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Insulin Pumps Pros And Cons

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Is An Insulin Pump Best For Your Diabetes?

Contributor: Shannon Knapp, BSN, RN, CDE If you have diabetes, you may be curious about insulin pumps, which deliver rapid-acting insulin as both a small, steady flow 24 hours a day (basal) and a larger surge for meals, snacks, and high blood sugars (bolus). The good news is that there is a lot of information available about insulin pumps. Also, many hospitals, including Cleveland Clinic, have classes for people who are considering them. Here’s how an insulin pump works: The device, which is about the size of a small cell phone, provides insulin through a small flexible tube called a cannula. The cannula is part of a tubing set called an infusion set. It is inserted under the skin using a needle, which is then removed — leaving only the cannula. Do some research and talk to your doctor if you are considering a pump because there are both pros and cons to using one. Here’s a rundown on advantages and disadvantages: What are the advantages of insulin pumps? You don’t have to give yourself as many injections. For people who require three to four insulin injections each day, using a pump can be a big benefit. With an insulin pump, you’ll only need a “stick” once every two Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. corbandioxide8

    Hi guys,
    I'm hopefully getting on a pump within the next few months! I'm pretty excited to say the least. What I was wondering is if any of you could give me some personal experiences or pros and cons with wired or wireless pumps, and which ones you could recommend.
    I'm in the UK if that makes any difference :)

  2. casswie

    First of all awesome to hear that you are getting a pump! I am from the US and I can only speak from experience for two pumps, the Omnipod and Medtronic 530G with Enlite continuous glucose monitor.
    Omnipod
    Pros: The Omnipod is great if you are definitely against having a system with a tube. I have a few friends that love the pods because they are athletes who swim, run, etc and don't want to worry about disconnecting from their pump. The PDA that is the controller for the pods is great, too, because you don't have to carry a pump AND a test kit, the PDA is both the controller and meter. The PDA also inserts the cannula automatically for you, which is nice if you're nervous about inserting sites. If you have low body fat, the pods are good as well because the cannula is inserted at a 45 degree angle.
    Cons: If you have sensitive skin, I would be careful about the pods. A few of my T1 friends and I experienced major skin reactions to the adhesive on the pods. Also, if you're clumsy like me the pods can be ripped off if you're not careful. And the beeping sounds from expired pods drove me kind of mad.
    Medtronic
    Pros: I really like having tubing/a place to disconnect at the site. The pump is really easy to use, and any tube system comes with a few different options for sites. The sensor integration is really nice as well, so you don't have to carry around a CGM as well as a pump and a test kit. I've heard differently from other people, but Medtronic also has had great customer service every time I've called them. The meter that comes with the medtronic (contour nextlink) is one of the most accurate ones on the market.
    Cons: If you were considering a CGM (which I definitely recommend!!), I would do your research about the integrated systems. I learned that the sensor that comes along with the medtronic is fairly inaccurate most of the time and is more painful than a sensor like the Dexcom.
    I wish I had more info for you, because some of the pumps available in the UK look awesome! I found a couple sites here and here that seem pretty great for highlighting pros/cons about different CGMs and pumps. The Cellnovo looks like a really cool one because it has a tube or tubeless option. Good luck!

  3. corbandioxide8

    In all honesty I don't think the skin reactions would be a problem to me, but I'll keep it in mind anyway, thanks! I am a bit worried about tearing it off with my clumsiness though... How easy is it to do that?
    The fact that my test kit and PDA are together is a HUGE pro for me as one of my biggest annoyances with diabetes is that I have to take a bag with me everywhere I go. I guess with this I could just take my PDA, fingerstick and some strips in my pocket unless I was going out for a long while.
    My problem with a pump is having the tube/wire attached to me constantly. I really don't like the idea, but I might as well ask: how much of an inconvenience is it? I have never even heard of a CGM before today (this is my first time visiting /r/diabetes). What are they and why do people have them? It seems to me like it would be an extra inconvenience not only for me but also my doctors who would need to view my chart in a completely different way.
    Which are the awesome pumps in the UK you speak of? I'd like to look at those first haha
    Also (apologies for the barrage of questions), just out of interest: how much does having diabetes cost per month in the US? It's personal, I guess, so don't feel under any pressure to answer and just ignore me if I'm being rude!

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