What Is An Insulin Pump And How Does An Insulin Pump Work
Insulin pumps are small medical devices that work by delivering insulin automatically. It does that in a calculated, steady, and continuous fashion . It also allows giving a bolus dose close to mealtime for rapid-acting insulin delivery. So the best insulin pump or average insulin pump all do the same thing when it comes to how it works.
The pump is a small device, much like a pager or iPod, and is usually worn on your body. The pump has a thin catheter that is connected to a cannula. The cannula is inserted into the fatty tissue of the body to deliver insulin doses straight into the bloodstream.
The entire pump is fastened to your body with the help of an adhesive patch. This is commonly positioned around the stomach area, but based on your preferences, it can also be fastened to the thighs, upper arms, hips, or even the buttocks.
Many people love using the pump because it is small, discreet, and easy to use. You also dont have to deal with constant reminders about using as you would with an insulin injection. Before you buy an insulin pump, it is always recommended that you consult with your endocrinologist or seek help from knowledgeable specialists such as the ones at SugarMDs. This will help you determine the best insulin pump for you.
Blood Glucose Monitoring: Devices And How To Use Them
Monitoring your blood sugar is a vital part of diabetes manage. Your diabetes care team will help you decide how often and when to check. Often people are told that they should check their blood sugar via finger stick at least four times if they dont use a continuous glucose monitor before each meal and at bedtime. And then are advised to check if they feel low or high, before exercise or driving, or more often when you are sick or other unusual circumstances that may affect your blood sugar. Often people check over 10 times per day to try to keep their blood sugar in their target range.
However, another blood sugar management tool more people are using is a continuous glucose monitor that measure the bodys glucose levels in real-time by sensing the glucose present in tissue fluid . Heres what you need to know about them:
Continuous Glucose Monitoring And Insulin Pumps
A CGM system can be used when you wear a pump for insulin delivery, or without pump therapy as a standalone. Many pump users find CGM quite helpful in their overall diabetes management. CGM isnt the same as BG monitoring, as sensors are placed into your body and transmit BG results to a pump or CGM receiver. The sensors measure the glucose in your interstitial fluid .
A CGM system senses and records glucose levels every five minutes, which means it can show trends, i.e. whether BG levels are rising or falling. In contrast, blood glucose meters provide you with only a snapshot of your BG levels at a particular point in time. Thus, a CGM system can show users their glucose trends as they develop and help them to make more timely changes.
The Canadian Diabetes Associations recent clinical practice guidelines note that recent advances in CGM systems may augment the diabetes management of people who use an insulin pump.
CGM is recommended for people with diabetes who are willing and able to use it properly, and can calibrate it as needed. It is especially recommended for people who:
- Suffer from frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, which cause problems with daily activities
- Have an extreme fear of hypoglycemia
- Suffer from episodes of severe hypoglycemia despite optimized use of insulin therapy and conventional BG monitoring
- Have hypoglycemia unawareness
This article was sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from Animas Canada.
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What Happens While Using An Insulin Pump
An insulin pump delivers insulin in one of two ways:
- Small, continuous insulin doses .
- Surges of insulin near mealtimes .
While using an insulin pump, you still need to check your blood sugar levels. Most people check blood sugar at least four times a day. Or you may use a continuous glucose monitor.
The pump uses information you enter about your food intake and blood sugar levels to calculate how much bolus insulin you need. The pump then recommends a bolus dose to you and waits for your approval before delivering. In addition, some pumps automatically adjust basal doses based on glucose levels from a continuous glucose monitor.
Tips For Using Glucose Meters
When using a glucose meter to check your blood sugar levels, its important to have clean fingers, as the accuracy of your test can be impacted by the presence of food or contaminants on your fingers. For those times when you cant wash your hands before you test, you may want to carry some finger wipes with you. However, if you do clean your finger first, be sure to have it dry before testing.
Just like insulin, glucose meters and strips can be affected by low or high temperatures, so remember not to leave your blood glucose monitor in your car, in direct sunlight, or anywhere that gets extremely hot or cold. Some types of meters are more sensitive than others to high and low temperatures. See the insert in the meter package or visit the manufacturers website for more specific storage instructions.
It might be tempting to leave your glucometer at home however, knowing how your blood sugar levels are trending will help you avoid instances of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia . Remember to pack your lancing device too, its usually in the case with the meter so double check that you have it in it.
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Blood Sugar Monitors That Communicate With Insulin Pumps
You may also have heard about CGM and insulin pumps that pair together. This system allows your insulin pump to adjust its insulin delivery in real time according to values you set with your doctor. This is known as sensor-augmented pump therapy.
