Insulin Pump Definition:
An insulin pump is an external gadget, approximately the same size as a communication beeper, which enables the gradual flow of short-acting insulin into a diabetic’s body throughout the day. However, the pump has to be reprogrammed at mealtimes as carbohydrates are expected to be ingested at that time.
The insulin pump has a reservoir for storing insulin, a computerized display showing the dose and the time, and a connection where insulin moves out of the pump. Many pumps come with an infusion set consisting of a plastic tube that attaches to the pump and takes the insulin out from the pump to a plastic needle which is inserted into the body. The pliable plastic needle called a cannula is placed just under the skin to send in the insulin.
The above mentioned infusion set needs to be changed after 2 or 3 days. The places for the cannula to be inserted ought to be rotated. Many people use the area around the stomach for the insertion of the plastic needle. However, any sites where insulin injection using a syringe have been done are just as suitable for inserting the cannula.
The latest insulin pump no longer requires any plastic tubing. A replaceable insulin âpodâ is connected directly to the needle. A detached computerized gadget, known as a personal diabetes manager or PDM, sends signals to the pod to have it deliver insulin as programmed. The wonderful part about this PDM is that it is also a blood sugar monitor which gathers information of the diabetic’s blood sugar levels to assist him to determine the right insulin dosage.
The insulin pod needs to be changed after 3 days. The pod is attached to the skin surrounding the plastic needle with some kind of glue. However, it must be remembered that once the pods are detached from the skin, it has to be replaced. Therefore, it is unlike the reservoir in the older type of insulin pump where reconnection is possible.
Diabetics who desire an easier way to maintain blood sugar levels without the hassle of injecting themselves many times a day find a solution in the pump. Children and old adults certainly prefer the insulin pump. Diabetics who suffer different levels of blood sugar at different times of the day, with low sugar levels at night transitioning to high sugar levels in the morning will find the pump useful as it is capable of being programmed to suit the various levels of glucose in the blood, making control over the sugar levels so much easier.
Not only Type 1 diabetics find insulin pumps so convenient and helpful, Type 2 diabetics too, especially those who find difficulty reaching their AIC targets with the usual injection method.
Pumps are a boon to diabetics but that does not imply less discipline in maintaining control over blood sugar levels. With or without a pump, blood sugar levels need to be monitored a minimum of four times each day. There is the need for the programming of bolus doses for the various meals and infusion sets have to be replaced every 3 days at the latest. Of course, the pump is so much improvement that someone has even called it an artificial pancreas although it definitely is not.
Understand basal and bolus doses.
The gradual delivery of small quantities of insulin which is similar to the healthy pancreas’ secretion of insulin is called a basal dose while a bigger dose of insulin delivered just before the consumption of food to act on the predictable increase in blood sugar levels is known as a bolus dose. The bolus dose is determined by knowing the amount of carbohydrates in the food eaten.
Insulin Pumping : Pros and Cons – Video Guide
Information on the Pump
There can be many questions that need answers in the use of a pump every second of the day. So, below is some information on the use of the pump.
- Many pumps are water-resistant : Yes, they are sufficiently waterproof to present no problems if they ever get wet. And the good news is that there are even some which are not just waterproof but also shock-resistant!
- The tubing which comes with the infusion sets is usually long enough : With the extra length of tubing, you can place your infusion set away from the tub while bathing or somewhere safe on the floor or a chair beside your bed as you sleep.
- Wear your pumps to bed : The purpose of the pump is to have it deliver insulin 24 hours a day, even as you sleep. With the tubing so long, there are so many places you can put your pump, the nearest being your pajama pocket and the farthest can be your dressing table.
- It is possible to have them unobtrusive : Nobody needs to know that you are wearing a pump unless you want them to. Wear it like you would a beeper or a cell phone. You can even wear them beneath your clothes with pouches strapped onto your body.
- Pumps can be taken off for an hour : There may be times when you belief your pump too cumbersome to have around. You may wish to shower, swim, and enjoy sex without its presence. So, disconnect the pump but remember to test blood sugar levels before you attach it on again.
Always understand the directions given on the use for the pump you use to know everything about it. Consult your doctor too as may give further instructions concerning the disconnecting of the pump as well as other matters. A CDE(Professional Pump Trainer) can be of assistance too.
Insurance and Medicare Coverage
You pay a huge sum of money for an insulin pump as they cost approximately 6,000 dollars which does not include expenses for infusion sets and other necessities which can amount to a quite a sum of money. Fortunately, more and more insurance companies are taking into consideration the fact that helping to ensure excellent control of sugar levels can lead to less diabetes-connected complications. So, they do extend cover for pump purchase, hoping to give out less for treatments of complications.
To get approval for Medicare’s insulin pumps coverage, type 1 as well as type 2 diabetics has to undergo standardized medical examinations carried out by a doctor. After such clinical tests, both you and your doctor must consider if you qualify for the coverage. If you think you do, then it is up to the doctor and Medicare to decide whether you fulfill the medicare guidelines for such coverage.