What are the benefits of an insulin pump? How do I know if I am a good candidate for one?
Insulin pump is a medical device (the size of a small cell phone) that you wear to deliver insulin around the clock. There are many advantages to pumps: eliminates the need for multiple insulin injections, has a built-in calculator to help determine insulin doses and has more precise ways to deliver insulin. Studies have also shown that the use of an insulin pump can improve glucose control.
More recently, the combined use of pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGM), a device that tracks glucose levels continously, can effectively lower A1c and prevent hypoglycemia. The insulin pump is not for everyone with diabetes. It is mostly used in type 1 diabetes although some individuals with type 2 diabetes may also find it helpful.
Choosing to use an insulin pump is highly personal. Wearing a pump can be inconvenient to a particular lifestyle and the technology may be too complex. You should speak with your health care provider to learn more about the potential benefits and risks of using an insulin pump.
Answered by: William Hsu, M.D.