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 giving insulin by injection.
These pager-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 continuous (basal) dose of insulin 24 hours a day. Before a meal, you push a button
to give yourself a spike of insulin for food. 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. They 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. It may be expensive. Yet, it certainly is more convenient for some people
who need to take several (4 or more) injections of insulin daily. New models of insulin
pumps and similar systems are becoming available all the time. Your diabetes educator
may help you try several types until you find one that works well for you.