

Insulin Pump

What is an insulin pump?
 
Insulin pump is a small computerized device that is programmed to deliver insulin doses through an infusion set. A flexible plastic tube (a catheter) is inserted into the fatty tissue beneath the skin with the aid of a small needle. An adhesive patch or dressing holds the infusion set in place on the surface of the skin.
 
Insulin pumps can be programmed to deliver insulin in two ways:
Frequent monitoring of blood sugar levels is essential in order to calculate insulin doses and to ensure that insulin is delivered.
 
This insulin delivery system closely resembles the normal release of insulin in the body. Therefore, the insulin pump can help you manage your Diabetes by matching your insulin to your lifestyle. With the insulin pump, you have control over how much you eat, what you eat, and the time of your meals. You can eat more carbohydrate while maintaining your blood sugar levels at target; however, your weight can increase. You need to discuss this issue with your dietitian who will be able to help you determining the right amount of carbohydrate to maintain a healthy weight. Your Diabetes care team will always provide support and help to properly manage your Diabetes and keep your blood sugar levels within your target levels. 
 
The insulin pump can help people achieve better control of their blood sugar level and many people prefer insulin pump over multiple daily injections. Studies showed that the use of insulin pumps is associated with improved blood sugar control when compared with traditional insulin therapies (e.g. multiple daily injections) in some people with Type 1 Diabetes. 
 
In order to benefit from the insulin pump, you should:
Who can use insulin pumps?
 
People with Type 1 Diabetes and people with Type 2 Diabetes can use an insulin pump. Talk to your Diabetes care team if you would like to use an insulin pump. 
 
The types of insulin used in the insulin pump:
 
Only fast-acting insulin is used in insulin pumps. The types of insulin commonly used are insulin lispro, aspart, and glulisine. 
 
Insertion sites:
 
The possible sites in which the catheter can be inserted include abdomen, upper arms, thighs, and buttock. You need to change the infusion set and insulin cartridge every two days but do not remove the old set until the new set is up and running. Rotation of the insertion site is essential. It is often better to rotate within one block before changing areas completely. 
 
In order to prevent infection in the insertion site, take the following precautions:
Advantages and disadvantages of using insulin pumps:
 
Advantages
Disadvantages