Have you been advised by your doctor to use an insulin pump? A study shows that nearly 3,50,000 people in the United States use insulin pumps.
Features Of Insulin Pump – Are They Safe To Use?
As a first-time user of an insulin pump, several thoughts may be running through your mind. It may be regarding how to operate the device, how to remove the clip, and so on. There is absolutely nothing to worry about.
After reading this blog, you will have a fair idea about how an insulin pump functions and the techniques for using it.
What Is An Insulin Pump?
To start with, insulin is a hormone that aids in regulating your blood sugar. Insulin pumps are small computerized devices that help manage your blood sugar conveniently. They deliver insulin doses at specific times according to a pre-programmed schedule.
Why Are Insulin Pumps Preferred?
In diabetic patients like you, insulin will not be produced naturally. Hence one of the options is to use insulin injections to manage your blood sugar. However, there are several benefits of using an insulin pump over insulin injections.
- You can have fewer needle sticks as insulin pumps provide a steady flow of insulin.
- It works out well for those children who forget to take injections.
- Since the insulin pumps are attached to your body, you may find it more convenient than injections.
How To Wear An Insulin Pump?
Wearing an insulin pump is pretty easy. You can
- Attach it to a strap beneath your clothes.
- Put it inside your pocket.
- Attach it to your belt
- Stick to your stomach or arm with an adhesive patch.
Differences Between A Traditional Insulin Pump And A Patch Pump
In the case of traditional insulin pumps, they eject insulin from a chamber inside the pump through tubing to a site on the skin.
It will be connected to a flexible plastic tube that is smaller in size. This part is known as the cannula. Measuring a few millimeters in length, the cannula delivers the insulin underneath your skin.
Similar to traditional insulin pumps, insulin patch pumps also use a flexible plastic tube (termed a cannula) under the skin.
However, the difference is that the insulin delivery chamber and the cannula form part of one “pod” that is attached to the skin with an adhesive patch.
Here the advantage is that you can fix the patch directly on your belly or arm. In a patch pump, there is no external tubing and it is controlled remotely using a handheld controller.
Every two to three days, you need to remove and replace the tubing and cannula. A Diabetes Care and Education Specialist will be the best person to show how to do this replacement.
Some of the leading insulin pumps available in the market are Medtronic (MiniMed™), Tandem, and Omnipod®.
How Does An Insulin Pump Work?
The insulin pump releases insulin in the same manner that your body would naturally do. It happens in two of the below methods.
1. The first one is termed basal insulin where there will be a steady flow of insulin all day.
2. The other one is called bolus insulin where there will be an extra dose of insulin during mealtime. It manages the rising blood sugar from the food you consume.
The best part is that there is an option where you can program the pump as per your requirement, for both bolus and basal doses.
Whenever you eat more food than normal, you can program a larger bolus so that it covers the carbs in the food consumed. During other times, a bolus can bring down your high blood sugar too.
How To Remove The Clip From An Insulin Pump?
Do you have doubts about how to remove a belt clip from the insulin pump? It’s pretty simple. All you have to do is to follow the step-by-step instructions in the below section. Here the device referred to is MiniMed™ 670G from Medtronic.
1. You can see a clip ( generally black in color) attached to the device.
2. Click the lower portion of the clip (the bottom edge) with your left index finger.
3. At the same time, press the upper part of the clip on the same side (just above the lower portion) with your left thumb.
4. With your right thumb, press the top part at the other end of the clip.
5. Just slide the clip and it gets removed from the device.
Insulin pumps come with a lower risk of complications. Unlike injections, pumps offer more accurate insulin doses. Thus, pumps are recommended for those who find it difficult to calculate their dosages.
Hope this document covered pretty much all areas regarding how to use an insulin pump and the process of removing the clip from the pump.