Monday, April 18, 2016

P is for Insulin Pump

The Advantages and Disadvantages of an Insulin Pump

What is an insulin pump? An insulin pump is a small, computerized device that delivers insulin continuously throughout the day. It attempts to mimic the normal pancreas's release of insulin, but you must tell the pump how much insulin to inject. It delivers insulin in two ways: a basal rate which is a continuous, small trickle of insulin that keeps blood glucose stable between meals and overnight; and a bolus rate, which is a much higher rate of insulin taken before eating to "cover" the food you plan to eat.

Effective, safe use of the pump requires:

  • Commitment to checking blood glucose at least 4 times a day, every day.
  • Using carbohydrate counting.
  • Adjusting insulin doses based on blood glucose levels, carbohydrate intake, and physical activity.
The main advantages of pump therapy are:
  • Increased flexibility in lifestyle.
  • Predictable insulin delivery.
  • Precise insulin delivery.
  • Ability to accurately deliver 1/10th of a unit of insulin.
  • Tighter blood glucose control, while reducing the risk of low blood glucose.
  • Reducing episodes of severe hypoglycemia.
  • Reducing wide fluctuations in blood glucose.
  • Helping manage the "dawn phenomenon."
The main disadvantages of pump therapy are:
  • Risk of skin infections at the catheter site.
  • Risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from pump malfunction or absorption problems.
  • Cost: pumps are expensive, plus the continuing cost of supplies.
  • Checking blood glucose at least 4 times per day.
  • Letting others know that you have diabetes.

Is pump therapy for you?

 Ask yourself these questions:
  • Are you ready to be attached to a device that lets people know you have diabetes?
  • Do you have realistic expectations? It is not the "magic bullet" that will solve all your
    blood glucose problems.
  • Are you comfortable with the technology and mechanics of operating a pump?
  • Are you committed to checking blood glucose at least 4 times per day?
  • Are you committed to problem-solving using a sophisticated understanding of insulin, carbohydrates, and activity levels?
  • Do you have a healthcare team that is familiar with insulin pumps?


  1. Came in from Laws of Gravity. I don't have diabetes but I do in home care and taken care of lot of diabetics and what I've seen it could be or lease part of it could be controlled with diet.
    Hope you fine the time to stop in for a cup of coffee

  2. Interesting information. Enjoy your week.
    Thanks for coming by.

  3. In all of my years of nursing I only had one patient who had a pump. I wonder if they are used more now than they used to be!

  4. They used one of these in a TV show to kill a character. It was a mystery show, so they wanted to make the victim's murder "interesting".

  5. My niece (19) used such an insulin pump for years. It facilitates her life. We have a good medical teams in The netherlands and special people in the pharmacy that can help if there are problems.

  6. I am lucky. Just had my bloods checked and no sign of diabetes. This encourages me to take more care of myself and eat healthily to make sure it stays that way. Interesting post. Thank you.

  7. A friend has a pump and is glad she does. She's been Type 1 since childhood and is now waiting for a kidney/pancreas transplant, but in the meantime, this is her best option.

  8. thank god i dont have it but i saw my mom suffering from it as she was finding hard to staying away from natural sweet tea especially

  9. I understand that pumps do wonders for type 1 diabetics. I know very little about them and hope I never have to even see one!

  10. We considered the pump for my mom when it came out, but she had reached an age that the mental change in the day to day routine would have been difficult to deal with. But they do seem to make life easier for diabetics. My friend's daughter is on one. Kudos for dealing with a difficult disease.

  11. A friend of mine has the pump and it works well for her. That's the main thing. Find something that works for you.

  12. Not have much experience with diabetics unlike dementia. Still minders are fully tested just the same!


  13. Denise ! Is this a new blog? I was over at The Enchanted Rose from Stephanie and I noticed Your name in the comments.I read Just Me....Your other blog or did You change over? Hope You are well and happy-Love Denise

  14. My daughter used an insulin pump for several years and had very good success with it. It is cumbersome and expensive, but she will likely go back to it in the years ahead she says, as it offers better control. Have you ever tried one?

    Josie Two Shoes
    from Josie's Journal

  15. David has been on the insulin pump for over a decade now. Though he still has highs and lows, he has much better control with the pump that he ever did with the injections.

    The supplies are expensive, even with insurance. We're at the point now where we haven't been able to pay the copay, so the company will not ship him any more supplies. We just have to keep praying that Heavenly Father will allow the current supplies to hold out until we have the money for more. Everything these days is all about the money.

    Thanks for another interesting post. Have a blessed day!

  16. I am pre diabetic and you're making me understand even better why I must start working seriously on maintaining my health.