An insulin pump is a small computerized device used for insulin therapy. These pumps are now gaining popularity due to many benefits they offer. However, these devices do have some limitations and are not ideal for all the people with diabetes. Here a few advantages and disadvantages of using insulin pumps.
- Insulin pumps continuously supply the body with insulin. Their use removes the need for using injections every day or with each meal.
- The tube of an insulin pump is connected to the body, which makes it easier to take insulin as and when needed.
- Using a pump allows you to adjust the basal rate as needed. If you need more insulin during the day, you can increase the supply and reduce it later. Basal rate is the speed of continuous chemical supply (in this case insulin) in the body.
- The use of insulin pumps offers flexibility in your daily schedule and lifestyle. You don’t need to take specific measures (eating extra food) or miss out on an activity because of the dosage requirement. If you suddenly decide to eat a dessert, you can do so without having to worry about injecting more insulin into your body. You can simply adjust the amount through your pump.
- The use of insulin pumps ensures fewer complications from diabetes. For instance, there is less risk of hypoglycemia (below normal sugar levels) when using a pump.
- You can’t use it for long-acting insulin types such as Lantus insulin or other brands. It can only be used with short or rapid-standing insulin.
- Using a pump requires increased monitoring of blood sugar in a day.
- Pumps can cost more than injections. The increased cost can be a problem for some users.
- Some people may not be comfortable with others knowing about their condition as obvious with a pump in their hand or pocket.
- Since the tube is continuously inside the body, the piercing can cause pain or infections.
The pros of using insulin pumps definitely outweigh the cons. Your doctor can best guide you about the right insulin administration method for you.