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Are You Using Your Insulin Pump Properly?

Are You Using Your Insulin Pump Properly?

Insulin is a hormone that converts sugar from food into energy for your body. Your pancreas makes insulin, but if you have diabetes, your body doesn’t create or use insulin as well as it should.

Without insulin, your blood sugar can get too high and make diabetes worse. Insulin therapy is one of the most effective ways to regulate your blood sugar, and these days, you have a few options when it comes to how you take your supplemental insulin.

An insulin pump is a small, electronic device that delivers controlled amounts of insulin into your body. It’s a convenient way to take insulin, and it can eliminate the need for frequent insulin injections, but it’s important to use your insulin pump correctly.

At Endocrine Associates of West Village, our endocrinologists offer comprehensive diabetes education, and we’re certified in insulin pump training. We’re here to help you decide if an insulin pump is the right choice for you and to teach you how to use it correctly.

How insulin pumps work

How you get your insulin is up to you. Both insulin pumps and traditional injections can be used to effectively manage your blood sugar, but many people find that pumps have several advantages.

An insulin pump is a wearable device that administers insulin based on a programmed schedule. It mimics the body’s natural release of insulin, with a steady flow 24 hours a day (basal insulin) and an extra dose (bolus insulin) at each mealtime.

The pump is about the size of a smartphone, and it’s adhesive so you can wear it on your stomach, buttock, or thigh. The infusion set comes with thin plastic tubing and a small needle, which you insert under your skin.

You change your infusion set every few days, and you only need to administer an injection once when you change it. You still need to check your blood sugar levels, but because the pump is programmable, it can be easier to manage blood sugar, plan for exercise, and adjust your doses as needed than it is with traditional injections.

Learning how to use your insulin pump correctly

An insulin pump can make managing your blood sugar easier, but it’s important to learn how to use it correctly and always follow your pump’s directions. No matter which pump you choose, you’ll need to learn how to set it up, insert it, and interact with it.

Incorrect set up or use could mean you aren’t getting the insulin you need, which can be serious or life-threatening.

Our endocrinology team helps you choose the best pump for your needs, and we teach you everything you need to know, including how to: 

Along with using your pump correctly, you must keep regular injectable insulin with you at all times. Keeping backup insulin on hand is important in the event that your pump stops working.

Never stop taking insulin or change your insulin therapy without talking with our healthcare team first. If you’re interested in switching from an insulin pump to injections or vice versa, we can work with you to adjust your treatment safely.

An insulin pump could give you lifestyle freedom and enhance your ability to manage your blood sugar. Call our offices in Long Island City, or New York, New York, or request your first appointment online to get started.

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