Insulin Pumps

My son was 13 when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He started insulin pump therapy 4 months later. I CANNOT say enough WONDERFUL things about a pump!! It is THE best way to help manage Type 1 diabetes for everyone, especially kids, especially teens!

This link has many links to good information about insulin pumps. All the pump brands are here with links to their own websites. This link shows all the brands in a chart format that compares their features. From all the parents on the ADA parents board that I communicate with, there is a wide range of all the brands of pumps being used and everyone loves their pump! No complaints, so I know you can’t go wrong with whatever your choice is! We didn’t even know there was more than one brand when we were looking into the pump, but we have been 100% satisfied with the Minimed pump my son is on.

There are two good articles that talk about pumping in children and toddlers. This article talks about insulin via pump vs. shots, and this one has other information as well.

The reason I think pumps are so much better than shots are that kids can be the most normal with a pump. They don’t have to eat on a schedule, can eat as much or as little as they want, can sleep in, skip meals, eat extra snacks, etc. It is one “shot” every 2-3 days as opposed to 4-5 shots every day. The control you can achieve with a pump cannot be matched with shots. For every hour of the day, you can have a different amount of insulin as the base (basal) insulin. If they tend to run higher or lower at a particular time of day, you can change the basal rate higher or lower to help that. The pump does all the calculations for you and even knows how much insulin they have already taken and is still working in them.

You still have to be diligent and change the site every 2-3 days and check blood sugars at least 4 times a day. Because the pump only has fast-acting insulin in it, if there is a problem with delivery (a blocked site or something), they are not getting any insulin. Because of this, they can go into DKA faster with a pump, but if you still check sugar often and stay on top of things, their blood sugar should stay more even.

Extra things to consider, like exercise, sports, puberty, illness, etc. all play a big part in having more control with a pump than daily shots. Also, with a pump you can give much smaller amounts of insulin at a time (like 0.05 of a unit instead of 1/2 or 1/4 of a unit with a syringe). Modern technology is advancing rapidly and pumps now have continuous blood glucose monitors and many more advances just around the corner!

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