An insulin pump is a small device similar to an artificial pancreas that serves as an alternative to a malfunctioning pancreas in a diabetic patient. The manufacturing companies have been developing insulin pumps in a way that facilitates the life of diabetics and makes them able to lead a normal life. The new generation of pumps provides a sensor that continuously measures the blood sugar level and automatically pumps insulin at the time needed.
The insulin pump mimics the pancreas in the body through technology, helping the diabetic patient to lead a normal life without the need to prick the finger whenever it is time for the insulin dose. Medical studies and follow-ups with patients who use an insulin pump have shown an improvement in the quality of life and satisfaction of patients with type 1 diabetes of all ages, and it is the latest treatment solution for patients to become more capable of coping with their medical condition.
Insulin pumps are considered one of the best means to control the diabetes rate, avoid complications that could harm the patient’s health, in addition to the high hospitalization cost. They are safe and effective, especially for children, provided they are taught how to use it under the supervision and control of parents, as they help to balance insulin and glucose and reduce hypoglycemia.
Type 1 diabetes patients rely on insulin and benefit from the insulin pump, while type 2 diabetes often rely on oral treatments, but sometimes the patient needs to add insulin and inject insulin on a daily basis, this is when he benefits from the insulin pump.
Insulin Pump Features
Small in size, similar to a mobile phone, it can be easily attached to the body without pain. An insulin pump is a technology that is used as an alternative to insulin injections, especially in cases where the patient needs to inject four times a day. One of the advantages of the insulin pump is the ability to pre-program it and provide it with insulin when needed, which makes it reduce low or high blood sugar level, and over time the pump helps reduce the cumulative diabetes. The pump is also accurate in controlling diabetes, as it only gives the body what it needs. Thus, the patient has more freedom to eat.
It is also the latest way to pump insulin continuously and regularly throughout the day, so the patient has stable blood sugar level, which gives him the opportunity to lead a normal life.
The development in the medical technology field contributed to the creation of this alternative treatment solution that significantly reduces the risk of hypoglycemia, while eliminating the need for patients to inject themselves during the day and provides a greater ability to control the blood sugar level.
Hence, the most important features of an insulin pump are as follows:
- Improving the patient’s quality of life
- Getting rid of insulin injections
- Diabetes control
- Reducing the risk of low or high blood sugar levels
- Helping reduce cumulative blood sugar levels
- Preventing or delaying complications of diabetes
- Suitable for all age groups
It is easy to increase and decrease the amount of excess insulin simply by pressing a few buttons. The pump can be also adjusted instantly to allow exercising, during severe illness, or to inject small amounts of insulin to cover meals and snacks.According to studies, the use of insulin pumps works to reduce episodes of severe hyperglycemia or severe hypoglycemia. It continuously pumps insulin to the body over 24 hours in doses programmed by the treating physician, and this is called the basic pumping of the insulin pump. When the blood sugar level drops below the acceptable level, the pump automatically and temporarily stops pumping insulin for up to two hours, which avoids the risk of a sharp drop in the diabetes rate and its complications.
On the other hand, when the patient eats his meal and consumes carbohydrates, the pump pumps the insulin that is proportional to the amount of carbohydrates and this is called nutritional pumping.
Despite its ease of use, this does not negate the importance of educating the patient and his family in the use of the device. Educating the patient and teaching him how to calculate the amount of consumed carbohydrates in order to get the amount of insulin needed into the pump is very important for the successful treatment by the pump. Also, the presence of the pump does not negate the necessity of performing home blood sugar test and entering the readings into the device in order for the pump to correct the high readings.