Other Factors To Consider:
- The insulin pump doesnt take away the need to check blood glucose.
- There are technical aspects to using a pumpsetting it up, putting it in, interacting with itthat are more complicated in some ways than using injections.
- 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 can be expensive, so find out which pumps are covered by your insurance and if those pumps meet your needs.
- 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.
Which Pump Is Best
All insulin pumps have benefits and drawbacks. Your choice will depend on whatâs most important to you. Do you want easy setup? Low up-front cost? Ease of use? Since most insurance companies will replace your pump only after several years of use, itâs important to find one that works for you.
Some things to think about:
- Which is best for your lifestyle: a traditional pump, tubeless pump, or pump with handheld remote?
- Pump reservoirs hold between 176 and 315 units of insulin. Kids may be fine with smaller reservoirs adults may want larger.
- Can the pump deliver insulin in small amounts? Kids and people who are very sensitive to insulin may want one that does.
- Does the pump come with carb counts of common foods to help you decide how much insulin you need?
- Can the pump interact with a blood glucose meter or continuous glucose meter ?
- Does the pump software work with your phone or laptop?
Important To Realize When Using An Insulin Pump:
- There is something about your body that you can see clearly and that raises questions for those around you.
- You have to bolus for everything you eat. This means that you always have to think about it, even at times when it might not be convenient or when you have many other things on your mind.
- The pump’s operation can malfunction for any reason. If the insulin does not enter properly, for example due to a kink/clog in the tube, you can become very ill due to excessively high glucose levels. This is called a ketoacidosis. So you have to be very aware of your glucose levels and be really careful with your pump, the tube and the cannula.
With the insulin pump, you can generally achieve better glucose control than with injections, but you have to do something to do that. Unfortunately, the pump doesn’t work by itself yet. Meanwhile, technology is advancing by leaps and bounds, as we see with the Tandem T:Slim X2, and the Medtronic 780G. These pumps can take over a lot from you, both with a threatening low blood sugar and with a threatening high blood sugar. Developments in diabetes technology are rapid and our medical team follows them closely. So it is very important to be well informed by your team. What is not appropriate now may change completely in a year.
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How Is An Insulin Pump Worn
Insulin pumps are connected to the body via the infusion set. The small needle or plastic cannula sits under your skin through the day whilst the infusion set is held in place by an adhesive that is similar to the sticky backing of a plaster.
The infusion set can usually be placed in the same sites on the body as are used for injections. The infusion set can usually be left in for two to three days. After this you must insert a new infusion set into a different place on your body. It is important to rotate sites, just as you should do with standard insulin injections.
The pump itself can be safely and discretely attached in lots of different ways, such as to a belt or the waist of trousers, held in pockets or in pouches attached to your thigh or upper arm.
What Are The Different Brands Of Insulin Pumps
There are three common brands for insulin pumps, Medtronic, Omnipod, and Tandem.
All three brands have different models of insulin pumps with different features.
No matter which insulin pump you use, it is important to remember that insulin pump therapy is not a cure for diabetes and that insulin pumps are a tool to help manage your diabetes.
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How To Access Insulin Pumps
Are you interested in accessing insulin pumps for yourself, upgrading your current pump or assessing whether one may fit your current care plan? Find out how London Diabetes can support you by clicking here.
There are many different types of insulin pumps available, with 15 devices currently licenced in the UK. Insulin pumps are rapidly evolving and harnessing new technology to ensure more stable blood sugars, fewer hypos and hypers and protection against the long term complications of diabetes.
Insulin pumps are battery-powered, portable devices that deliver insulin into your bloodstream 24 hours a day. Pumps supply basal or background insulin around the clock you can also add insulin boluses to match the carbohydrates in your diet.
When you have diabetes, it can feel like your life is all about controlling your food, insulin and blood sugar. An insulin pump allows you greater flexibility to eat, exercise and live without sticking to a rigid timetable.
Insulin Pump : Everything You Need To Know About Insulin Pumps
Home – Treatment – Insulin Pump 101: Everything You Need to Know About Insulin Pumps
If you have diabetes, insulin pumps may be a good treatment option for you.
Insulin pumps are small, medical electronic devices that provide insulin delivery directly into your body through a tiny tube called a cannula.
There are many different insulin pumps on the market, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. In this article, we will discuss the different types of insulin pumps and how they work, as well as the benefits and disadvantages of using an insulin pump.
We will also answer some common questions about insulin pumps and which one is best for you.
