Insulin Pump Therapy

What Is An Insulin Pump?

An insulin pump is a small wearable microcomputer that constantly provides insulin. It is worn outside the body, often on a belt or in a pocket. A pump has a small screen and buttons for programming basal rates and user-initiated boluses. It delivers fast-acting insulin into the body via an infusion set — a thin plastic tube ending in a small, flexible plastic cannula or a very thin needle. You insert the cannula beneath the skin at the infusion site, usually in your abdomen or upper buttocks. You keep the infusion set in place for two to three days (sometimes more), and then move it to a new location. All insulin is delivered through the infusion set. that constantly provides insulin.

The insulin pump is not an artificial pancreas. Rather, it is computer-driven device that delivers fast-acting insulin (NovoLog, Humalog, or Apidra) in precise amounts at pre-programmed times. Wearing an insulin pump might require more work on your part than traditional injection therapy, especially if you are not used to checking your blood sugar several times a day. You must also learn to use the pump to deliver the extra insulin you require when you eat.

The following companies make or sell insulin pumps in the United States:

Medtronic MiniMed
OmniPod (Insulet)

When you consider pump therapy, be sure to contact each company to learn about their product offerings. Insulin pump features vary, and you want to be sure to find the pump that best meets your needs.

The number of people using insulin pump therapy to manage their diabetes is growing rapidly; roughly 500,000 people around the world use an insulin pump.
Their reasons for choosing the pump are many, but generally “pumpers” all agree that it gives them tighter control and more flexibility — both in terms of their
schedule and lifestyle. This control and flexibility includes advantages such as:

Eating what you want, when you want

Worrying less about low blood sugars (“hypoglycemia”)

Living life on your terms, not a schedule of snacks and shots

There are many scientific studies that demonstrate that insulin pump therapy results in better outcomes for teens and adults with type 1 diabetes. There are
also studies that show that insulin pump therapy works well in toddlers and pre-school children.

Most pumps are so small and discreet, no one has to know you’re wearing one unless you want them to. Plus, there are many accessories available. Some pumps
can also share data and communicate wirelessly with a meter to allow you to calculate a bolus, deliver a bolus insulin dose, and view things like your basal rate
without having to look at your pump.


Accu-Check Spirit Combo Insulin Pump

Medtronic Paradigm Elite

Tandem tslim Insulin Pump


Insulin Pumps Provide Several
Benefits in the Treament of T1 Diabetes:

Flexibility and Freedom
Tighter Glucose Control
Convenient Insulin Delivery
Adjusted Insulin Dosage While Exercising

Insulin Pumps Can Also Have Some Disadvantages:

Forgetting to Bolus (link)
Hypoglycemia (link)
Failed Insulin Delivery Causes Ketoacidosis (link)
Weight Gain


For More Information