Functions of an Insulin Pump – A Brief Introduction to an Insulin pump
One of the most important functions of a pump is to deliver insulin to the body. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. When someone has diabetes, they have too much sugar in their blood. This can cause serious health problems if left untreated. You also can inject yourself with more insulin whenever you think you need more than the amount of insulin in your basal amount. If you do not, you may not get the insulin you need, which could be dangerous or even life-threatening. An insulin pump drips insulin into your body throughout the day, and it also can deliver larger doses of insulin when needed, like just before meals
Quick Fact Check before understanding the functions of an insulin pump:
- The pump is a small device like a pager.
- It uses tiny tubes to infuse insulin into the body through the skin.
- A person who wears a pump may need less frequent injections than people who take multiple daily injections.
- They may also experience fewer side effects from taking insulin.
Let us understand What is an Insulin Pump?
Insulin pumps are small, technical devices that simulate how a person’s pancreas works. They continuously provide a small dose of short-acting insulin (a basal rate). It provides insulin through a small plastic tube known as a cannula or needle, which you can place under your skin. A long-standing treatment option for diabetes is insulin pump therapy (IPT). Under the skin, a small device delivers insulin via a catheter into subcutaneous tissue through this type of insulin delivery system.
Insulin pump therapy: IPT can be used for people who have Type 1 Diabetes and are unable to produce their insulin. An advantage of IPT over other treatments for diabetes is that it does not cause hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia occurs when the body’s glucose levels drop below normal. This condition can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. In addition, they can help manage type 2 diabetes, in which the body becomes resistant to insulin Another benefit of IPT is that it allows users to take breaks from injections. People with diabetes often experience severe pain at the injection site. With IPT, they no longer have to worry about injecting themselves multiple times per day.
Insulin hormone: The insulin hormone is a peptide that is secreted by the pancreas into the bloodstream. Insulin is used to regulate glucose levels in the body. Glucose is the primary energy source for cells and is produced from carbohydrates through digestion. When the amount of glucose in the bloodstream becomes too high, the pancreas releases insulin to reduce the level of glucose in the blood. This causes the liver to store glycogen (a form of carbohydrate) and converts excess glucose into triglycerides.
Here’s what happens when someone takes insulin using an pump therapy:
- Blood glucose level rises
- Pancreas secretes insulin
- Glucose enters cells
- Cells release stored energy (glucagon)
- The liver converts glycogen to glucose
- Glucose travels to muscles and fat cells
- Muscle uses glucose for fuel
- Fat cells store excess glucose
- Body stores extra calories
Working: Before getting into the functions of an insulin pump let’s have a look at how a pump works.
- Throughout the day and at night, the insulin pump delivers a specific amount of insulin.
- This passes through tubing and a needle to enter the body.
- The insulin is infused into fatty tissues via a small plastic tube called the cannula, which is attached to the reservoir in a pump.
- Insulin patch pumps also use a flexible plastic tube (cannula) underneath the skin, but the insulin-delivery chamber and the cannula are part of one pod that is placed under the skin by a sticky patch.
- Insulin patch pumps are controlled wirelessly from a separate device, which allows you to program insulin delivery to meals from the patch.
- Managing Diabetes A pump might not increase your blood sugar control if you are already giving yourself insulin shots three or more times per day.
- If you are bad at counting your carbohydrate grams, the pump may not help you manage diabetes.
- Pumps deliver a more accurate insulin dosage than injectables, so pumps might be less risky for people who have trouble counting their dosages.
- The body of the pump contains buttons to enable you to schedule insulin delivery for meals, for a particular basal rate, or suspend the infusion of insulin, as needed.
- The pump itself, since it can continuously deliver insulin throughout the day, can then provide basal (background) doses of insulin using Rapid Acting Insulin.
- Insulin pumps use short-acting, rapid-acting insulin, but not long-acting insulin, since the pump works to continuously deliver small amounts to maintain an even glucose profile.
Functions of an Insulin Pump: Getting into the Basics functioning.
An insulin pump is an alternative to daily multiple insulin shots by an insulin syringe or insulin pen. It allows flexible insulin therapy along with blood glucose monitoring and carbohydrate counting. This technology seems promising in real-time control of blood glucose.
Traditionally, pumps did not read the blood sugar, but now pumps can be had with sensors that measure the sugar levels. Also, some pumps will adjust the basal dosage automatically according to the glucose levels taken by the continuous glucose monitor.
- The main function of an insulin pump is that it delivers small doses of insulin constantly (basal) or in one dose near meals.
- It uses the insulin that is short-acting and fast-acting, but not long-acting. This is because the pumps release a small amount consistently to keep your blood glucose levels stable.
- The pump uses the information you input about your food intake and blood sugar levels to figure out how big of a bolus of insulin you need.
- You have to check your blood sugar level every 8-12 times per day in the traditional insulin therapies. Unlike long-acting insulin, where a daily insulin dosage is fixed. You can easily program the pump’s basal rate to vary throughout the day to accommodate variations in your metabolic needs.
Things to remember while using pumps:
In the event that the pump malfunctions or falls off, the person wearing the pump will have to inject insulin whenever necessary. Pumps provide a steady supply of insulin to the body, so they are especially useful for people with unpredictable schedules of activities or work hours.
- Always use the same brand of pump that you have been using before. This ensures that your body gets used to the pump and its settings.
- Do not change the site where you place the pump. Changing the site can cause irritation and inflammation at the site.
- If you are using multiple daily injections (MDI), do not switch from one type of insulin to another. You should stick to the same type of insulin throughout the day.
- Make sure that you follow the instructions provided by your doctor about how often you need to inject yourself.
- Never mix different types of insulin. Doing this can lead to severe complications.
- Do not skip any doses of insulin. Skipping doses can result in serious health problems.
Final Takeaways for functions of an Insulin pump:
- The insulin pump injects insulin under the skin through a catheter.
- The most common use of these drugs is to treat diabetes mellitus.
- Wearing pumps continuously 24 hours a day, seven days a week is the most common use for these devices. This allows patients to manage their blood sugar levels without having to test their blood sugar multiple times throughout the day.
- It is possible for insulin pumps to administer different doses of insulin based on the patient’s current glucose levels.
- Battery-powered insulin pumps have replaceable batteries that last approximately two years.
- Patients who use insulin pumps often find they are less likely to experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) than those who do not use them.
- There are two types of insulin pumps: external and implantable. You can attach external insulin pumps outside of the body and connect them to the infusion set via tubing. It is easy to implant insulin pumps inside the body and connect them directly to infusion sites.
To sum up,
Insulin pumps are a boon to diabetes patients who need insulin on a regular basis. We have explained all the functions of an Insulin pump that will help you choose which treatment to go for. There are many insulin pumps present on the market. If you wish to choose the best you can go for the INSUL by AgVa insulin pump. It is a super affordable yet beneficial insulin pump that suits everyone’s pocket. At the end of the day, it is your choice whether to go for insulin pump therapy or to stick with the traditional methods.