Insulin Pumps: How Do They Work?

Diabetes is a disorder that impacts tens of millions of Americans every day. This blood sugar disorder can potentially cause real medical complications, or even death if left untreated. Thankfully, there are many ways that diabetes can be treated. One example is insulin pumps.

Overview and advantages

These pumps are pumps that treat insulin by pumping your body with insulin at a predetermined rate. There are different pumps that can help different people in different ways, and there are also a variety of different settings and ways that they can be used.

These pumps come with many advantages compared to regularly injecting yourself with insulin, including:

  • The ability to automate your insulin treatment, thus limiting the chances of potentially dangerous errors
  • It reduces the need for needle sticks to test your blood sugar levels
  • In some instances, it may make treatment more effective
  • It can be easier to determine appropriate dosing levels

Pumps can also be customized with a variety of alarms, letting users know when there is a potential problem with the device or when blood sugar levels get too low.

Insulin pumps have been around since the 1970s. In fact, the original pumps were so large that they were actually worn in backpacks. Thankfully, modern technology has made these pumps much more convenient and portable. Today, pumps can be very discrete and easily clipped to someone’s belt so that another person doesn’t even notice.

Types of pumps

There are two main types of pumps:

  • Traditional pumps, which push insulin from the pump itself through the cannula that is attached to your body, usually your stomach.
  • Patch pumps, which remain connected to your body through a patch. These pumps have many advantages, including a lack of detectable wiring and the ability to control your insulin from a wireless device.

How do these pumps work?

Insulin pumps work in different ways, depending on the type of pump that you can. Generally speaking, your pump will be attached to your body and constantly monitor blood sugar levels. It is loaded with days worth of insulin that you have to change on a regular basis. From there, your pump will inject your body with insulin as your blood sugar levels change.

Many pumps also come with wireless controls that enable users to automatically update their insulin levels, depending on their blood sugar levels or how they feel. The creation of your blood sugar injections and programming of the device is usually done by your doctor or some other medical professional, thus ensuring that the insulin set to pump to your device is constantly monitored by a professional.

These types of pumps – once merely a dream of scientists – have become widespread and can be incredibly beneficial if you suffer from diabetes. Indeed, when used properly, these pumps can truly improve someone’s quality of life and overall health. If you’re in need of an insulin pump, check out places like Tandem Diabetes for more information.

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