dLife Daily Tips

Practice makes near perfect at bedtime

Read More
The Question
Mon Feb 28 11:50:12 EST 2011

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having an insulin pump? I am considering getting one.
Asked By: orange26  
Category: Type 1

Background Info Hide
I take humalog and lantus. I recently was placed on this medication in October 2010. I take a shot of humalog prior to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a shot of lantus at night. I have type 1 diabetes, and I was diagnosed with it in 1980. I am 53 yrs. old.
Diabetes Profile Hide
n/a
Expert Answers (1)
2011-03-20 14:18:32.0

Morning JimmyJanice; Thank you for asking dLife, you ask a very important question, exactly what are the advantages and disadvantages of pump therapy. This small portable device, the insulin pump, is designed to mimic normal body functions in insulin replacement. This technological is likened to an exterior pancreas, about 3-5oz. weight, worn discreetly under clothing, on a belt, like a beeper or cell phone.

I would suggest the advantages are subjective to your 'own' personal needs, however, the pump advantages, most notable; may aid with

  • tighter blood glucose control,
  • smooth out BG swings,
  • helps with programming of insulin dosing, as to avoid nighttime lows or morning highs.

    These tighter control actions require a great deal of skills in the user. Consequent, putting these advantages into action and obtaining the target ranges, the successful candidate for pump therapy 'ideally' presents with being highly motivated, have both physical and technical abilities, very good knowledge base, troubleshooting/problem solving skills, as well as financial resources. Additional skills: you already practice frequent monitoring, are knowledgeable in carb counting and insulin medications use and adjustment. You are acutely aware of the risks of ketoa cidosis, infections or skin allergy reactions. Regards, Sue
    Additional readings.
    Additional.
    Additional.
  • Answered By: Susan Throop
    Accreditations: RD, CDE, MA
    Sources Show

    Community Answers (1)
    2011-11-29 21:49:11.0

    Using an insulin pump usually requires a bit of knowledge (provided by the insulin pump company) and usually an insurance company. The pump itself is expensive, although used ones can be found on E-bay or Craigslist, and the supplies are also expensive. Pumps and supplies are usually covered by insurance companies, and you can often purchase the supplies from some medical suppliers, rather than just from the pump company. That said, I think ALL insulin-dependent diabetics should be on a pump! A pump infuses your needed amount of insulin continuously, and you use a "bolus" when you eat. You do have to enter the amount of either calories or carbohydrates into the pump. If you don't know how to do that, don't worry - you'll be taught. (It's very simple!) Depending on the company you buy your pump from, the support is very good. Pumping allows you to continuously infuse insulin, just as your body would normally do. The pump allows a simple button push to administer insulin, no syringes, no vials, no alcohol pads. You can do it at the table. My pump also connects to a glucose sensor, so I can push a button and get my approximate glucose! It's a miracle, especially for a brittle diabetic. (When my blood sugar starts to dip or go, an alarm beeps!) Disadvantages: Mine has tubing. Solution: Tuck it into your pants, under your bra, etc. (The one w/o the tube cannot connect to glucose sensor.) The "infusion set" (insulin resevoir, tubing and plastic infusion needle) needs to be changed every 3 days. (Lots better than taking a shot at least once or twice a day, or more!) There are different kinds of insulin pumps. The first resource below lists the types and describes them. Start there, and welcome to the Pumper Club!
    Answered By: coreyali

    Sources Show


     

    *** All information contained on dLife.com is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Our Expert Q&A is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

    dLife Weekly Poll

    Experts recommend that people walk at least 10,000 steps a day. How many steps do you take on average?