Insulin Pump Therapy

Insulin pump therapy delivers continuous insulin support to diabetics. The insulin pump is a small device which is about the size of a small cell phone. The device is worn outside the body and delivers insulin through a small tube.

The end of the thin tube, called the cannula, is inserted under the skin. The cannula must be reinserted under the skin twelve times a month. A reinsertion of the cannula feels like a needle prick. The reinsertions of the cannula is generally preferred to daily injections.

The insulin pump delivers the amount of insulin that the diabetic patient deems necessary. A base rate of insulin is delivered to the body. This mimics the normal production of insulin by the pancreas in those without diabetes. When food is eaten, the insulin pump user programs the pump to provide the necessary amount of insulin.

The use of insulin pump therapy eliminates the need for daily multiple injections of insulin. One of the benefits is the freedom that this therapy offers to the diabetic. Administering insulin by multiple daily injections often requires that the diabetic follow a strict schedule. With the insulin pump, the need for a schedule is minimized if not entirely eliminated. People using insulin pump therapy are reported to have more dietary freedom and less risk of complications from diabetes such as eye, kidney, and nerve disease.

The insulin pump user needs only to program the doses of insulin that are necessary to control the blood glucose level. The base rate of insulin can be adjusted in preparation of exercise or in times of illness or infection. The delivery of a base rate of insulin helps the diabetic achieve a steady blood glucose level. The cost of insulin pump therapy is higher than using insulin injections. For diabetics who have difficulty regulating their blood glucose levels, the pump may be the healthier insulin delivery method.

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Juvenile Diabetes

Juvenile diabetes is a common name for type 1 diabetes. It is called juvenile diabetes because this disease usually starts in childhood through late adolescence. The cause of juvenile diabetes is often genetics, but it can be due to exposure to a viral infection. In juvenile diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce insulin. Though juvenile diabetes occurs worldwide, the highest incident rate is in Scandinavia.

Common symptoms of juvenile diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, fatigue, drowsiness, and blurred vision. It can cause tingling or numbness in the hands and feet. Breathing can also become labored and have a fruity odor.

Insulin is a hormone needed to metabolize sugar, or glucose, and starches. When insulin production and sensitivity is normal, insulin breaks down the sugar which is then delivered to the body’s cells via the bloodstream. When insulin production is compromised, the level of glucose in the blood rises to unsafe levels.

If left untreated or uncontrolled, serious complications can arise. High glucose levels in the blood increases the risk of certain diseases. Blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease could occur. Poor circulation and nerve damage can cause serious trauma to the feet which can lead to the necessity of amputation.

Treatment of juvenile diabetes consists of monitoring blood sugar levels, administering insulin, and watchfulness of the onset of any complications. Blood sugar levels are checked periodically throughout the day with the use of a blood glucose monitor.

Injections of insulin are commonly a crucial part of treatment for juvenile diabetes. An insulin pump may be used instead of individual injections of insulin. An insulin pump can help stabilize blood sugar level better than injections since it provides a constant base level of insulin. After meals, the diabetic programs the dose of insulin into the pump.