Juvenile diabetes, or type 1 diabetes, is a tedious condition to manage. There are finger pricks, insulin injections, carbohydrate counting, doctors visits, dose monitoring, and much more. Typically, when someone is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, they begin their treatment with insulin injections. Eventually, once their insulin levels begin to regulate, they are given the option to switch to an insulin pump.
What is an insulin pump?
An insulin pump is a machine that delivers insulin to the body constantly throughout the day. There are two amounts that are delivered: the basal rate and the bolus rate.
The basal rate is the equivalent of the long-acting insulin. The basal is a fixed dose of insulin spread over 24 hours, delivered once every hour to keep the blood regulated throughout the day.
The bolus rate is the equivalent of a fast-acting insulin shot- it is administered when carbohydrates are consumed or there is a peak in blood sugars.
Advantages of using an insulin pump
If using an insulin pump is recommended by your doctor, there are many advantages over injecting manually. Some advantages include:
- accurate insulin delivery
- better HBA1C result
- weight control
- quality of life is improved
- ability to analyze previously collected data
- the pump predicts your needs for you
- fluctuations in your blood sugars are reduced with tighter control
- reduces the risk of low blood sugars
- reduces the dawn phenomenon
- lower risk of missing insulin delivery
Disadvantages of using an insulin pump
The potential disadvantages of incorporating an insulin pump into your everyday regimen include:
- pump being disconnected and delivery of insulin suspended
- site being ripped out during the night resulting in hyperglycemia
- extra cost of pump and pump supplies
- infections because of pump sites
- having your diabetes evident to everyone
The decision to adopt an insulin pump into your everyday lifestyle is one that needs careful consideration. You must be ready to incorporate technology into your look, deal with various implications, and be ready for lots of stares and questions. If you are seriously considering switching to a pump, speak to your doctor today! Pumps have the potential to change your management, as well as your outlook on diabetes. Consider wearing a CGM along with your pump to get the most optimal control. The most effective use of pumps is to use it in parallel with a continuous glucose monitor, and log your usages on Spike App.