All about the insulin pump
When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make any – or enough – insulin. Worldwide, there are more than 422 million people with diabetes. Of these, 90% have type 2 diabetes, the other 10% have type 1 diabetes. In our previous blog post you can read about the difference between types 1 and 2. In the case of type 1, you have to administer insulin with an insulin pen or an insulin pump. In some cases, this also applies to people with type 2 diabetes. Body cells need glucose as fuel. In this blog post you can read all about the insulin pump and discover whether an insulin pump would work for you. Read on for more!
What is an insulin pump?
If you use insulin, you can administer it in two ways: via an insulin pen or an insulin pump. There are many benefits to an insulin pump, which can make it a godsend for many people with diabetes. An insulin pump is a small device that is attached to your body with a tube. It continuously delivers small amounts of insulin through the tube and a thin plastic catheter under the skin of your stomach. Before a meal you let the pump deliver extra insulin; this is known as a bolus. Using an insulin pump often means that your blood sugar levels remain more stable than if you inject it with an insulin pen.
Tubeless or implantable insulin pump
In addition to the regular insulin pump, there are two other types of insulin pump; a tubeless and an implantable insulin pump. A tubeless insulin pump sits directly on your skin. No separate infusion set with tube is required. It is a waterproof pump so you no longer have to take it off while swimming or showering.
As well as the tubeless insulin pump, you also have the implantable insulin pump. This is more suitable for people who don’t absorb insulin well or who are allergic to insulin. Surgery is needed to insert this pump under the skin. Every six weeks the pump has to be refilled with special insulin, which requires a trip to the hospital. Other than that, the implantable insulin pump works the same as a “normal” insulin pump.
The advantages of an insulin pump
There are many advantages to an insulin pump. We have listed them for you below:
- Fewer hypos
- More stable blood glucose levels (extra useful for children, for example, or if you are/want to become pregnant)
- The quick-acting insulin makes it easier to respond to more exercise or extra food
- You no longer need to inject (children often find injecting difficult)
- With a pump you have fewer peaks and dips, so a better quality of life
So, lots of advantages. However, some diabetes patients find it difficult to wear their insulin pump in a comfortable way. It’s of course also important that it looks good. Pump bags are an ideal solution for this. There are different types of pump bags for both men and women as well as children.
Would an insulin pump work for me?
For many people with type 1 diabetes, and also for some people with type 2 diabetes, they wouldn’t go anywhere without their insulin pump. But it varies from person to person of course. Talk to your health practitioner about whether an insulin pump would work for you. In most cases, an insulin pump is reimbursed by your health insurer. Because of the warranty and the high costs, you need to get at least four years’ use out of an insulin pump.