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Help With The Dawn Phenomenon
I donât get this anymore with an insulin pump, but I remember it well on insulin pens.
You know when you wake up and you have wonderful blood sugars and you think to yourself, this is going to be a wonderful day!… Then, out of no reason, or logic , your blood sugars just start to rise and youâre thinking WHY GOD WHY.
Well, that is called the dawn phenomenon. And itâs not your fault, itâs your bodies fault.
Thankfully, an insulin pump can help fix that because you can give specific doses of your choice at every single hour of the day, so you can simply raise your insulin during that period to avoid going high in the first place. This cannot be achieved via insulin pens.
Medication Insulin Therapy And Pumps
Medications prescribed by your doctor are important tools used to treat diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes must have insulin to survive. Insulin can only be given by injections or via an insulin pump. Many people with type 2 diabetes will need medications and/or insulin to help keep their blood glucose levels in target. Women with gestational diabetes may need insulin injections during their pregnancy. This is usually only for a short period of time, until the baby is born. You can find out more about insulin in GDM here. Everyone is different. Your doctor and diabetes nurse educator will work with you to help find the right type of medication/s for you.Continue reading > >
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Operation Of Insulin Pump
A little more about how the insulin pump works. The pump, as mentioned, is a device with electronics, a battery, and an ampule to put the insulin in. A transparent flexible tube is connected to the pump. You connect this tube to the part that is in the skin. This is a plastic needle that is left behind after you insert it with a shooting system.
The insulin in the pump, along with the needle, must be replaced regularly. This is necessary because the cannula is compromised by your body’s defenses. To your body it looks like a splinter, something that doesn’t belong to your body and so your body tries to get it out. In addition, you’ll see that insulin is also not doing its job properly after a few days. After all, insulin is a protein and a characteristic of it is that it doesn’t hold up well at higher but also very low temperatures. If you wear the pump close to your body this will increase the temperature of the insulin. Our advice is therefore: replace your infusion set every other day on fixed days. For example, the Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The weekend not for a while. You will see that this will benefit your glucose regulation.
Pump Benefits For Type 2 Diabetes
Increased flexibility in scheduling daily activities such as meals, exercise, and social activities may be the main reason for you to consider using an insulin pump if you have Type 2 diabetes. There is also the potential for tighter blood glucose control and a reduced risk of diabetes complications.
Diabetes complication risk. According to the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study , tight control of blood glucose in people with Type 2 diabetes helps to delay or prevent the development of microvascular complications such as retinopathy , nephropathy , and neuropathy . Simply using an insulin pump is no guarantee of tight blood glucose control, of course, but studies have shown that pumps can help people to achieve control that is at least comparable to that of people on insulin injection regimens.
In addition to the benefits of tight blood glucose control, the UKPDS showed that tight blood pressure control can reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases for people with diabetes. Although high blood pressure is more of a proven contributor to heart disease and stroke than high blood glucose levels, getting better control of your blood glucose may help to reduce at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
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People With Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is typically a progressive disease and most do not require insulin when first diagnosed. Blood glucose levels are often manageable with lifestyle changes such as more careful meal planning and exercise. Antidiabetic drugs, such as oral medications like metformin or non-insulin injectables, may be added if blood glucose level goals are not being met. Because Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, at some point the production of insulin in the pancreas may not be sufficient and insulin injections may be necessary.
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What Expectations Should I Have
Make sure you have realistic goals on what pump therapy can achieve. It takes a lot of work with injections to achieve the best glucose control. The same is true with an insulin pump. Pump therapy does not automatically fix a problem. It takes time and effort. However, the pump does provide more tools to help.
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Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion
Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion can give a better quality of life .
There has been a systematic review of 11 studies of at least 10 weeks duration, comparing soluble insulin with the analogues lispro and, in one case, aspart in pumps . The analogue produced a small, significant improvement in HbA1c. There were no differences in hypoglycemia. Ketosis, hyperglycemia, and clogging were not common.
In 132 patients with type 2 diabetes using insulin randomly assigned to continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion or multiple daily injections of insulin aspart and NPH insulin) for 16 weeks, after 8 weeks training to establish optimal dosages there were more episodes of hyperglycemia with multiple daily injections. HbA1c was identical. Most of the patients who expressed a view wanted to stay on the pump.
