Health Encyclopedia

Insulin Pump Use

Can anyone with diabetes use an insulin pump? Insulin pumps are used most often by people with type 1 diabetes, but some people with type 2 diabetes also use them. Insulin pumps can be used instead of administering insulin by injection.

These palm-sized pumps clip to your clothing or attach directly to your body. Through a tube attached to your skin, usually on the abdomen, thigh or buttock, the pump delivers a basal (continuous) dose of insulin 24 hours a day. Before a meal, you push a button to give yourself a larger dose. Supplemental or correction doses may be used to treat high glucose levels, if needed.

Pumps are useful for people who already take insulin but still don't have good glucose control. Using a pump takes a lot of training, so pumps are not for everyone. You must work closely with a diabetes specialist, monitor your blood glucose, count carbohydrates, and keep food records. Nonetheless, if you take insulin and still have trouble with glucose control--and you're committed to better diabetes management--it may be worth considering.