Will an insulin pump improve my blood glucose control?

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William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

A pump replaces your syringe, not your brain. Pumps can make life a lot easier (disclaimer: I wear one), and theoretically allow you to reach new levels of micro management in terms of insulin delivery volume and variation. But simply wearing a pump in no way guarantees improved control. That said, I do believe that wearing a pump gives you the opportunity to have improved control, but you need the right mind-set to get the most out of them.

You can’t just slap one on and go your merry way. It can take considerable time to work out all the myriad details of getting your settings just right for you and your diabetes. Used in the right way, a pump can improve your blood glucose control; but used in a sloppy fashion, can actually make it worse.

It depends on the individual. Insulin pumps require you to pay close attention to your blood glucose levels and to adjust your insulin, food, and exercise to achieve good readings. With an insulin pump, you can vary your mealtime schedule more readily than with insulin injections, and you can skip a meal when you must. There is more flexibility for people with unpredictable mealtimes. Discuss the pros and cons of using an insulin pump and whether you are a good candidate for having one with your health care team before purchasing one. Also, because they are expensive, check whether your insurance company will help cover the cost.

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Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.