Understanding the Basics: How an Insulin Pump Works

For those who are just thinking about installing an insulin pump, it will be useful to know the basics of the basics. Unfortunately, you will have to immediately part with the illusion that after installing the device you will be freed from the entire diabetic routine. You still have to control the process. But the pump is a big step towards great compensation and, yes, it makes you feel more relaxed in your daily life. It’s not a pancreas replacement, but it’s your personal insurer.

Materials from the author’s workshop Diabeton

Modern insulin pumps are small, light, compact devices. They are connected through special infusion sets – a flexible hose with a cannula that is inserted under the skin. Insulin delivery

is produced constantly in the subcutaneous fat, providing a constant insulin background, as basal insulin works on syringe pens. But at the same time, you do not have a margin of the basis. The pumps work on ultra-short-acting insulins (eg Humalog , NovoRapid , Apidra , etc.) in order to adjust the level of glycemia in real time, taking into account the peak of its work. The supply of insulin occurs at a certain rate. At different times of the day, this speed is slightly different, simulating the work of the pancreas.

Before eating, you do not inject insulin in automatic mode, i.e. program delivery in bolus mode.
Work in the bolus mode of the pump, when you can choose the dosage yourself, convenient for those cases when the level of glycemia needs to be adjusted urgently. Those. if sugar jumped sharply due to some unforeseen factor. For example, in response to stress. You can inject additional insulin, taking into account the data obtained from measuring the glucose level with a glucometer .

A big plus in using a pump is that insulin is delivered in small increments and with high dosing accuracy.
The pump is a way of less trauma to the skin. Using the device relieves you of the need for constant injections. The infusion set must be changed every 2-3 days (the manufacturer indicates the frequency on each specific model), which means 1 puncture for 3 days, and this, you must agree, is 12-15 times less than on the handle.

The pump is configured according to your individual parameters and calculates the required basis of insulin. The main characteristics by which you need to program the device: target glycemia, carbohydrate ratio, insulin sensitivity at different hours of the day.
The use of the pump also takes into account the food you consume. There are different bolus modes. You can set how fast or slow insulin is delivered in bolus mode. Thus, it is very easy to compensate for meals with different carbohydrates – long or short.
The remote glucose monitoring feature is another super bonus to the above. If you have a sensor, it will warn you in real time when the threshold of low or high sugar is approaching, so that you can take the necessary actions in time. The newest models in this sense have come close to the idea of an artificial pancreas, since they can automatically change the rate of insulin delivery at critical moments or turn off the supply altogether.
The monitoring data is collected in the pump’s memory and you can transfer it to your computer. This makes it possible to communicate remotely with your doctor, as well as a very detailed analysis of the condition for correcting therapy depending on your activity.

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