The Ultimate Guide You Must Read Before Buying Diabetes Insulin Pump
Handling diabetes with oral medications is quite easy compared to taking insulin injections. The hardest part of managing diabetes is the taking of injections and many of the patients gets panicked and had to depend on others to give them the shots. Diabetic insulin pump has come to them as a boon. You may have heard quite a lot about insulin pumps but the usual questions that arise in the patients minds are, how do they work and whether it is feasible to use or does the user need to wear it all day? Could it remember the time of taking? And what happens if I go for swimming or bathing?
Let’s come to the first question first, how do they work? Diabetes insulin pumps are small, mostly palmed sized electronic devices which contain insulin in a reservoir and deliver it via tube needle or cannula subcutaneously; yes, you don’t need to go intravenously which is quite a hassle. Some of the models are designed to automatically insert cannula in the skin which will require no tubing. The dose of insulin differs as the level needs of blood glucose differs with time, for example when you take foods, the amount of insulin needed then will obviously be different from the amount when you go to sleep. So, all the devices available deliver insulin doses in two ways- one is called basal dose, here the device deliver insulin all through the day in small amounts to maintain the glucose level and to keep the cells functioning and the other one is called bolus dose, where the amount of insulin is delivered to meet the demand of the body for taking meal or carbohydrates. You can also set this amount according to the amount of carbohydrates. No, you don’t need to calculate, you just need to enter the amount of carbs and the device will calculate the required amount of insulin and then of course you need to press the button or tough ‘yes’ to deliver.
The most satisfactory thing about insulin pump is, it works well, I mean it absorbs well and consistently though it is given under your skin. Insulin pump therapy is quite a relief especially for those who are suffering from extreme hypoglycemia which is a medical emergency due to abnormal low glucose level. Most of the time hypoglycemic patients didn’t know that they are suffering from it and with the use of insulin pump you will immediately know the sugar level and the device will remain suspended from giving insulin. This is of huge help for hypoglycemic patients. The insulin pump is also beneficial to those who suffer from dawn phenomenon that is rise of blood sugar in early morning and is also efficacious in patients who has a symptom of delayed or slow stomach emptying which is known as ‘gastroparesis.’
Now let’s come to the facts that you need to consider before buying an insulin pump.
- First of all, it is important to know whether the device could calculate the required amount of insulin by itself after entering the amount of carbohydrates uptake.
- Secondly will the device consider the amount of active insulin in your body while calculating, otherwise there will be complications.
- Thirdly, if you are insulin sensitive can it deliver, if needed, very small amount of insulin?
- Fourthly- does the size of the reservoir is suitable for you?
- The fifth concern will be checking on the infusion set. Some people have subcutaneous fat and some have skin sensitivities which mean that they will require different infusion set which will suit them.
- The sixth point to consider is continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM). Check if your device provides CGM, with CGM system you can know the real time sugar level and even some device suspend insulin release based on the glucose level.
- Last but not the least, is your device waterproof?
So, look before you leap!! Before buying your device, consider carefully which features you will need to go on with. For example, V-Go insulin pump does not require tubing or battery and it has different reservoir sizes and it also is waterproof but it lacks CGM. Tandem t:slim insulin pump has a fixed unit reservoir, carbohydrates calculator, requires tubing and heavy. So, what is good to you may be bad to others. Here is a link which gives a full chart of available insulin pumps and you can go through this to choose yours.
So, the decision is in your hand now. You can go free with the insulin pump and have a tension free life or you can depend on others and have complications. But as I have already told you, before buying think carefully what features do you want in your device and then go for it!