Diabetes Treatments: What Is Insulin Pump Therapy?

4 min read
Diabetes Treatments: What Is Insulin Pump Therapy?

Finding out that you have diabetes can come as a shock and a major worry. But one of the first questions is, how can I keep up with my insulin and blood sugar? The insulin pump is a wonderful piece of technology that can assist with that question. Keep reading to learn how you can ditch the needle today!

What Is an Insulin Pump

An insulin pump is a small, compact way for your body to get the sugar and energy it needs everyday. This computerized device acts the same way as a human pancreas, giving the person short-acting insulin in small doses. The machine takes into account the person’s basal insulin rates. It is set up at the doctor’s office.

The pump, which is about the size of a smartphone, goes outside the body. It sends insulin through a tube through a layer of fat under your skin and into your body. The pump can be worn anywhere: around the waist, attached to a belt, in a pocket, anywhere close to your pancreas.

Parts of a pump

  • Insulin pump: The actual device that is programmed with your insulin and shows how you are tracking
  • Infusion Set: This is the thin line that goes from the pump to the infusion site on your body. It is inserted where you would give insulin injections. This set must be changed every two to three days.
  • Reservoir: A plastic cartridge that holds the insulin and locks into the pump. It can hold up to 300 units of insulin and is changed two to three days.

Benefits of Insulin Pump Therapy

  • Fewer injections: Going from injecting every day to every couple of days? That’s awesome!
  • Convenient: A pump holds up to 300mL of insulin, so you don’t have to worry about carrying around a bunch of supplies.
  • Customization: Pumps are programmed to deliver insulin at different rates throughout the day, changing depending on the food that you eat.
  •  Accurate insulin delivery: The insulin pump delivers rapid-acting insulin which cuts down on the chance of delivering too much or too little medication.

Who Should Use a Pump

Although this amazing technology seems useful, it isn’t for everyone. A pump is normally used for:

  • People who like the idea of a pump
  • Active people
  • People who have frequent low blood glucose reactions
  • Women planning a pregnancy.

Other factors to consider:

  • You still need to check your blood sugar 
  • The pump is considered more complicated technology-wise 
  • It only gives shorter-acting insulin
  • If it breaks or falls off, the person wearing it needs to be ready to give insulin by injection any time it is needed 
  • It is expensive
  • All pumps are an extra piece of hardware attached to your body, either with tubing or attached to your skin.
  • There are many clever ways to wear pumps and hide them from view, but they do take a bit of getting used to at first

Learn More About Diabetes Treatment and Insulin Pumps

At BASS Medical Group, our doctors and specialists can show you all your options and find the perfect one to fit your body and lifestyle. Get in touch with us today at (925) 350-4044 to find out how we can assist you with your diabetes.