What to do before using an Insulin Pump?
Before you can use an insulin pump, you’ll need to work together with your health team, so they can train you on how to use it. Also you’ll need to learn how to count the carbohydrates contained in all the meals you eat, and know how to calculate the Bolus dose so you can metabolize the glucose contained in the carbohydrates you ingest.
On the other hand, you and your health team will have to design a strict plan for monitoring blood glucose levels, carbohydrate counting and programming the right Basal insulin and Bolus doses to be used, based on your individual requirements. This process of determining the appropriate dose will take time, patience and thorough training, but eventually, when you figure out the right Basal insulin and Bolus doses, the results will be wonderful.
Remember that you’ll decide when and how much insulin will be delivered by the insulin pump into your body.
In addition you’ll also have to learn how and when to change the infusion set and solve any problems that may arise, such as what to do if the infusion set clogs up, etc. to avoid any infections.
It’s important to mention that if you are considering using an insulin pump, you’ll need to take extra care when maintaining it, checking the batteries, as well as the infusion set regularly, among other things.
Technological advances in insulin pumps
Fortunately, insulin pumps have more advanced technologies, which allow users to use them in an easier, more comfortable, safe and effective way. Some of the new insulin pumps can also be submerged in water, allowing people to swim, bathe both in the shower and pool without a problem. The most important and revolutionary progress in the insulin pumps field, is undoubtedly the bionic pancreas; this eliminates the need to measure your blood glucose levels, count your carbohydrates and calculate your insulin dose based on the amount of glucose provided by the carbohydrates you eat. Furthermore, the bionic pancreas also minimizes the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood glucose levels and hyperglycemia or high blood glucose levels. The bionic pancreas has a continuous blood glucose monitoring system; it checks glycemia every minute, and this information is received and processed by a Smartphone app. This app was designed exclusively to manage this new insulin pump called bionic pancreas, and is responsible for calculating the exact insulin dose the pump needs to segregate if glucose levels are rising.
The bionic pancreas, which is estimated to be released to the market in 2017 has two devices, one that secretes insulin doses required to reduce blood glucose levels to normal levels. Another device secretes glucagon to raise glucose levels back to normal levels when they are falling, to avoid dangerous episodes of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. This extraordinary insulin pump, also has an alarm that will warn you when your glucose levels are falling below normal (hypoglycemia), and another alarm when your glucose levels are rising too high (hyperglycemia), 24 hours a day.
In Diabetes Up to Date we are pleased to know that there are new technological advances every day, which allow people with diabetes to have optimal control in a more comfortable, safer and effective way, so they can enjoy a healthy, productive and happy life.