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How Does An Insulin Pump Attached To The Body?

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 >>

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 >>

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 Affects Person's Quality Of Life, Diabetes Study Shows

Insulin Pump Affects Person's Quality Of Life, Diabetes Study Shows

Being treated for diabetes with an insulin pump, an aid that is attached to the body to provide a continuous supply of insulin, has a strong impact on a person's quality of life. The pump can be a lifeline, but also a bothersome shackle. This is shown in a unique long-term study performed at the Academy of Health and Society, Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden in collaboration with the Clinic of Internal Medicine at Falun Hospital as well as Uppsala University and Umeå University. The finding is part of a larger study where, for four years, researchers followed a group of adults with type-1 diabetes being treated with an insulin pump. The group's blood glucose levels, in terms of HbA1c, and their satisfaction with the treatment were examined via blood samples and surveys, respectively. The researchers then continued their long-term monitoring with interviews, after the subjects had been using an insulin pump for more than five years. The qualitative interview method has come to be a more and more important complement to traditional research methods in recent years. There have only been a few such studies in the world. Qualitative methods yield a good picture of how the individual perceives and deals with his/her everyday life with a life-long disorder. The results of the interviews evinced a pattern that could be divided into various themes. The insulin pump was perceived to be a lifeline in the sense that it brought greater independence, greater control of the subject's own life situation, and that life had become normalized. On the other hand, the pump was perceived as being a shackle, meaning that the subject was dependent on the technology, felt stigmatized, and was weighed down by the disease. Among interviewees, some had a generally favorable view of the treatment Continue reading >>

How Best To Use An Insulin Pump?

How Best To Use An Insulin Pump?

My aunt and I both have diabetes, but we have different opinions about using an insulin pump. She says the pump delivers insulin all day and night according to the basal and bolus insulin you program into the pump. I was taught that basal insulin is delivered only for the times and amounts set, and that you should set the bolus for the carbohydrate grams eaten. Which way is correct? Pam Sargent, Kennebunkport, Maine Janis McWilliams, RN, MSN, CDE, BC-ADM, responds: An insulin pump, a small device attached to your body either with an infusion set or adhesive (for a patch pump), delivers insulin continually, much as a working pancreas does. This continual delivery is called the basal rate and is programmed into the device. Usually, some insulin is delivered every hour, but it can be set to zero or suspended for a period of time The bolus dose is additional insulin that you ask the pump to deliver, usually before a meal, to account for the food to be eaten. This mimics how a normal pancreas produces more insulin in response to rising blood glucose during a meal. The bolus dose is usually based on the carbohydrate grams you plan to eat; type your carb count into the pump and, for most pumps, a bolus calculator figures out how much insulin you should take. The settings for the basal rate and insulin-to-carbohydrate ratios for mealtime boluses should be programmed with the help of a knowledgeable health care professional. Insulin pumps offer advanced features. Multiple basal rates can be programmed for different situations, such as weekends or the menstrual cycle. A temporary basal rate, to increase or decrease insulin by a certain percentage for a set amount of time, may be helpful on sick days or highly active days. Pump features also provide different ways to give boluses Continue reading >>

How Does An Insulin Pump Work?

How Does An Insulin Pump Work?

An insulin pump is a device about the size of a deck of cards that can be worn on a belt, kept in a pocket, or worn on your skin. It carries a reservoir of insulin connected to narrow, flexible plastic tubing (cannula) that is inserted just under the skin. Users set the pump to give a basal amount of insulin continuously throughout the day. Pumps also release bolus insulin to cover meals and at times when blood glucose levels are high, based on programming done by users. Insulin pumps control your blood sugar levels by delivering fast-acting insulin 24 hours a day. Before you can use an insulin pump, you must undergo a surgical procedure. Your doctor will create a place for the insulin pump to connect to your body. The area to insert the needle is usually created on your abdomen. You will need to use a needle to connect the pump's thin, plastic tube to your body. Once you have inserted the needle, you should cover and protect the site with a bandage. You will need to change the needle every few days. There are three different types of insulin dosages that will be used with your pump. Basal rates are the first type and are the dosages that are automatically given to you 24 hours a day. You can program your pump to give different dosages at different times of the day. For example, you may want your pump to deliver less insulin while you are sleeping. Bolus dosages are the second type; you will manually tell your pump to deliver a bolus dosage of insulin before you eat. You can also administer another bolus dosage if you eat more food than you expected. Supplementary or correction dosages are the final type; if you find that your blood sugar levels are too low or too high, you can tell your pump to give you extra insulin. For insulin pumps to work properly, they must remai Continue reading >>

