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.
1International Diabetes Federation. Debate—insulin pump therapy: a matter of choice? Available at: https://www.idf.org/debate-insulin-pump-therapy-matter-choice. Accessed June 30, 2015
2Ziegler R, Cavan DA, Cranston I, et al. Use of an insulin bolus advisor improves glycemic control in multiple daily insulin injection (MDI) therapy patients with suboptimal glycemic control: first results from the ABACUS trial. Diabetes Care. 2013;36:3613-3619. Available at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/diacare/36/11/3613.full.pdf. Accessed June 30, 2015.