Are you contemplating to start using an insulin pump and you want to know more about how it works? In this article we will explain it to you.
Diabetes is a metabolic disease that often means having to take insulin continuously. If you are thinking about leaving behind syringes and constant needles and want to know a little more about how an insulin pump works, how they are placed and how long they last, you have to continue reading this article.
What is an insulin pump?
Insulin pumps or continuous subcutaneous insulin infusers (CSII) are small devices, more or less the size of a small cell phone, that, imitating a healthy pancreas, administer insulin continuously through a catheter, so there is no need for injections.
They are composed of two parts: a small plastic tube, also known as a catheter, and an insulin container:
- The connection catheter: is the tube that transports insulin from the container to the subcutaneous tissue.
- The insulin container: is a small device that is programmed to send insulin continuously. It is composed of a screen, insulin reserves and a battery.
What is an insulin pump used for?
Continuous insulin infusion systems are automated methods of administering insulin constantly. This means that the person wearing it will not have to worry about injecting the amount of insulin needed, as the device will do it automatically.
Additionally, in case you need to adjust the amount of insulin, for example, before or during meals, the person wearing this small device will only need to press the corresponding buttons on the insulin container, which will regulate the amount of insulin doses.
How does an insulin pump work?
The functioning of an insulin pump is very simple. The reservoir has a small programmed motor that pushes the insulin-filled cartridges into the catheter, which is the tube that carries the medication into the body.
However, it is important to remember that, although it is an automated device, it must be programmed and used properly according to the needs of each person. That is why, accompanying it with a continuous glucose monitoring sensor will be necessary for its proper functioning.
In addition, using applications such as Cori, can help you to see how, thanks to the insulin pump, your levels stabilize in the long term.
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People with diabetes are especially vulnerable to the dangers of colds and the flu, but there are things you can do to control your symptoms and avoid getting sick in the first place. You may maintain your health even when you’re feeling under the weather by constantly monitoring your blood sugar levels, staying hydrated, getting enough of rest, and adhering to your diabetes management plan. Additionally, you may lower your risk of getting sick and safeguard yourself from any problems by maintaining proper cleanliness, being vaccinated, and generally maintaining good health. Make sure to discuss any worries you may have with your healthcare team for advice and support if you have diabetes and are worried about managing colds and the flu.
How are insulin pumps placed?
Insulin pump fitting may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. The only part that needs to be changed regularly is the catheter that is inserted under the skin, which should be replaced with a new one every two to three days. To do this, you must follow the following steps:
- Pull out the new insulin that is to go into the container 24 hours before changing the catheter.
- Wash your hands properly with soap and water.
- Check the catheter to make sure it is in good condition.
- Load the syringe of the pump without leaving any bubbles inside.
- *Connect the syringe to the catheter and press the button until a small amount of insulin comes out.
- Disinfect the area where the cannula is going to be placed.
- Place the catheter, secure it with the bandage and remove the needle.
- Press the button until the cannula under the subcutaneous tissue fills.
For whom is the use of insulin pumps recommended?
Use of an insulin pump is recommended when:
- Glycemic control with insulin in the conventional manner is not achieved.
- You are looking for greater flexibility and quality of life.
- You suffer from severe nocturnal hypoglycemia.
- You are looking for a more exhaustive control.
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