Diabetes is a chronic disease that results in abnormally high blood glucose levels. It can occur due to pancreas defects leading to the body’s inability to use insulin or insufficient insulin production. If you have diabetes, you may need artificial insulin either through injections or pumps to manage your condition. Insulin pumps have been adopted to relieve people with diabetes of the numerous injections.
Who Should Use A Pump?
Individuals across all age groups can use a pump. You can replace multiple insulin injections by using a pump. The pump is functional whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. An insulin pump is more suitable for people who like the pump’s operation and features. It is also more ideal to:
- Individuals who have continually changing basal rates,
- Individuals with lowered food absorption
- Pregnant women
- Individuals with frequent hypoglycemia
The insulin pump’s suitability relies on its efficiency to deliver the required amounts of insulin. If you decide to use a pump, you should learn how to operate it for effectiveness. It would be best also to understand the advantages and disadvantages of using the pumps.
Advantages of Pumps
The use of pumps has several advantages. Have a look at some of the examples below:
1. The pumps substitute multiple injections and involve fewer jabs.
With diabetes, you can be required to inject insulin numerous times a day to manage your blood sugar levels. However, technology has enabled the delivery of insulin to the body using pumps as alternatives to injections. The use of pumps involves fewer jabs as it only requires a change of the catheter after 2-3 days.
2. Convenient insulin administration
The pumps allow you to operate it yourself. You can easily instruct the pump to deliver insulin whenever you need it at required dosages. There’s no need to worry about your levels getting too high or low as you can easily control the levels by delivering the insulin via your pump. You can also set different insulin rates for your pump to varying times of the day to coincide with your body’s behavior regarding glucose levels.
3. Improved blood glucose control
The use of pumps generally improves blood glucose control. All the pumps functioning-presetting and convenient insulin dosages contribute to better management of diabetes. Research has shown that individuals who use the pump have reduced Hba1c values.
4. Lowered risk of severe hypoglycemia
Pumps reduce severe hypoglycemia risks due to better glucose control by convenient insulin delivery when urgency arises. You only need to press some buttons to deliver insulin, unlike if you had to take time looking for injections.
5. Lowered risks of diabetes complications
Individuals who use pumps have improved management of their blood glucose levels. As indicated previously, pumps involve fewer chances of severe hypoglycemia and reduction of Hba1c values. These positive effects contribute to lower diabetes complications.
6. Better flexibility with food and exercise
Mealtimes and exercise can be a significant concern if you have diabetes due to sudden changes in blood glucose levels. However, pumps allow you to exercise freely and have better freedom with food as you can easily adjust your pump’s insulin delivery accordingly.
Disadvantages of Pumps
Despite being of great importance with numerous benefits, pumps have their disadvantages. The pumps and pump accessories can be costly if you need to purchase them yourself. When it comes to changing the pump’s infusion sets, it takes a considerable time and can be a complicated process for some people. Other disadvantages of pumps are as follows:
1. Risk of diabetic ketoacidosis
Pumps can develop mechanical problems (like blockage of the cannula) that result in stoppage or insulin delivery reduction. Higher risks of diabetic ketoacidosis and a rise in ketone levels are likely to occur in such cases.
2. Risk of skin infections
With a catheter implanted on the body for a long time, the infusion site may acquire infections that can bring more complications. However, such conditions are rare when you maintain hygiene and install the catheter appropriately.
3. Intense learning
Once you decide to use pumps, you’ve got to learn a lot, such as proper changing of infusion sets and presetting the basal rates. Learning should be simple for you if you are more tech-savvy.
You can manage diabetes through the delivery of insulin doses via injections or pumps. Pumps are suitable if you prefer fewer injections. The advantages of using pumps outweigh the disadvantages in most cases. However, it is essential to decide wisely with your doctor’s guide on using an insulin pump.