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Insulin Pumps

An insulin pump is a combination reservoir and injection system about the size of a cellphone that distributes insulin to maintain blood sugar levels over the course of the day. The unit typically has a display screen with programming buttons on the outside and a computer controlled high-precision pump on the inside that connect to a small tube leading into your body. Insulin pumps mimic the pancreas to provide better control and greater flexibility than manual injections, and modern computerized pumps are reliable, easy to use, and more sophisticated than previous generations.

Insulin pump therapy with fast-acting insulin may be a more effective treatment to control blood sugar levels in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes than multiple daily injections therapy using long-acting insulin. For children in particular, an insulin pump can return them to a normal life by restoring flexibility with what and when they eat, easing management for exercise and sports, and removing the embarrassing downtime to check and regulate blood sugar levels.

Insulin pumps can be a great way to improve control, so if you are thinking about an insulin pump, consider:

  • Size and weight - the smallest units are mere inches on a side and weigh as little as two ounces
  • Profiles - the number of basal profiles dictate how many different kinds of days your unit can handle automatically; if the activities in your life vary widely from day to day because of schedule or personal health, you may want more rather than fewer profiles
  • Integrated sensors - to monitor blood sugar levels more frequently and accurately than glucose test strips
  • Control options - the number and frequency of injections at the basal (base) rate in contrast to bolus infusion (a single dose injected over a short period of time)
  • Companion software - programs that support the tracking of blood sugar level so you can find the profile that fits your lifestyle
  • Waterproof and shock protection - your unit goes where you go and may be subject to rough usage
  • Remote control - some units have radio controls

    that make setting and viewing the functions of the pump even easier
  • Batteries - the number and type of batteries the unit requires and their expected life in use

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