The Insulin Pump (Continued)

Insulin pump features

A pump is a pump is a pump. But there is a dazzling array of features that vary from brand to brand, and even model to model. And it's these features that will likely guide your buying decision. Some pumps have a food data base built into them to speed up looking up the carb counts for meals. Some pumps have meters that "talk" to them; every time you check your blood sugar, the meter wirelessly beams your numbers to the pump, making corrections even faster. Various pumps have different reminders and alarms. They also vary in the way the operate and are programed.

One doubles as a Continuous Glucose Monitor. One even has a touch screen. Diabetes and insulin pumps: no two "cases" are the same. Truly, the Devil is in the details. But in a good way. We have many options to choose from.


Are there any downsides to pumping? Well there is one, although it may be more theoretical than real. As pumps use fast-acting insulin to cover the body's 24-hour needs (as well as for meals and boo-boos), if a pump were to crap out, the last drop of insulin will be out of your body in about four hours—the "duration of action" of most fast-acting insulins. That means you could start going pretty high pretty quickly, and this is especially dangerous for type 1s. Because of this, d-folks on pumps need to check their blood sugar a little more often than d-folks on shots. The quid pro quo of convenience is increased vigilance.

Type 1 diabetes insulin pump vs. type 2 diabetes insulin pump

Anyone on "shots" who uses more than one kind of insulin can benefit from a pump. They aren't just for type 1s, and most insurance companies will cover pumps for type 2s.

The only real difference is that type 2s tend to need more insulin every day, so if you're a type 2 you might want to look at pumps with larger insulin reservoirs. I know a number of type 2 pumpers, and they love their pumps.

Any type of diabetes, type 1 or type 2, can benefit from being simplified.

Wil Dubois is the author of four multi-award-winning books about diabetes. He is a PWD type 1, and is the diabetes coordinator for a rural non-profit clinic. Visit his blog, LifeAfterDX.

Read Wil's bio here.

Read more of Wil Dubois' columns.

NOTE: The information 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.

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Last Modified Date: June 19, 2013

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