I was wondering about the pump. Is it recommended for someone that is generally active(playing sports, weightlifting)? are they comfortable? Where do you plug(inject) it in? Is it effective? Do you sleep with it? what kind of insulin does it pump?
I have moe questions but thats all i could think of now.
Hello. I'm not a medical professional, just the parent of a kid with diabetes. And my kid happens to be on the pump, and know a lot of people on a pump. Yes, it is great for anyone. Athletes wear the pump, usually except when they are competing. Jason Johnson is a major league pitcher who wears his pump during games. My daughter plays soccer and wears her pump while playing. But we know someone who is a free safety on my alma mater's football team, and he doesn't wear his pump, but he does leave his infusion site in during the game. Lifting weights and working out can actually be easier on the pump. The reason is that with a pump you get insulin in two ways, with basals and boluses. Basals are a fixed rate that you get all day long, and that rate can change based upon time of day. Boluses are what you get for meals or corrections for highs. With taking a long acting insulin, if you work out hard you cannot stop that long acting insulin from working, and that can create the conditions for a low. With a pump you can stop that basal rate so that the exercise you do (which causes you to use up carbs without the need for insulin) does not cause a low. Much more flexible.
I don't wear a pump, but my daughter says it is comfortable. The sites go in the same places where you can give a shot (arm, stomach, leg, rear end), and the site itself is low profile and confortable. The pump can be worn either like a cell phone or you can get special cases to hold them. I've seen people who have purchased cell phone cases to hold their pumps. My daughter has a case with a strap that she wears around her waist. It's a very pretty pink case (she's 10, these things are important). She does sleep with it. In fact, the only time she takes it off is when she takes a shower and when she goes swimming.
Yes, pumps are effective. The reason is because it is most like your pancreas. With the basal rates it counters the continuous action by your liver where it dumps glucose into your body. And it also provides you the immediate bolus of insulin that you need to cover a meal or lower a high. Generally people who switch to a pump are able to lower their a1c significantly. You remove the long acting insulin which works very well, but is less flexible with lifestyles. You only use fact acting insulin, as there is only one reservoir for insulin. You can use any fast acting, be it Humalog, Novolog, or Apidra.
Now, this may sound like a pump is the best thing since sliced bread. It's not. I think it's more work, there are more things to keep track of because of the basal rates. Some people just don't like having something attached to them 24/7. It is expensive, as every site change will cost you anywhere from $12 to $20 in supplies, and you have to change your site every 2 to 4 days. It's not for everyone. You can get your endo to prescribe a pump trial, where you do everything you would when on a pump, but you just put saline in the reservoir. That can give you a feel for whether or not it would work for you.
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