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How Do Insulin Pumps Help Diabetics

Choosing And Using An Insulin Pump Infusion Set

Choosing And Using An Insulin Pump Infusion Set

When a person uses an insulin pump to control his diabetes, one of the decisions he has to make is what model of infusion set to use. Pumps are often an excellent choice for people who use insulin and seek tight control of their diabetes but need some flexibility in their diabetes regimen. Most insulin pumps require the use of an infusion set to deliver insulin from the pump to the user. An infusion set consists of a length of thin plastic tubing, a very thin stainless steel or Teflon cannula that is inserted just under the skin, and a plastic connector that joins tubing and cannula together. The connector is generally mounted on an adhesive patch that is stuck to the skin at the insertion site to help keep the cannula in place. The connector allows a person to disconnect from his pump temporarily (for swimming, intimate situations, etc.) without removing the infusion set. Insulin infusion sets come in a variety of styles to suit individuals’ unique needs and preferences. In addition to having either a Teflon or steel cannula, infusion sets may be designed to have the cannula inserted straight into the subcutaneous tissue or at an angle. Some cannulas can only be inserted manually, while others can be inserted either manually or with an insertion device. All infusion sets offer a variety of tubing lengths. Teflon versus steel cannula A “soft” cannula is a thin, flexible needle made of the synthetic substance Teflon that is inserted into the subcutaneous tissue via a steel introducer needle. The introducer needle is then removed and only the soft cannula is left in place. Soft cannula sets are popular because they are comfortable to wear and they can remain inserted for up to 72 hours. One disadvantage of the soft cannula, however, is that its flexibility can poten Continue reading >>

Insulin Pumps

Insulin Pumps

Not Just for Type 1 An estimated 350,000 people in the United States use insulin pumps today, and about 30,000 of those are believed to have Type 2 diabetes. Surprised? Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease that causes many people who have it to eventually need to use insulin to control their blood glucose levels. Although many people still think insulin pumps are only for treatment of Type 1 diabetes, they can also be useful for some people with Type 2 diabetes. According to Charles H. Raine III, MD, a diabetologist in Orangeburg, South Carolina, who himself has Type 2 diabetes and uses an insulin pump, the criteria for a good pump candidate are the same, no matter what type of diabetes a person has. In general, a good pump candidate has uncontrolled blood glucose, but also has a desire to try for better control of his diabetes, is willing to measure and document food intake and blood glucose levels, and is physically, emotionally, and cognitively able to manage a pump (or has a caregiver who is). Another important characteristic is a willingness to keep appointments with members of his diabetes care team. Insulin pumps are cell-phone-size devices used to deliver preprogrammed and user-adjusted doses of insulin. Depending on the brand and model, they hold between 180 and 315 units of insulin. Most people use rapid-acting insulin — options include insulin lispro (brand name Humalog), insulin aspart (NovoLog), and insulin glulisine (Apidra) — in their pumps, with a few using Regular. Instead of using an intermediate- or long-acting insulin as a background — or basal — insulin, a user simulates the pancreas’s steady release of insulin by programming the pump to automatically give small amounts of the rapid-acting or Regular insulin around the clock, based on Continue reading >>

Insulin Pump Overview

Insulin Pump Overview

As people with diabetes know, keeping blood sugar levels in a safe range is extremely important. Good blood sugar control not only makes you feel well, but also helps prevent long-term diabetes complications, such as blindness, kidney failure and heart disease. People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin, a hormone that helps the body use sugar (glucose), a key source of energy that comes from carbohydrates. If you have type 1 diabetes you must make up for the lack of insulin with insulin therapy. Meanwhile, people with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but their bodies don’t use insulin properly, or they don’t produce enough insulin. Diet, exercise and medication can often work to control glucose levels. However, in certain cases, these measures aren’t enough, and insulin therapy is needed to better control blood sugar levels. While insulin can be given by self-injection, people who take multiple daily injections of insulinmay also consider using an insulin pump. An insulin pump provides continuous delivery of short acting insulin all day long. The insulin pump substitutes the need for long acting insulin. A pump also replaces the need for multiple daily injections with a continuous insulin infusion, and also helps to improve your blood sugar levels. How Do Insulin Pumps Work? Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices that mimic the way the human pancreas works by delivering small doses of short acting insulin continuously (basal rate). The device also is used to deliver variable amounts of insulin when a meal is eaten (bolus). The basal insulin rates are usually set up in your pump with your doctor, and you can have one or multiple basal settings programmed in your pump, based on your needs. You program the amount of insulin for your mealtime bolus di Continue reading >>

