The Advantages and Disadvantages of an Insulin Pump
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.
- 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."
- 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
- 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?