This article discusses the benefits of insulin pumps that pair with CGMs. It also includes a comparison chart with the different devices available, along with troubleshooting tips you might need when pairing them.
How Does An Insulin Pump Help
If youre still contemplating the idea of whether you should use an insulin pump or not, here are some reasons that can help you decide.
With an insulin pump, you can continue to live an active lifestyle without any issues. You dont have to find a special area to inject insulin into your body. Any area you normally would inject insulin will work for the pump infusion site.
Preventing the Risk of Low Blood Sugar
Insulin pumps have a CGM readings system incorporated in them. Medtronic 670 G and tandem control IQ systems are the best examples. This ensures that they monitor your blood sugar levels and automatically shut down or inject more insulin based on your blood sugar levels. Its a safe, easy, and healthier way to consume insulin.
Accuracy in Insulin Delivery
Insulin delivery can be set as needed. You have the freedom to set the dosage amount for the insulin. Even if youre new, this is not a hard feature to master and will ensure that you dont accidentally have too little or too much insulin.
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Driving And Checking Your Blood Sugars
You can use a flash glucose monitor to check your sugar levels when driving, but you must confirm your levels with a finger-prick test if:
- your blood sugar level is 4 mmol/l or below
- you have symptoms of a hypo
- your monitor gives a reading thats not consistent with the symptoms youre getting for example, if you feel like youre having a hypo but the reading doesnt show this.
Together, our campaigning changed the law on driving and checking your sugar levels. Weve campaigned for years to make sure the law is fair. So that you can carry on driving and take the right steps to stay safe at the wheel.
Get involved with our campaigning today to make change happen.
Choosing The Right Blood Glucose Meter
For most people, a blood glucose meter is just a part of life. Thats why getting it right matters.
The two main types are standard blood glucose meters that use a drop of blood to check what your levels are at that moment and continuous glucose monitors that check your blood glucose regularly day or nightpick the one that works best for you and your lifestyle.
Of these two options, there are more choices than ever, from basic designs to more advanced models that have all the bells and whistles. And fancier isnt necessarily better. Here are some things to consider:
- Ease of useSome meters are made for simpler operation, whether its larger buttons, illuminated screens or audio capabilities.
- Cost and insurance coverageMeters vary in price, and some insurers limit coverage to specific models. Start by checking with your provider to find out what theyll cover.
- Information retrievalConsider how the meter retrieves your information and whether you can download the data to a computer or mobile device to make it easier to share with your diabetes care team.
- FlexibilityIf youre using a blood glucose meter and are tired of finger pricks, theres an alternative site monitor that lets you draw blood samples from your arm, thigh, or the palm of your hand.
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The Government Of Canada’s Role
Health Canada regulates the safety, effectiveness and quality of medical devices imported into and sold in Canada, including medical devices like insulin pumps. As part of this work, we:
- review insulin pumps to make sure they meet our requirements for safety, quality and effectiveness before we grant a medical device licence to manufacturers
- monitor problems with insulin pumps on the market and work with manufacturers to correct them when problems are identified
- encourage Canadians to report complaints about insulin pumps and other medical devices to our Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate
We also send safety information about medical devices to health care professionals and consumers.
Is Insulin Pump Difficult To Use
Most people are intimidated by the word insulin pump. On the other hand, very few patients have a hard time using insulin pump once they start using. If you can use a smartphone you can use an insulin pump. Insulin pump nurses and specially trained coaches help you a few times to get you started and that the rest is a piece of cake. The learning curve is not steep. And, once you master your reap the benefits.
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Dexcom Cgm System Measuring Blood Glucose Levels 24 Hours A Day Compatible With Apple Watch And Fitbit
This FDA approved CGM system is capable of determining levels of blood glucose in diabetic kids age two and above as well as adults.
The Dexcom CGM system comprises of the following components:
- A tiny sensor for glucose levels measurement justbeneath the skin.
- A transmitter that fixes on top of the sensor andperforms wireless sending of glucose data to your display device
- A supporting smart device or little receiver displayingreal-time information regarding glucose.
Over and above that, the CGM system offers customizable alerts for warning the user of approaching the rise and falls of glucose.
Dexcom CGM System can be integrated with other supporting electronic interfaces as well as medical devices. This is what sets it apart from its competitors. In this regard, other supporting devices can possibly be insulin pumps, automated systems of insulin dosing as well as blood glucose meters. In addition, it also includes some other electronic devices intended to manage diabetes.
Check out my updated post on the Best Smartwatches and Smartphones for Dexcom G6.
