Advantages and Disadvantages of using an Insulin Pump
The Insulin pump is an excellent tool that offers some advantages, which include:
- Better control – Since the insulin pump is designed to mimic the insulin segregation of a normal pancreas through “Basal Insulin” and “Bolus” doses, pump users can obtain optimal control of their Diabetes.
- Greater freedom and flexibility – You don’t have to follow a meals and snacks schedule, and you’ll also have more freedom when choosing what to eat, as you’ll be able to decide when, and how much insulin you’ll use in each “Bolus”. In addition, the pump allows you to exercise as much as you want, or wake up at any time, without affecting your blood glucose levels, since you can program the “Basal Insulin” doses accordingly, also reducing “Hypoglycemia” and “Hyperglycemia” episodes.
- It eliminates the need to inject insulin – The pump is connected to the body through the “infusion set” inserted into the skin through which the body receives insulin. The “infusion set” has to be changed every 2 or 3 days.
Disadvantages of Insulin Pumps
Not every person with Diabetes can use an insulin pump, because it requires a lot of training, care, responsibility, and dedication, which can pose problems for some people. Following are some of the disadvantages of insulin pumps.
- High cost: Insulin pumps and their accessories are very expensive, and many can’t afford them. If you have insurance, it’s important for you to find out if your policy covers the cost of insulin pumps. In the United States, Medicare covers 100% of pump costs, as well as its accessories, in people with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes who qualify to certain applied restrictions. Some private insurance companies cover up to 80% of pump costs.
- The pump needs to be inserted into the skin at all times: This can be annoying for a lot of people, and in some cases, can lead to infections. Because the insulin pump has to be connected to the body at all times, and placed on a belt or in a pocket, some people feel that insulin pumps are “indiscreet” because it makes them feel uncomfortable when using them in front of others. On the other hand, we need to remember that the skin is one of our main defenses against infections, and having a needle or cannula inserted into our skin, can open doors to infections This is why we must take great care and caution to avoid them.
- Using a pump can be risky: When using an insulin pump, one has to be very careful since misusing them can cause serious problems that could be very risky. If the pump stops working or the infusion set clogs up, blood glucose levels could rise rapidly, which is why it’s very important to take all necessary precautions, making sure that the pump is working correctly and has enough battery. If the pump isn’t properly programmed, it can also cause several problems such as “Hypoglycemia”, which could be severe, and “Hyperglycemia”, which in many cases can lead to “Ketoacidosis”, which is why it’s imperative for all people using insulin pumps, to monitor their blood glucose levels at least 4 times a day.