Insulin pump

What is an insulin pump?

An insulin pump is a treatment implemented by a mechanical and electrical device that ensures 24/7, fast-acting insulin administration to people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The device works by releasing a given amount of insulin subcutaneously (underneath the skin) and continuously. The device itself is small and portable.

What is an insulin pump for?

Insulin pumps are prescribed to people who need constant insulin administration, offering a great help for those who have to live with diabetes. It can ensure a much-improved quality of life, as a result of properly managed diabetes.

How does an insulin pump work?

The insulin pump is as big as a small cell phone. It is equipped with a processing module, linked to the insulin reservoir. The pump is placed on the abdominal area or on the buttocks; it is linked to the subcutaneous tissue with a small cannula. It then releases a minimal and continuous amount of insulin (as close as possible to your real needs), with variable speed during the different phases of the day.

During the night, different amounts of insulin are released as you are asleep and not eating meals. If you eat, you can press a button on the pump to give an additional boost of insulin – this is called a bolus and can meet the needs to eating a larger meal than average, for example. You can also take a bolus if your blood glucose levels are high.

Having an insulin pump however does still require frequent measurement of your blood glucose levels.

The following criteria are generally recommended for ideal insulin pump candidates:

  • Having a good understanding of your diabetes.
  • Being prepared to measure blood glucose levels throughout the day.
  • Understanding the impacts of exercise and diet on your blood glucose levels.
  • Willing to wear the device at all times.