Using Insulin Pump to Manage Diabetes
Insulin pump is popularly used among Type 1 diabetes patients. They use it to deliver the insulin. They feel that this insulin diffusion apparatus significantly adds to their freedom. When used correctly, it helps manage diabetes.
Insulin pump is frequently recommended for those who have brittle diabetes and is highly convenient to carry around. Why? Because it comes about the size of a pager in a plastic case that has a large syringe called a pump reservoir and a pump that runs on batteries.
This insulin pump delivers an amount of insulin to the delivery needle which is also known as the catheter needle. This needle is positioned under or actually beneath the skin typically in the abdomen but no clothing should get in the way of its functioning.
Where do some people place the insulin pump? Some hook it to a belt while others put it in a pocket. Some women even append it to their bra. Whatever way you decide to wear it, remember that you have to have it on even when you are asleep.
All day long, the insulin pump is at work administering little doses of insulin which is called the basal rate. Due to this, the blood glucose level stays within normal targets all day and night. This continuous insulin delivery enables people to have tight control over their diabetes.
The insulin pump is programmed to balance out the amount of food eaten and the exertion of physical activity. With this simple programming, one can deliver different amounts of insulin without having to go through many injections. One can have just one injection every two or three days.
Using an insulin pump makes one's living with diabetes more simple. However don't think even for a minute that this will relieve you of the responsibility to take care of yourself. As a matter of fact the freedom you get from not having to give yourself injections comes with responsibilities.
These are the things to think of before buying an insulin pump:
- Find out for sure that the pump will alert you if the insulin is not delivered properly.
- Because the it operates on a computer chip, make sure it meets or surpasses the electro magnetic interference immunity standards so that other electronic devices will not impede its functioning.
- Do some comparison shopping. Find out which comes with technical support, warranties and guarantees. It is not good to buy one with limited warranty especially if the motor is not covered. What good will the pump be then?
- Insulin pumps are expensive; some cost as much as $5000 so don't assume that the insurance company will cover it. Ask them first to be sure.
- After you have considered all the pros and cons and have decided to assume the responsibilities that come with using this machine, your doctor may not go along with it. Ask for help from the other health care team because if the doctor is not a diabetologist or endocrinologist, he may not recognize the value of this equipment.
What do you do after overcoming all the hurdle of buying an insulin pump? There are more things to consider after you have purchased this equipment that enables you to cope with diabetes better. Here are the things you have to make sure are done:
- Decide with your health care team how much insulin to program the pump to deliver.
- Change the infusion set every two or three days.
- Monitor the syringe that has supply of insulin, the battery, your skin, the tubing and your blood sugar level. Start each day to check the syringe and your blood sugar level.
- Once you hear the beep that the battery is low, don't wait, replace it right away. Some manufacturers may require you to return the battery for replacement so have a spare ready.
- Check the tubing is clear and not bent for any kink will hinder the insulin delivery.
- Make sure the needle is firmly in place.
- Check the skin where the insertion is located every day as pump users are more prone for infection.
There you have all the precautionary measures before undertaking the purchase of an insulin pump. Monitor your blood glucose level so you will be aware of any problem that may arise. This way, any problem will not be too big to manage.
There is news that the two technologies of wearable insulin pump and the continuous monitoring technology will be integrated into one system which will result in a handheld OmniPod System that will be wireless and with a Personal Diabetes Manager. This can program the diabetic's insulin delivery. It will display glucose readings continuously. The display will be glucose values that are real-time. In addition, this combo will sound an alarm to alert the diabetics of the rise and fall of their sugar levels. It will be ready to launch in the middle of 2009.
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