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Insulin Pumps: Scientific Fact, Or Popular Fallacy?

Posted Feb 18 2009 11:38am
Once heralded as the absolute cure to every woe that a diabetic faces, insulin has now come to be regarded as one of the grimmer aspects of diabetes treatment. the reason for this lies largely in the conventional method of administering insulin, via injections, which are either dispensed to make up for the deficit caused by a faulty pancreas, or to enhance the natural production in an individual whose body has developed a resistance to this enzyme, which is then bolstered with insulin-sensitizing medication.

However, when faced with the prospect of having to administer endless injections, the individual may be intimidated enough to shy away from treatment altogether, or be incessantly irregular which makes the treatment more harmful than it is beneficial. Fluctuating levels of insulin may first bring about exceedingly high levels of glucose in the bloodstream, especially after mealtimes, which then plunge down as the insulin is administered leading to intermittent hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic states either of which can prove fatal to the diabetic.

The age bar with Type 1 diabetes is also a lot lower than in other variants, with a large majority of its victims being very young children. Not surprisingly, their parents often express their apprehension at having to subject a young child through the trauma of multiple injections, out of fear of inadvertently hurting them. Insulin injections can also take a great deal of time to get used to, leading victims to develop a bitter and resentful perspective of their condition. In light of these severe disadvantages, the positive attributes of insulin are very easy to overlook, making insulin a far greater threat to deal with than diabetes in itself!

Although diabetes is no modern ailment, recent times have seen an alarmingly large number of victims succumb to diabetes, on account of their skewed lifestyles and dietary patterns. And so, researchers and diabetes experts have begun to invest a great deal of time and thought in developing alternative techniques of administering insulin, to make the process of treatment less tedious and a lot easier to incorporate into daily lives. Of these, a clear forerunner that has gained both medical and popular approval is the insulin pump.

An Insulin Pump is a device that is comprised of a catheter that is inserted under the skin, the pump itself and a disposable insulin reservoir that is placed inside the pump. Once the catheter is affixed, you can carry the pump, tucked into your waistband or in a segment of your clothing after which the pump administers a steady dose of insulin to our body. To counter a sudden surge of glucose in your bloodstream, especially after a meal, the pump can also be adjusted to deliver bolus doses, which are spurts of fast-acting insulin, helping your body to regularize blood glucose a lot faster than in the case of regular insulin injections. The steady basal dose keeps your glucose levels in check between mealtimes and while you are asleep.

Both the bolus and the basal doses are determined after careful consultation with your diabetes practitioner. Your physician will also determine how often your condition requires you to administer bolus doses, while also keeping a regular check of how effectively your treatment is advancing on the basis of which future doses are established. The steady dose of insulin which the pump provides ensures that you can keep a constant check on your glucose levels all through the day, fine tuning your dosage at a minute’s notice when the need arises.

Insulin pumps have gained immense popularity in recent times, as the need for a more flexible and less time-consuming regime has developed in leaps and bounds. Many diabetics who have made the switch to insulin pumps commend them for the freedom they grant from having to schedule their day around meal times and insulin injections. Individuals whose career or lifestyle requires them to travel frequently have also welcomed the idea of insulin pumps, given the fact that they no longer need to carry injections with them wherever they go, and also that they no longer have to live in a constant fear of missing a meal time, or an insulin dose.

As with any unfamiliar device, insulin pumps do take some getting used to, in terms of carrying one with you wherever you go. However, getting used to the pump is a lot easier than it seems, and the benefits of converting to insulin-pump therapy, far outweigh this minor disadvantage. The popularity of insulin pumps is not confined to medical practitioners and diabetics alone. In recent times, many healthcare providers are rising to the increasing use of insulin pumps as an integral part of diabetes treatment and are making amendments indicating the same in their policies. And so, insulin pumps are not only an incredibly efficient, but also a cost-effective alternative to controlling your diabetes. If you’re looking for help in combating your condition, remember that inspiration is all around you sometimes, all it takes is to look hard enough! Assume responsibility of your diabetes today and convert your most dreaded foe into your greatest ally!
Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit and learn more about your solution for diabetes.

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