Like a healthy pancreas, an insulin pump is a small medical device that delivers only one type of insulin. Using personal settings determined with your healthcare provider and the touchscreen interface, insulin is delivered both continuously (basal) and in larger doses for meals (bolus).
The insulin flows from the pump through thin, flexible tubing, available in a variety of lengths.
The tubing is attached to an adhesive patch, which holds a short, fine tube (cannula) under the skin. This infusion site is changed every two to three days.
Getting a new insulin pump is a big decision, but it’s one that can have a positive impact on managing your diabetes and your quality of life.
Studies have shown that pump therapy, when paired with proper training and support, may result in better blood sugar control than daily injections.1,2,3 Additional benefits may include decreased duration of high blood sugar with no increase in severe low blood sugar, fewer large swings in blood sugar, and lower total daily insulin use.
When you’re taking multiple daily injections, you have to pull out your pen or vial and syringe in public. Delivering insulin with just a few button presses on a pump can be so discreet, others around you won't even notice.
Anyone with diabetes knows that blood sugar varies from hour-to-hour and day-to-day depending on many factors. Using pump features like temporary basal rates, extended boluses, and personal profiles, you can easily change insulin delivery for different situations. Because pumps use rapid-acting insulin, you can also make adjustments “on the fly.”
Keeping detailed records of every blood sugar value, carb, and insulin dose you take is a lot to keep up with. An insulin pump keeps track of these details for you. You can also upload your pump data to an online management system so both you and your healthcare provider have access to it and can make informed management decisions.
Have you ever realized you left your insulin at home? With an insulin pump, your insulin goes with you, so you can stay on the go! Additionally, since pumps use only one kind of insulin you have one less prescription to fill.
Insulin pumps deliver insulin in precise amounts that can’t be achieved with syringes or pens. They can also calculate your insulin doses for you. All you do is enter how much you are eating and your current blood sugar value, and your insulin pump figures out the rest. This results in better matching of insulin to food.