Insulin pump therapy is the treatment that most closely mimics the action of a healthy pancreas.
Insulin pumps deliver insulin 24 hours a day according to a programmed plan that is customized for you.
A small amount of rapid-acting insulin is given continually (the "basal rate") to keep blood glucose in the desired range between meals and overnight. When food is eaten, you set the pump to deliver a "bolus dose" of rapid-acting insulin matched to the amount of carbohydrate that you will eat. What that translates to is flexibility!
With pump therapy, you have more freedom to eat what you want, when you want, skip a meal, sleep in, or exercise without fear of going low.
The insulin pump is a small device, about the size and weight of a cell phone. It is not implanted. Insulin is delivered through a soft tiny tube that sits just underneath the skin and is changed every 2 to 3 days. A few simple button pushes delivers the required amount of insulin. The pump can easily be disconnected from the body for showering, swimming, or changing clothes.
Some of the newest insulin pumps communicate wirelessly with a blood glucose monitor. The glucose monitor immediately sends your test results to the insulin pump, where the pump’s Bolus Wizard® calculator automatically calculates and recommends insulin doses required for a meal or to correct a post-meal high. There’s no need to manually enter a test result or do any complicated diabetes math. Together, these unique features put fast, easy testing and insulin dosing right in the palm of your hand.
If you use an insulin pump, it is important to regularly test your blood glucose before meals and at bedtime.
An insulin pump has several advantages over other forms of insulin delivery:
More precise and predictable dosing — The pump delivers insulin in precise units – as little as one tenth of a unit – that can be closely matched to your needs. Furthermore, the faster acting insulin that pumps use has less than 3% insulin absorption variation. Increased precision and reduced variability make it easier to improve glucose control.
Flexibility of meal, activity timing — The pump gives you more freedom because of the ability to change the dose of rapid-acting insulin throughout the day according to your food intake and activity level.
True basal/bolus — Insulin pumps deliver background insulin 24 hours per day and also allow you to change the amount delivered at mealtimes. This imitates the behavior of a healthy pancreas.
Improved control for fewer complications —Studies suggest that people who use the pump are better able to keep their blood glucose in the target range.
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