Insulin Pump : How To Connect It To Your Body

Insulin Pump : How To Connect It To Your Body

When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, all my doctors suggested that I get an insulin pump. At the time, the whole thing was new to me and just the thought of shots scared me! The thought of attaching something to me scared me much more. Especially since I had no idea how it was attached. I am not a fan of pain at all. So I told the doctors I was not interested in the pump then. I took insulin shots for about 3 years before deciding to research the insulin pump more. I was tired of the up and down blood sugar patterns I was having, and I’d heard that the pump provided a much more even range. I looked insulin pumps up online and found lots of information about how wonderful they are. I tried to find pictures of how you attached them to you, and I couldn’t find anything! I wanted to see pictures of how the process worked before I committed to it. How big was the needle? How did you get it in you? Did they just leave a needle in for the 2 – 3 days it was in before you changed it? Since I couldn’t find any photos, I took it upon myself to take pictures of myself going through the process. Maybe it will help some other scared type 1’s thinking about getting the pump and wanting to see some photos! I hope so! The first step is to gather the supplies you need. I use the minimed paradigm 722 insulin pump and they have the option of a quick-serter. It is a spring loaded gadget that you put the needle part of the infusion set into, and then just press it against your skin and push the tabs on the side and it quickly plunges the needle in. It rarely hurts. Most of the time I can’t even feel it. I know they have other options for putting the infusion set in, but this is the one I chose. Here is a photo of the quick-serter, humalog, new reservoir, new infusion set, a 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 >>

Tethered To The Body

Tethered To The Body

A $6,000 insulin pump with an on-board computer chip is not alluring. Neither is the white mesh adhesive patch on my naked abdomen or the length of nylon tubing that connects the patch to the pump. There is only illness, and there is no way to make that sexy. After several years as a medical device wearer, I know. Negligees and nudity are impractical, because neither provides much to clip the device to. Clothes and pajamas, on the other hand, have waistbands or pockets, which keep the pump steady during the prelude of kissing and touching. The pump can even be negotiated during the impatient slithering of fingers into nightclothes. If my husband and I lie on our sides, front-to-front, I can clip my pump against my hip. If I’m on my back and Jimmy wants to lay his full length on top of me, I adjust the pump along my waistband toward my back, so the hard case doesn’t press into his abdomen. At some point, somehow, the clothes need to come off. We are cautious around the pump and its accoutrements. I am the more adept at this task. Most of the time Jimmy’s hands know to work around the white adhesive patch and hard plastic connector button that marks the tender insertion site, but sometimes they stutter and miss and fingers drag at it, reminding me. Although we are both aroused, I cannot be completely caught up in the moment, because I’m calculating what to do with the pump and when. I can remove the device for up to 60 minutes without bringing harm to myself, but then I have to remember to stay awake or get Jimmy to function as a human alarm clock and remind me, if I doze off, to reconnect. If I’m tired and know that I’ll want to finish soon and then fall into a long stretch of sleep, I might leave the pump connected during sex, the device tucked under a pillo Continue reading >>

What Is Insulin Pump Therapy?

What Is Insulin Pump Therapy?

How Does an Insulin Pump Work? An insulin pump is a small electronic device, about the size of a smartphone, that can be easily carried on a belt, inside a pocket, or attached to a bra and so virtually invisible to others. The device is attached to your body via a thin tube called an Infusion Set. This makes insulin pump therapy very discreet. An insulin pump replaces the need for frequent injections by delivering rapid acting insulin continuously 24 hours a day. Basal Rate: This is the small amount of insulin that your insulin pump continuously gives you. Your pre-programmed rate is determined by your own body's needs and programmed by your healthcare professional. Because the quantity can be more precise and the rates can be customised e.g. can very each hour if need be, an insulin pump can mimic a healthy pancreas more closely. Bolus Dose: Additional insulin can be delivered “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 pre-determined by your healthcare professional and again based on your individual needs. How does insulin get from the pump to your body? The insulin pump has a compartment that holds a reservoir that is filled with insulin. From the pump's reservoir insulin travels along a thin tube and "infused" into your body through an infusion set which is inserted into your skin. The infusion set contains a small cannula which is sits just under the skin. The pump and tubing can easily disconnect and reconnect to your body whenever you want to. This can be helpful, for example when you want to shower or play sports. A small durable electronic device that has: - Buttons to program your insulin and navigate through th 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 >>

Learning About Insulin Pumps

Learning About Insulin Pumps

An insulin pump is a tiny computer that delivers insulin into your body. With a pump, you don't have to give yourself insulin shots throughout the day. You program the pump to do this. You can also give yourself an extra dose of insulin when you need it. A pump may give you more freedom to eat, sleep, and exercise when you want. How does it work? The pump sends insulin through a narrow plastic tube (a catheter) that ends in a tiny needle. The needle goes into your skin. The tube and needle are called an infusion set. With most infusion sets, the needle pulls out, leaving a tiny flexible tube called a cannula under your skin. You can't even feel that it's there. Some pumps attach directly to the body and do not need tubing. With this type, a remote device controls the pump. And some pumps are disposable. A pump with no tubing is sometimes called a "pump patch." An insulin pump gives you a constant trickle of insulin throughout the day and night. This is called your basal amount. You set this up to keep your blood sugar in your target range throughout the day. You can use the pump to give yourself extra insulin when you eat a meal or a snack. You can give yourself less insulin when you are very active or exercising. You also can give yourself more insulin any time you feel you need more than your basal amount of insulin. Why do some people prefer pumps? An insulin pump can help you control your blood sugar. A pump may help you keep your blood sugar closer to normal. You may have fewer big swings in your blood sugar levels. A pump can deliver an exact amount of insulin and in very small amounts. The pump may help you keep your blood sugar under control without also causing low blood sugar. A pump may improve your hemoglobin A1c level. You don't have to give yourself shots Continue reading >>

Is An Insulin Pump Right For Your Child And Family?