How Pumping Works

How Pumping Works

An insulin pump is a device about the size of a cell phone that contains a cartridge of rapid-acting insulin. A pump has a screen and buttons for programming the pump’s internal computer, and a precise motor that pushes the insulin from the cartridge into your body through a thin plastic tube called an infusion set. How is insulin delivered? Like your pancreas, an insulin pump releases small amounts of rapid-acting insulin to keep blood glucose levels steady between meals and during sleep. This is called the basal rate. Basal insulin takes the place of long-acting insulin. Then, at meal or snack time, you can tell the pump to deliver the amount of insulin needed to match the grams of carbohydrate in the food that is eaten, just like a healthy pancreas. This is called a bolus. A bolus can also be given to correct a high blood glucose. How is an insulin pump connected to my body? Every 2-3 days, a thin plastic tube called a cannula is inserted just underneath the skin using an infusion set. The infusion set is typically an all-in-one set that uses a thin introducer needle to insert the soft, thin cannula, which is then removed once the cannula is under the skin. A tube connects the infusion set to the pump using a Luer connector, a standard locking mechanism that securely attaches the tube to the pump.. Your healthcare professional will help you determine the best insulin infusion site for you. Typical infusion sites include the abdomen, hips, buttocks, upper back arm, and thighs. How is an insulin pump worn? Most pumps are so small and discreet, no one has to know you're wearing one unless you want them to. Plus, there are so many accessories available, you have many options to choose from. And for pumps that share information and communicate wirelessly using a meter-r Continue reading >>

Insulin Pump For Diabetes

Insulin Pump For Diabetes

How does an insulin pump work? The typical insulin pump is attached to a thin plastic tube (an infusion set) that has a soft cannula (or plastic needle) at the end through which insulin passes. This cannula is inserted under the skin, usually on the abdomen. The cannula is changed every two days. The tubing can be disconnected from the pump while showering or swimming. The pump is used for continuous insulin delivery, 24 hours a day. The amount of insulin is programmed and is administered at a constant rate (basal rate). Often, the amount of insulin needed over the course of 24 hours varies depending on factors like exercise, activity level, and sleep. The insulin pump allows the user to program many different basal rates to allow for variation in lifestyle. In addition, the user can program the pump to deliver a bolus (large dose of insulin) during meals to cover the excess demands of carbohydrate ingestion. How common is an insulin pump? Hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes worldwide are using an insulin pump. Although insulin pumps were first used by people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes sometime use them as well. Many children successfully use insulin pumps. Insulin pumps allow for tight blood sugar control and lifestyle flexibility while minimizing the effects of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Newer models of the pump have been developed that do not require a tubing, in fact - the insulin delivery device is placed directly on the skin and any adjustments needed for insulin delivery are made through a PDA like device that must be kept within a 6 foot range of the insulin delivery device, and can be worn in a pocket, kept in a purse, or on a tabletop when working. Probably the most exciting innovation in pump technology is the ability to Continue reading >>

How Insulin Pumps Work

How Insulin Pumps Work

Tweet An insulin pump is a machine which enables insulin to be delivered either automatically, or in response to instructions given by the pump wearer. It drip feeds insulin into the body through the day and can also deliver larger doses of insulin whenever needed, such as before meals. Insulin pumps can also be programmed to deliver specific doses at set times. Diagram of a tethered insulin pump An example of a typical ‘tethered insulin pump’ (insulin pumps connected to the body via tubing). Buttons: Allows the wearer to make choices about how much insulin to deliver and when. Display screen: Interacts with the buttons to display information and choices available to the wearer. Circuit board: Converts the wearer’s instructions into action – increasing the pump’s motor to deliver a faster rate of insulin. Motor: Turns round causing the plunger to push insulin through the reservoir and into the tubing. Reservoir: Holds insulin (usually enough for a number of days’ insulin use) Tubing: Links the reservoir in the pump to the cannula which goes into the wearer’s body. Cannula: A small tube that goes into and just under the skin, allowing insulin to pass from the tubing, through the cannula and into the body. The cannula is held in place by an adhesive patch. Battery: Provides the power needed for the insulin pump to work Note: The tubing, cannula and the adhesive patch are referred to as the infusion set. Patch pumps diagram Patch pumps work in a similar way to tethered insulin pumps but whereas tethered pumps are attached to the body via a tube, patch pumps attach directly to the surface of the skin with adhesive. Do pumps take blood glucose readings? Traditionally, pumps have not taken blood glucose readings but it is now possible to get pumps that have sens Continue reading >>

