Is an Insulin Pump Right for You?

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Are you interested in achieving the tightest possible control over your blood glucose? Are you tired of multiple daily injections and of the inexplicable highs and lows that are an inevitable result of the diabetic lifestyle? Most importantly, are you willing to put in the time and effort necessary to taking your blood glucose control to the next level?

If you answered yes to these questions, you might be an ideal candidate for insulin pump therapy. Anyone looking to achieve tighter control could benefit from this method of managing your diabetes, but like everything in life, it comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages are obvious:

  • Complications associated with Diabetes are reduced significantly
  • Fewer needle pokes
  • Better glucose control with fewer highs and lows
  • More flexible lifestyle
  • Be as active as you want without fear of “exercise lows”
  • Only use the amount of insulin you need to cover what you’re eating

Some disadvantages to consider:

  • The learning curve associated with an insulin pump
  • Learning to count carbohydrates
  • More frequent blood testing to ensure pump accuracy
  • The pump becomes an extra appendage that you carry around 24/7
  • Pumps are very expensive if your insurance does not cover them

As with any new therapy, you must weigh the good against the bad. If you think you might be interested in an insulin pump, you must decide if YOU are a good candidate for this form of therapy. Ask yourself if you’re willing to:

  1. Check blood glucose levels before and after each meal and at bedtime (at least initially)
  2. Learn how to effectively count carbohydrates
  3. Monitor and tweak your pump settings based on exercise and other activities
  4. Purchase an expensive piece of medical equipment if insurance isn’t an option

Be honest with yourself when answering the above questions and discuss your thoughts with your doctor regarding this form of blood glucose control.

Insulin pump therapy is the gold standard in diabetes management today and should not be considered a last resort measure. But it is NOT recommended for every insulin-dependent diabetic unless you are willing to put in the time and effort required to make it work successfully for you.

If you have decided that insulin pump therapy is right for you, consider your decision one of the most important steps you’ll ever take toward living your best, well-managed diabetic life.

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