What is an Insulin Pump?

An insulin pump is a small, battery operated device about the size of a small cell phone. It can be clipped to your belt, slipped into your pocket or hidden under your clothes. It delivers precise doses of rapid-acting insulin to closely match your body’s needs. It does this in two ways:

  • Basal rate: small amounts of insulin is delivered continuously throughout the day for normal functions of your body. Your doctor sets this rate.
  • Bolus rate: when you eat or have a high blood sugar, the insulin pump will deliver additional insulin “on demand.”

Components of an Insulin Pump

The insulin pump has buttons to program your insulin, an LCD screen, and a reservoir compartment to hold the insulin. You’ll need to change insulin cartridge every two to three days.

A small tube (called a cannula) goes into and just under the skin, allowing insulin to pass from the tubing into the body. The cannula is inserted with a small needle that is removed after it is in place. It is placed in areas similar to where you would give yourself insulin injections. The cannula is held in place by an adhesive patch. The tubing is changed every two to three days.

Benefits of Insulin Pump Therapy

  • Since the insulin pump delivers rapid-acting insulin on demand, you have more flexibility around meals and activities.
  • The insulin pump reduces the number of injections you must give yourself, as the infusion site needs to be changed only once every two to three days.
  • Since the insulin pump delivers precise doses of insulin on demand, you can have better control over your blood sugar, which can reduce long-term complications.
  • Insulin pumps only use rapid-acting insulin, which means your body gets exactly the amount of insulin it needs, when it needs it.

If your doctor recommends you use an insulin pump, rest assured that we will be at you side. We will make sure you have everything you need, in terms of supplies and the know how to use it properly. 

Insulin Pumps

Dr. Christian Mangrum

Learn more about how insulin pumps work and what the implantation process looks like.

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