Insulin Pumps And Continuous Glucose Monitors

Insulin Pumps And Continuous Glucose Monitors

Using an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor can help people with diabetes better manage blood glucose levels. Should you be using them? This article provides clear information on insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors so that you can talk to your diabetes treatment team about these diabetes devices. check your blood sugar every few minutes—that’s a continuous glucose monitor pump small and continuous doses of fast-acting insulin—that’s an insulin pump Many people with diabetes report that continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps help them reduce their average blood glucose and drive down their hemoglobin A1c scores. Some people who use these sensing and pumping systems are even able to reduce their blood glucose to levels close to those of non-diabetics. How Does a Continuous Glucose Monitor Work? A small sensor is inserted into your skin within a few inches of your belly button. That sensor sends blood glucose readings to a little computer unit you carry with you. If your blood glucose (blood sugar) goes too high or low, the computer unit beeps to alert you that you need to administer insulin or eat some carbohydrates. How Does an Insulin Pump Work? The same computer unit that captures your blood glucose data also contains short-acting insulin and pumps it out a little at a time. It pumps the insulin through a small tube inserted into you abdomen. Some systems also have a bolus feature that lets you administer a little bit more insulin if your blood sugar gets too high. Drawbacks to Continuous Glucose Monitors and Insulin Pumps While continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps have many advantages, they are not for everyone—that’s why you need to education yourself on these diabetes treatment options and discuss them with your doctor Continue reading >>

Convenient Diabetes Care: The Insulin Pump

Convenient Diabetes Care: The Insulin Pump

Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices that some people with diabetes use to help manage their blood sugar. They wear their pump on their belt or put it in their pocket. The pump releases rapid-acting insulin into your body through a small, flexible tube (called a catheter) which goes under your belly's skin and is taped in place. The insulin pump works nonstop, according to a programmed plan unique to each pump wearer. You can change the amount of insulin delivered. Between meals and overnights, the pump constantly delivers a small amount of insulin to keep your blood sugar in the target range. This is called the "basal rate." When you eat food, you can program extra insulin -- a "bolus dose" -- into the pump. You can calculate how much of a bolus you need based on the grams of carbohydrates you eat or drink. When you use an insulin pump, you must check your blood sugar level at least four times a day. You set the doses of your insulin and make adjustments to the dose depending on your food and exercise. Some doctors prefer the insulin pump because it releases insulin slowly, like how a normal pancreas works. Another advantage of the insulin pump is that you don't have to measure insulin into a syringe. Research is mixed on whether the pump provides better blood sugar control than more than one daily injection. An insulin pump is a small computerized device that delivers insulin into the body. This is different from injecting insulin throughout the day using insulin syringes and needles. Insulin pumps can be programmed to deliver very precise amounts of insulin in a continuous (basal) dose and in carefully planned extra (bolus) doses delivered at specific times throughout the day, usually when eating. Some pumps, like the one in this picture, connect to the body Continue reading >>

Everything You Need To Know About Insulin Pumps

Everything You Need To Know About Insulin Pumps

Everyone needs insulin to live. Insulin is a hormone that helps our bodies use and store the food we eat. People with Type 1 Diabetes no longer make insulin and have to give insulin in order to sustain life. People with Type 2 Diabetes don’t use their own insulin well, and over time can have trouble making enough. So, all people with Type 1 diabetes and some people with Type 2 diabetes need insulin. When people give insulin injections, they may take 1-2 injections of a long acting insulin every day and 3+ injections of rapid acting insulin for meals and snacks. The typical person with Type 1 Diabetes could take anywhere from 4-7+ injections a day. Many people currently give insulin through an insulin pen or a syringe. But, there is another option, an insulin pump. An insulin pump delivers rapid acting insulin in two ways. First, the pump is programmed to give you insulin every hour throughout the hour referred to basal insulin. Basal, think “base,” is the insulin your body needs even in the absence of food, it is also referred to as background insulin. This basal rate replaces the long acting injection that you take. Second, is bolus, this is the insulin you take for food or to correct a high blood sugar. If you get basal and bolus confused, think “bowl”, as in you eat out of a bowl, to help you remember bolus is for food. Once you are on a pump, all insulin is delivered through the pump and shots are no longer necessary. Components There are a few things necessary to make a pump work. When a pump is shipped to someone: they will also need to send infusion sets, reservoirs, and possibly batteries, depending on your pump. Let’s talk about each component. Infusion Sets An infusion set is the part that is actually inserted into the body and has tubing that conn Continue reading >>