In 40 patients aged 425 years with type 1 diabetes who were given continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion for 6 months the number of episodes of hypoglycemia was reduced by a half . There were two episodes of diabetic ketoacidosis. In 10 patients lipohypertrophy developed at the insertion site and three patients had signs of skin redness, which improved with local antibiotic treatment.
Sujoy Ghosh MD DM MRCP MRCPS, Andrew Collier BSc MD FRCP, in, 2012
What Is Type I Diabetes
It is a chronic condition in which the pancreas in the body produces insufficient or no insulin to maintain blood glucose levels. Insulin is a hormone with two primary functions-
Regulate Blood Sugar Levels– The carbohydrates that we consume get converted to simple sugars in our digestive system, which then enters the bloodstream. The pancreas responds to this increased blood glucose level by secreting insulin.
Insulin triggers and promotes glucose absorption by the skeletal system and the fat tissue from the bloodstream. The absorbed glucose is used for energy, protein, and fat synthesis.
Store Excess Glucose For Energy– Insulin also plays an important role in lowering the excess glucose in the blood. It stimulates the liver to convert and store the excess glucose into the form of glycogen. In between meals, when the blood sugar levels are low, the liver will convert the stored glycogen into glucose and release it into the blood with the help of another hormone called glucagon.
This process of converting glucose to glycogen by insulin and then the glycogen to glucose by glucagon keeps the blood sugar levels within the normal range, which is necessary for healthy physiological functions.
A few symptoms of type 1 diabetes are-
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Does Insurance Cover An Insulin Pump
When it comes to your diabetes management, cost should not prevent you from accessing advanced diabetes technology. Our team will work with you to help ensure that you can experience the benefits of insulin pump therapy.
PRIVATE INSURANCE Most private insurance companies cover insulin pumps under the durable medical equipment portion of your policy. Depending on your insurance coverage, you might have to pay a deductible and/or percent of the cost . If your deductible and out-of-pocket maximum has been met, the insulin pump might be covered at 100% by your insurance.
GOVERNMENT INSURANCE Government insurances such as Medicare and Medicaid may cover insulin pumps depending on the state and other requirements. A patient’s out-of-pocket cost under government insurance varies depending on the policy.
INSURANCE PROCESSING When you start the process of getting an insulin pump, you do not have to worry about the paperwork. Medtronic will help you every step of the way by verifying your insurance, providing an estimated out-of-pocket cost, collecting the documents from you and your physician, and submitting all the required documents to your insurance company.
PAYMENT OPTIONS If you do not have insurance or need assistance with your out-of-pocket cost, Medtronic offers flexible payment options and a financial assistance program for qualifying customers.
What Knowledge And Skills Should I Have
- A thorough understanding of diabetes self-management skills: You should understand insulin action, carbohydrate counting and how to treat high and low blood sugars.
- Manual dexterity: Manual dexterity is necessary to load or fill an insulin cartridge and depress buttons on the pump for technical functions. Severe limitations from hand arthritis or neuropathy may hinder this.
- Vision: People with vision impairment should carefully evaluate which pumps may be the most helpful for them. Pump features such as screen size, screen contrast, size of letters and numbers, audio functions, alerts, alarms, and backlighting should all be assessed.
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Pump Safety Is A Commitment
The one requirement for using a pump is that you and/or your caregivers are ready and willing to do what it takes to use the pump safely. Checking blood glucose is important because it will warn you if your pump stops working right or your infusion set stops working. This can cause high blood glucose levels and cause diabetic ketoacidosis , which is very serious and dangerous. Checking blood glucose levels frequently will alert you to this possibility and will prevent the development of ketones.
What Are The Disadvantages Of An Insulin Pump
The main flaw in insulin pumps is that it requires a lot of daily care and maintenance.
You will need to check your blood glucose levels frequently, unless youre using a continuous glucose monitor or glucose sensors, enter information into the machine, and make adjustments to your insulin doses as needed to avoid a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis.
When the machine is new, you will need to learn how to operate it properly with your healthcare provider, which can take some time. You will also need to change your infusion set every two to three days and change your insulin pump every four to six years.
Lastly, pumps and their equipment can be expensive if your insurance does not cover them and their supplies.
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How Does Insulin Pump Therapy Work
Instead of manually taking insulin injections for everything one eats , insulin pump therapy works by giving a small amount of fast-acting insulin continuously underneath the skin with an infusion set that the patient operates remotely, either from a personal diabetes manager or insulin pump.
Since the drip of insulin acts as a basal insulin, it is normally a fast-acting insulin that one uses both for basal and bolus administration of insulin.