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.
1Greater Glasgow and Clyde Children's Diabetes Service. Insulin pump therapy management guidelines. Available at: http://www.diabetes-scotland.org/ggc/documents/pdf_files/2014030101%20Insulin%20Pump%20Therapy%20Guideline%20%28Opt%20PDF%29.pdf. Accessed July 1, 2015