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Insulin Pump

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Insulin Pump

What is an insulin pump? An insulin pump is a small, computerized device that delivers insulin continuously throughout the day. It attempts to mimic the normal pancreas's release of insulin, but you must tell the pump how much insulin to inject. It delivers insulin in two ways: a basal rate which is a continuous, small trickle of insulin that keeps blood glucose stable between meals and overnight; and a bolus rate, which is a much higher rate of insulin taken before eating to "cover" the food you plan to eat. Effective, safe use of the pump requires: Commitment to checking blood glucose at least 4 times a day, every day. Adjusting insulin doses based on blood glucose levels, carbohydrate intake, and physical activity. The main advantages of pump therapy are: Increased flexibility in lifestyle. Predictable insulin delivery. Precise insulin delivery. Ability to accurately deliver 1/10th of a unit of insulin. Tighter blood glucose control, while reducing the risk of low blood glucose. Reducing episodes of severe hypoglycemia. Reducing wide fluctuations in blood glucose. Helping manage the "dawn phenomenon." The main disadvantages of pump therapy are: Risk of skin infections at the catheter site. Risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) from pump malfunction or absorption problems. Cost: pumps are expensive, plus the continuing cost of supplies. Checking blood glucose at least 4 times per day. Letting others know that you have diabetes. Is pump therapy for you? Ask yourself these questions: Are you ready to be attached to a device that lets people know you have diabetes? Do you have realistic expectations? It is not the "magic bullet" that will solve all your blood glucose problems. Are you comfortable with the technology and mechanics of operating a pump? Are you committed to c Continue reading >>

Insulin Pumps

Insulin Pumps

Thinking about getting an insulin pump to manage your Type 1 diabetes? As an alternative to injecting insulin with a pen, an insulin pump can help improve your diabetes control and give you more flexibility. What does an insulin pump do? An insulin pump is a battery-operated device that provides your body with regular insulin throughout the day. The insulin is provided via a tiny, flexible tube (cannula), inserted under the skin. The tube can be left in for two to three days before it needs to be replaced and moved to a different insulin injection site. When eating, you can release extra insulin using the pump. This is known as a 'bolus dose'. Your nurse and dietitian will help you to work out how much insulin you need. How can I get an insulin pump? The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) haspublished criteria for suitability to use an insulin pump. Talk to your diabetes healthcare team about whether a pump is suitable for you. You're entitled to NHS-funded insulin pump therapy if you meet the following requirements: Your diabetes consultant recommends that you use an insulin pump. You'll need to show that you're committed to good diabetes control; for example, by having at least four insulin injections a day, checking your blood sugar levels at least four times a day, counting carbohydrates and adjusting insulin doses. You meet the NICE criteria (Technology Appraisal 151 (2008)) for NHS funding. You're having frequent hypos or hypos without warning that cause anxiety and have a negative impact on your quality of life, or your HbA1c is still 69mmol/mol (8.5%) or above, despite carefully trying to manage your diabetes. What pump types are available? Pumps vary in colour, battery life, screen size and extra features, such as a remote control. Your he Continue reading >>

Insulin Pump Therapy

Insulin Pump Therapy

Insulin pump therapy can give you the better control you want for your lifestyle.1, 2 Technology for Joy & Jake What Is Insulin Pump Therapy? An insulin pump is a small device about the size of a small cell phone that is worn externally and can be discreetly clipped to your belt, slipped into a pocket, or hidden under your clothes. It delivers precise doses of rapid-acting insulin to closely match your body’s needs: Basal Rate: Small amounts of insulin delivered continuously (24/7) for normal functions of the body (not including food). The programmed rate is determined by your healthcare professional. Bolus Dose: Additional insulin you can deliver “on demand” to match the food you are going to eat or to correct a high blood sugar. Insulin pumps have bolus calculators that help you calculate your bolus amount based on settings that are determined by your healthcare professional. Buttons to program your insulin LCD screen to show what you are programming Battery compartment to hold 1 AAA alkaline battery Reservoir compartment that holds insulin A plastic cartridge that holds the insulin that is locked into the insulin pump. It comes with a transfer guard (blue piece at the top that is removed before inserting the reservoir into the pump) that assists with pulling the insulin from a vial into the reservoir. A reservoir can hold up to 300 units of insulin and is changed every two to three days. An infusion set includes a thin tube that goes from the reservoir to the infusion site on your body. The cannula is inserted with a small needle that is removed after it is in place. It goes into sites (areas) on your body similar to where you give insulin injections. The infusion set is changed every two to three days. An infusion set is placed into the insertion device and wi Continue reading >>

