Insulin Pump Patients and Diabetes

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Diabetic insulin pumps are a breakthrough. They work for all types of diabetic patients and they are a huge quality of life improvement. They are simple to operate and come with all the convenience of modern testing equipment. They also come with a meter that will wirelessly communicate with your current pump and many other things that can help to jump start your testing regiment. Most patients who get on an insulin pump have a hard time getting off, and there are many requirements to “stay” on an insulin pump, such as following your doctor’s orders. 

First and foremost, it is important to understand an insulin pump is a very costly item. I mention this because most people think of an insulin pump as a cell phone or a simple device, but in actuality the only way most people can afford to use a pump is by going through insurance. The purchase price of an average insulin pump is about 5000 dollars. Generally these pumps will only last about 3 years, and insurance will cover a new one every 3-5 years. There are several tests one must pass to qualify and then some arbitrary tests that certain insurances require after that. The process for getting on a pump is often lined with hidden obstacles. This is mainly due to their cost, but also the need and the consequences for improper use are also considered. You cannot casually be on an insulin pump. 

The pump has 3 consumable parts and 2 physical parts that are more or less permanent. The pump comes with a pump and a meter. You must get insets, cartridges, and testing strips/lancets/control solution in order to use the pump over a long period. The insulin goes into the cartridges, then it is delivered along the inset tubing through the cannula. The inset is always inserted under the skin, and the meter wirelessly communicates with the pump when you check your blood glucose and administers the exact right amount of insulin for you. Your doctors will provide the proper settings for your pump to ensure this happens and a medical professional will train you on usage of the pump before you start. There are many rules and regulations surrounding the pump to prevent accidental overdose and/or hacking of your device(which is a computer and thus subject to potential hacking). 

Most pumps are waterproof and are designed to be worn at all times. You much change out your inset every 1-3 days and your cartridge is changed out in the same interval. Increased testing frequency usually accompanies the pump because anyone who qualifies for the pump is probably a brittle diabetic and requires regular insulin injections. It is important to have a need for the pump before you begin your quest to start using one. There are a few main brands of pump, but the biggest in our experience are Medtronic and Animas. It is important to remember that The Diabetic Shoppe does not give any medical advice, so keep that in mind when you start using your pump. 

*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. 

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