Q&A

What is an insulin pump?

An insulin pump is a small, battery operated medical device that delivers insulin continually 24 hours. It attempts to mimic the normal pancreas’s release of insulin.

What are the benefits of pump therapy?

In short, pump therapy offers better control over disease and improves quality of life.

Numerous studies have proven that with a use of insulin pump, diabetes patients achieve tighter glucose control. This means HbA1c values closest to desired, which is associated with a reduction in the incidence and severity of long- term diabetes complications. Other advantages are reduction of episodes of severe hypoglycemia, predictable and precise insulin delivery and less injections (infusion sets are replaced every three days).

What are the indications for use of insulin pump?

Pump is indicated for patients who had inadequate glycemic control with MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) therapy and recurrent night-time hypoglycemia, as well as those who are sensitive to small changes of insulin units and easily go from hypo to hyperglycemia. Pump therapy is also recommended for children who require multiple night and daily insulin injections, and for those during the times of puberty and adolescence, when need for insulin is increased due to hormonal changes and body development. Other indications include preconception, pregnancy and lactation and cases of comorbidity (other conditions besides diabetes, like celiac). Insulin pump is also indicated for patients with early chronic complications. Due to the fact that pump use offers more flexibility and improves the quality of life, it may be recommended to physically active people, people who do sports, work in shifts, or travel a lot.

Who recomends the pump?

Insulin pump therapy requires a prescription from a physician or specialist (internal medicine or pediatrician), who will continue to care for patient.

How does an insuline pump work?

An insulin pump closely mimics healthy pancreas by continuously delivering small doses of insulin around the clock, even while patient is sleeping. Pump delivers insulin to the body from a reservoir inside the pump through a thin, plastic tube called infusion set. Insulin pump continually delivers precise doses of rapid-acting insulin to closely match body’s needs. Insulin is delivered in two ways: Basal rate- continuous, small trickle of insulin that keeps blood glucose stable between meals and overnight. Bolus rate- much higher rate of insulin taken before eating or during the hypoglycemia. A pump is easy to program and patients can customize a variety of insulin delivery rates, which in return offers more flexible lifestyle. As a part of integrated diabetes management, the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system could be added to the pump therapy. Glucose sensor is inserted under the skin to continually measure glucose levels. From sensor, a glucose information is sent to the monitor or pump through the transmitter (MiniLink). Sensor is set separately from pump and could be used for up to six days. This system presents one more step closer to artificial pancreas. Pump can be programmed for alerts and notifications in a case of upcoming high or low blood sugar. There is also an automatic shut off mechanism that suspends insulin delivery if there was no action taken during the hypoglycemia episode. That is particularly important during the night or with patients with unrecognized hypoglycemia. Two hours later, pump will automatically continue to deliver basal rate of insulin unless programmed differently.

Are there any contraindications?

Successful insulin pump therapy requires sufficient vision and hearing to allow recognition of the pump signals and alarms. Pump is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day and to maintain regular contact with their doctor or specialist.

Are self checking blood glucose tests still needed?

For optimal blood glucose control, insulin pump alone is not enough. Self-control is absolutely necessary and is one of the most important factors in treatment. Insulin doses should be adjusted based on blood glucose levels, carbohydrate intake and physical activity.

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Talk to your doctor or specialist if pump therapy is the right choice for you.

Our team of experts are here to answer any additional questions or concerns if necessary. We will teach you how to handle the pump and how to set up an infusion set, you will learn about possible complications and precautions.

Once you are on insulin pump therapy, 24 hour support is available.

Your confidence in us is our motivation for the highest quality of service that we can provide.