Here is a short video demonstration on how to replace the sensor of the latest generation of Dexcoms CGM device the Dexcom G6
How Insulin Pumps Work
Information in the insulin pump is programmed to meet the needs of the individual wearing it. Insulin is infused into fatty tissue through a small plastic tube, called a cannula, that’s attached to a reservoir in the pump. The cannula is inserted under the skin by a needle, which is referred to as an infusion set. It’s changed every two to three days to prevent infection. Only rapid acting insulin is used in a pump. Since the pump continuously delivers insulin, there’s no need for long acting insulin.
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Which Insulin Pump Is The Best
With the help of these details, you can not only understand insulin pumps better but also improve your condition easily. If you have any doubts, you can always consult one of our endocrinologists at SugarMDs. We offer you remote monitoring services, and helpful medical advice to use insulin pumps safely. Get in touch with us now!
System Allows Patients To View Glucose Trends Throughout The Day And Night
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A major step has been taken toward the development of a closed-loop insulin delivery system that could one day mimic the functions of a human pancreas.
The FDA recently approved an insulin pump with real-time continuous glucose monitoring. The device, which takes glucose readings from interstitial fluid every five minutes, could prove to be a useful source of information for people with diabetes.
MiniMed Paradigm Real-Time system will help patients take immediate corrective or preventive action to maintain healthy glucose levels. The continuous glucose monitor relays readings every five minutes from a glucose sensor to the insulin pump. The pump displays 288 readings a day nearly 100 times more information than three daily finger sticks.
Breakthrough in monitoring
The transmitter sends the information to the pump, which displays the glucose value.
Courtesy of Medtronic
With the introduction of this continuous monitoring system, which I believe is a breakthrough in glucose monitoring, adequate control of glycemia becomes possible, in part because of the continuous feedback to the patient that will help in self-management decisions, he told Endocrine Today.
The real-time continuous blood glucose monitoring system is indicated for any patients 18 or older and insulin pump therapy for all patients requiring insulin.
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Is A Cgm Right For You
CGMs are especially beneficial for people who have trouble reaching or maintaining their target blood sugar, and people who often have glucose lows without realizing it. CGMs are also great for people whose sleep quality is affected by highs or lows or anxiety about them.
What Are The Risks Or Complications Of Insulin Pumps
Insulin pumps have a low risk of complication. Pumps provide more precise insulin doses than injections, so pumps may carry less risk for people who struggle with calculating their dosages.
Possible cons of using an insulin pump can include:
- Inability to hide the tubing or pump with non-patch styles.
- Higher cost than injections.
- Pumps breaking or tubing becoming disconnected.
There is also a risk of setting up the pump incorrectly. Its crucial to use the insulin pump properly and continue to check your blood sugar regularly. If you dont, you might not get the insulin you need, which can be dangerous and even life-threatening. First-time users should ask their healthcare provider for setup instructions.
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Is The Patient A Candidate For Insulin Pump Therapy
Based on a large body of evidence that supports the reduction in the number of microvascular, macrovascular and neuropathic complications with successful intensive diabetes management, the American Diabetes Association recommends target A1c levels of < 7.0% in adults. The International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes recommends target A1c levels of < 7.5% in children.
Currently, the ADA recommends intensive insulin therapy through either continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion or multiple daily injections of insulin to obtain optimal glycemic control. Between these two modalities, the benefits of CSII with respect to lowering A1c, reducing severe hypoglycemia, and improving quality of life make the use of CSII well worth any additional costs. Insulin pumps have been used in the United States for more than 30 years, with an estimated 20%-30% of type 1 diabetes patients using them and < 1% of type 2 diabetes patients utilizing them.
Adult Candidates for Insulin Pump Therapy
General adult candidates are patients searching for a more flexible treatment plan who are unable to achieve optimal control with injection regimens, either related to unpredictable and varying schedules and activity levels or who have noted limitations in control when using multiple daily injections.
Specific candidates are patients who, despite frequent blood sugar monitoring and consistent and appropriate insulin administration, may:
Pediatric Candidates for Insulin Pump Therapy
What Is An Insulin Pump
Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices. They are about the size of a small cell phone. Insulin pumps deliver doses of insulin on a pre-programmed schedule. Insulin is the hormone that regulates your blood sugar.
You can wear an insulin pump:
- Attached to a strap under your clothes.
- In your pocket.
- With an adhesive patch on your stomach or arm.
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When Pumps Are Funded By The Nhs
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends an insulin pump if:
- you’re having frequent hypos or hypers without warning
- your HbA1c is 69mmol/mol or above even though you have tried to manage your blood glucose levels
Your consultant may recommend a pump if this is happening and you can show you’re:
- regularly injecting insulin
- checking your blood glucose at least 4 times a day
- carb counting