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Insulin Pump Use

Can anyone with diabetes use an insulin pump? Insulin pumps are used most often by people with type 1 diabetes, but some people with type 2 diabetes also use them. Insulin pumps can be used instead of giving insulin by injection.

These pager-sized pumps clip to your clothing or attach directly to your body. Through a tube attached to your skin, usually on the abdomen, thigh or buttock, the pump delivers a continuous (basal) dose of insulin 24 hours a day. Before a meal, you push a button to give yourself a spike of insulin for food. Supplemental or correction doses may be used to treat high glucose levels, if needed.

Pumps are useful for people who already take insulin but still don't have good glucose control. Using a pump takes a lot of training. They are not for everyone. You must work closely with a diabetes specialist, monitor your blood glucose, count carbohydrates, and keep food records. Nonetheless, if you take insulin and still have trouble with glucose control—and you're committed to better diabetes management—it may be worth considering. It may be expensive. Yet, it certainly is more convenient for some people who need to take several (4 or more) injections of insulin daily. New models of insulin pumps and similar systems are becoming available all the time. Your diabetes educator may help you try several types until you find one that works well for you. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Hurd, Robert, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2016
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