Insulin Pumps

Insulin Pumps

What is an insulin pump? An insulin pump is a small battery-operated electronic device that holds a reservoir of insulin. It is about the size of a mobile phone and is worn 24 hours a day. The pump is programmed to deliver insulin into the body through thin plastic tubing known as the infusion set or giving set. The pump is worn outside the body, in a pouch or on your belt. The infusion set has a fine needle or flexible cannula that is inserted just below the skin where it stays in place for two to three days. Only fast acting insulin is used in the pump. Whenever food is eaten the pump is programmed to deliver a surge of insulin into the body similar to the way the pancreas does in people without diabetes. Between meals a small and steady rate of insulin is delivered. The insulin pump is not suitable for everyone. If you’re considering using one, you must discuss it first with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. How does it help me manage my diabetes? Research has shown that insulin pump therapy can reduce the frequency of severe hypoglycaemia as well as improve quality of life. Using a pump may also improve suboptimal blood glucose control. It is important that you have realistic expectations about pump therapy. It is not a cure for people who require insulin to manage their diabetes but a way of delivering insulin that may offer increased flexibility, improved glucose levels and improved quality of life. Pump therapy requires motivation, regular blood glucose checking, the ability to learn pump technology and the willingness to keep in regular contact with your diabetes educator or endocrinologist for review and adjustment of pump rates. Resources - Blog post- What I've Learned From 12 Years Pumping What insulin pumps are available to me? You can see av Continue reading >>

Insulin Pumps

Insulin Pumps

What is an insulin pump? When you have diabetes and rely on insulin to control your blood sugar, insulin administration can mean multiple daily injections. Insulin pumps serve as an alternative. Instead of injections, the insulin pump delivers a continuous, preset amount of insulin, plus bolus doses when needed. Although you must still check your blood sugar levels, the pump can take the place of multiple daily insulin injections and help some people with diabetes better manage their blood glucose. An insulin pump is a small device that closely resembles a beeper or miniature computer. Slightly smaller than a deck of playing cards, the insulin pump has several key components: Reservoir: The reservoir is where the insulin is stored. It must be refilled periodically to ensure a steady stream of insulin. Cannula: A small needle and straw-like tube inserted in the fatty tissue under the skin that delivers insulin. The needle is withdrawn while the tube remains. You must switch out the cannula and its site periodically to reduce infection risk. Operating buttons: These buttons allow for programmed insulin delivery throughout the day and for programmed bolus dose delivery at mealtime. Tubing: Thin, flexible plastic transports insulin from the pump to the cannula. For some people, wearing an insulin pump provides more flexibility to administer insulin doses on the go without the need to carry many diabetic supplies. It also allows for a more fine-tuned dosing of basal insulin and possibly less structure around mealtime. Insulin pumps have two dose types. The first is basal rate, which is a continuous infusion that delivers a small amount of insulin throughout the day. This insulin helps keep your blood sugar levels stable between meals and at night. The other, called a bolus d Continue reading >>

Insulin Pumps

Insulin Pumps

Insulin pumps are an increasingly common treatment for type 1 diabetes. They can improve glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes but do not suit everyone. An insulin pump delivers insulin every few minutes in tiny amounts, 24 hours a day. It is usually about the size of a deck of cards, but can be much smaller. The insulin flows through a cannula which sits in the subcutaneous tissue (where you inject) and is changed by the pump user every few days. Basal (background) insulin is programmed to meet the pump user’s needs. The bolus insulin is delivered at the touch of a button to cover food or bring down a high blood glucose level. Only rapid-acting insulin is needed and provides all your insulin requirements. Insulin pumps reduce the need for multiple injections and give the user the ability to make smaller, more accurate adjustments to insulin delivery. Note: insulin pumps do not measure blood glucose levels, but some pumps can read the signal from a separate glucose sensor. What sort of insulin pumps are there? There are a number of different types of insulin pump and accessories. They vary in aspects such as weight; units of adjustment; whether they have tubing or not and battery life. A ‘tethered’ pump uses a fine tube to connect the pump to the cannula; the pump is worn in a pocket or clipped to a belt. A patch pump or micro pump has no tubing or a very short tube, and the pump is usually stuck on to the skin. The following suppliers currently offer pumps in the UK: Animas Advanced Therapeutics Cellnovo Medtronic Roche OmniPod A good document for comparison can be downloaded here. Type 1 Technology guide We have produced a family-friendly guide to type 1 diabetes technology, which highlights recommendations from NICE on treatments and technology for chi Continue reading >>

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