Is An Insulin Pump Right For Your Child And Family?

Insulin pump therapy can help people with type 1 diabetes. Pumps deliver insulin in a way that resembles the body’s own release of insulin. They can improve blood sugar control, make low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) less of a problem, and lessen the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis. But pump use in children, especially very young children, is controversial. If you are considering an insulin pump for your child, read on. How Pumps Work Insulin pumps are about the size of a pager. They are attached to the body by a needle placed under the skin. They can remain in place for 2–3 days at a time. Pump therapy delivers rapid- or short-acting insulin continuously through the needle. The continuous insulin is called the basal rate. In addition to providing basal insulin throughout the day, pumps are programmed to give additional insulin (bolus doses) with each meal and snack. Older children or the parents of younger children must test the blood sugar four to eight times a day to check the pump’s effectiveness, adjust mealtime boluses, and correct high blood sugar levels. So What’s Not to Like? Pumps can improve diabetes control and give children more flexibility, but very young children cannot manage their own pump use. Even older kids need a good deal of help from parents. Therefore, pump therapy requires a knowledgeable parent or caregiver to be on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with blood sugar tests, determine mealtime insulin needs, adjust pump settings, and troubleshoot any problems. Consider These Questions Is your child • willing to wear the pump? • able to tolerate the needle-insertion process? As your child’s main caregiver, do you • fully understand basal-bolus insulin therapy? • know how to count carbohydrate or use some other insulin-to-food Continue reading >>

My Pump Almost Killed Me… Twice

My Pump Almost Killed Me… Twice

One of the greatest technological advancements in diabetes care has been the insulin pump. For one, it gives you the illusion of being “normal” because you no longer have to inject insulin throughout the day. Instead, you “bolus” by pushing a button on the pump itself or using a remote control. It allows better glucose management because you can adjust your basal rate (the “background” insulin dose) by increments of one thousandth of a unit every hour. Especially when you’re moving from the peaks and valleys of NPH or the restraints and hazards of Lantus, the freedom of living with an insulin pump is incredible. But pumps do not come without their kinks. Most people in the diabetes community know what a pump is, but for those who don’t, I’ll give a quick overview. A Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump, for example, carries about 200 units of fast-acting insulin in a machine about the size of an early pager. The insulin moves from the pump via a tube that is connected to your skin through a cannula. The cannula is inserted into your subcutaneous layer via a two-inch needle. After insertion, the needle is removed and the plastic tube remains under the skin, held in place with sterile medical tape. The pump pushes insulin through the tube into your body in increments as small as .05 units per hour. Pumps like the OmniPod don’t even have a tube; they’re connected directly to your skin after being pre-programmed with your insulin requirements. When you’re using a pump, you no longer require insulin injections via syringe and you no longer use basal insulin (NPH, Lantus, or Levemir). I have learned many lessons while on the insulin pump. For example, I learned how my body reacts to the Dawn Phenomenon, that early morning rise in glucose levels that occurs w Continue reading >>

Debunking 6 Myths Of Insulin Pump Therapy

Debunking 6 Myths Of Insulin Pump Therapy

There are some common myths about insulin pump therapy, and if you’re thinking about pumping, it’s important to gather all your facts before making a decision to start. We asked Registered Dietitian and Medtronic Diabetes Educator of three years, Jessica, to debunk some of these myths for us and provide you with a better picture of what insulin therapy is all about. Jessica loves every minute of her job being able to help people get improve their diabetes management with technology. She works in the Queens area of NY, is a mother to an adorable 18 month old girl, and wife to an amazing husband. When I initially took this opportunity to work for Medtronic Diabetes, my husband, family, and friends (all naïve to the idea of insulin pump therapy) were thinking…”Insulin pumps? Are they huge? How do they work?” These days, you can pretty much Google anything and find out way too much information, some of which is probably not true. That’s what I’m here to help with. What are the common myths about insulin pump therapy, and what is actually true? It’s important to gather all your facts before making a decision to start insulin pump therapy. So here we go – TRUE or FALSE! Myth #1: Pumps are huge and bulky Reality: Insulin pumps are not huge and bulky. In fact, they are smaller than most cell phones these days. Insulin pumps can be attached to your belt, put in your pocket, and for some women, clipped to their bras. There are many ways to conceal the pump, and in time, you’ll find different ways to wear it that work for you, your outfits, and your activities. MiniMed Ambassadors Cindy and Kelly share how they wear their insulin pumps for various occasions you might find helpful. Most of the time when I’m with a long time pumper and ask to see their pump, t Continue reading >>

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