A lot of us might have heard about diabetes and how the insulin pump can help in maintaining the blood sugar. But I agree, we all have our doubts about the pump. How does the pump work, what will happen to your daily routine? Can you carry around the pump with you at all times? Will I look weird wearing the pump? Here, let me help you answering these questions, mainly on how does an insulin pump work and you can decide if it will fit your lifestyle.
Usually, people diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes are regular users of the insulin pump. Nowadays, people with type 2 diabetes are also beginning to use the pump, which provides better control over diabetes.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where the sugar levels in the blood remain high. This is because of the pancreas, which is responsible for secreting insulin in the body, is not able to produce insulin. In some cases, the insulin produced is not enough for the body. In such cases, insulin is to be taken externally, to keep the sugar levels intact to avoid further complications.
What Is An Insulin Pump?
An insulin pump is a device that is fitted to your body, which replicates the action of the pancreas. It is about the size of a cellphone and contains a small screen and a few buttons. It is filled with fast acting insulin in the form of cartridges and a precise motor. This motor helps in giving you the dose of the insulin. The insulin goes into your body through a thin plastic tube called the cannula. The pump is already programmed internally, to inject the insulin doses.
These basal rates are programmed insulin rates that are given continuously in small quantities. It mimics the working of the pancreas in the body. Generally, these basal rates are determined by your doctor based on your daily needs. The delivery of these basal rates can also be customized, i.e it can be can increased or decreased based on your daily routine.
Bosul Doses are additional doses that can be taken based on the food that you are going to take. These insulin pumps have calculators, which help in calculating the bosul doses. These calculations will already be pre-set by your doctor based on your special needs.
Supplemental or Correction Rates
As the name suggests, when your blood sugar levels are high before your meal, you can take a correction dose. This will help you in bringing back your blood sugar levels within the required range.
Parts Of An Insulin Pump
- A reservoir that holds the insulin.
- A compartment that holds the reservoir.
- The insulin is injected into your body from the reservoir’s pump through an infusion set.
- This infusion set is fitted into your body through a small flexible tube called the cannula, that is inserted just below your skin.
- The infusion set is then connected to the reservoir. This helps majorly when you want to connect or disconnect the pump. This can be taken out while taking a shower, swimming, playing sport etc.
It is a small device that resembles a cell phone. This contains buttons to help you navigate through the menu. It also has an LCD screen that displays what you are programming. Along with this, it has a battery compartment that holds a 1AA Alkaline battery and a reservoir compartment.
A reservoir is a plastic cartridge that holds the insulin securely inside the pump. It is accompanied by a transfer guard that helps in drawing the insulin from the vial. It can store up to 300 units of insulin and it is changed once in 2-3 days along with the infusion set.
An infusion set is an all in one set that contains a tube that connects to the insulin site and the pump. It also has a small needle that is used to introduce the cannula just underneath the skin. This set is to be changed once in 2-3 days.
How the Insulin Pump Connects To Your Body?
The infusion set is used to introduce the cannula just beneath the skin. The set is an all in one set that has a thin introducer needle that is used to insert the soft, thin cannula into the skin, after which the needle is taken out. A tube then connects the infusion set to the pump, where it is secured.
Some of the best insulin infusion sites include the thighs, upper back arms, abdomen, buttocks and the hips. Your doctor will help you choose the best infusion site based on your body needs.
How Do You Wear An Insulin Pump?
Understanding how the insulin works is fine, but how and where do you wear the pump is up to you. You can purchase a pump case, where you can attach it to your waistband, bra, pocket, underwear, socks or your pants.
The pump is water-resistant, but it cannot be set directly underwater. So when you are involved in sports like swimming or you are taking a shower you can disconnect the pump or get special cases for the pump. The case helps you wear it around your neck so that you will not have any problems, even while you are in the water.
It might be a little difficult getting used to it, in the beginning, but it helps to reduce your blood sugar levels in a much better way. It does not allow your sugar levels to drop down very low either. You can always find ways of wearing your pump in a stylish manner like an arm band or a leg band too. If this helps you in doing your work and keeps your sugar in control, then why not? Just give it a try, it might help you get your life in order!