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Advanced Insulin Pump Features

Today's insulin pumps can provide insulin much like a natural, healthy pancreas would. With settings for long, leisurely meals and bursts of physical activity, you can give your body the insulin you need when you need it. Think you're ready? Talk to your healthcare provider (HCP) or diabetes specialist about putting these advanced features to work for you. Precise hourly basal rates. We talk about a continuous dose of insulin, but really, you can work with your HCP and set your background dose to change throughout the day and night. For example, you can increase your early morning basal rate to counteract a pre-dawn hormone surge or reduce the rate in the afternoon when you may need less insulin. You can also set up different profiles for work days and days off, when your level of activity is likely to shift.1 Temporary basal rates. When you're especially active, you may need less insulin. Feeling ill? You may need more. Setting temporary basal rates allows you to raise or lower your insulin for a set period of time to match exactly what you have planned – or what you haven't. For example, during a long walk, you could drop your insulin to just 20% or 50% of your normal rate for a few hours so your blood glucose doesn't drop too low. Extended or square-wave bolus. Rather than a standard bolus dose of insulin that's delivered all at once based on the food you're about to eat, an extended bolus spreads the extra mealtime insulin over a longer period of time. Celebrating a family wedding? Planning a city food tour with friends? A 4- or 5-hour extended bolus may be a better choice when you’re going to have a lengthy meal. Combining a standard and extended bolus: the multiwave or dual-wave bolus. This option delivers a rapid bolus followed by a slower, steady release of insulin. This can be the perfect match for a high-fat, high-protein meal, when carbs may take longer to work their way through your body.1 Knowing how to tailor various basal and bolus options to your personal needs is one of the great advantages of using an insulin pump – and a great way to maintain tighter control of your blood glucose while giving you the freedom to enjoy whatever life sends your way.

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Transitions: From Orals to Insulin

Has your healthcare provider talked to you about insulin? For many people, this can bring on mixed feelings and questions – often based on myths that simply are not true. Here are 5 facts to keep in mind: Diabetes is an insulin problem, not a sugar problem. After all, sugar doesn't cause diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes don't manufacture enough insulin, or their bodies can't use it properly, so they're unable to process the food they take in.1 Sometimes it takes insulin to solve an insulin problem. Moving to insulin is normal for most people. Needing insulin doesn't mean you've failed at diabetes care. Diabetes is a progressive disease, meaning that even when you manage your blood glucose beautifully, your body is likely to create less insulin, or use it less efficiently, as time goes on.2 Eventually, diabetes is likely to progress beyond a point where oral medications and other options can keep blood sugar levels in a safe range.1 In fact, the majority of people with type 2 diabetes start insulin within 5 to 10 years of being diagnosed.3 Other type 2 diabetes medications aren't the same as insulin. Pills you take by mouth and other injection drugs are not insulin. Instead, these help your body use the insulin it already makes. Insulin can't be taken orally, as it would be broken down by the stomach before it could be absorbed into the bloodstream. That's why it's injected under the skin. Insulin injections don't hurt the way you might think. Nobody likes shots, but many people are surprised to find out that it's much easier than they expected.1 And now that other diabetes medications are being delivered by injection, chances are you've gotten more comfortable with injecting. Insulin isn't the cause of problems with feet, eyes and other parts of the body. Perhaps you've heard about someone starting insulin and then having problems with their eyes or feet. Rest assured, insulin didn't cause the problem. In fact, starting insulin sooner might have helped prevent or delay those health issues.1 Many people find that moving to insulin has a positive effect. After all, with better blood sugar control comes more energy and feeling better overall.1 So yes, your life may change – maybe for the better. The majority of people with type 2 diabetes start insulin within 5 to 10 years of being diagnosed.3 An obstacle is often a stepping stone.

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Thinking About an Insulin Pump

Like many questions, “to pump or not to pump?” has multiple correct answers. An insulin pump is an important tool in diabetes management. If you're thinking about making a switch to an insulin pump, we recommend discussing these points with your diabetes care team. Blood glucose control. Because an insulin pump can more closely mimic the way a healthy pancreas delivers insulin, using an insulin pump can help to improve blood glucose control and reduce episodes of low blood glucose.1 (And if you live with diabetes, even small improvements can be worth embracing.) With an insulin pump, insulin dosing can be precisely matched to activity and needs throughout the day, and can be especially helpful if you're ill. However, if you want to get the most out of using an insulin pump, it will take dedication – monitoring blood glucose, counting carbohydrates and calculating mealtime insulin doses to maintain the necessary balance. Precise mealtime insulin. Many insulin pumps now feature on-board insulin advisors that calculate insulin doses based on current blood glucose, carbs to be eaten and insulin already delivered to your body. This more accurate dosing can also lead to improved blood glucose control.2 To make things easy, the Accu-Chek® Combo insulin pump system allows you to calculate a bolus dose on the meter and then deliver the bolus dose remotely, without even touching the pump. Fewer jabs than shots. This is an important consideration. Some people find that they prefer to insert an infusion set every 2 or 3 days instead of injecting multiple times each day. Today's infusion sets use ultra-fine needles and offer a range of designs to fit virtually anyone, including young children and those with slender, athletic builds. Freedom. Some may wonder if having a medical device physically connected to their body might be restrictive. In reality, some people are surprised to find out that the insulin pump gives them a greater sense of freedom and flexibility, as they can eat when they like and slow down insulin delivery when they're more active.  So what's best for you? Ultimately, that's up to you and your diabetes care team. If you think that pumping sounds appealing, talk to your healthcare provider to determine whether you're a good candidate for insulin pump therapy.

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