Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Select An Article

Type 2 Diabetes and the Insulin Pump

Font Size

If you have type 2 diabetes and take multiple insulin shots, you may want to ask your doctor about the insulin pump.

Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices (about the size of a small cell phone) that allow for a continuous flow of a rapid-acting insulin to be released into your body. The pumps have a small, flexible tube (called a catheter) with a fine needle on the end, which is inserted under the skin of your abdomen and taped in place. The devices can be worn on a belt or placed in a pocket.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

Getting Better Sleep When You Have Diabetes

In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our July/August 2012 issue, we asked WebMD's diabetes expert, Michael Dansinger, MD, about the link between diabetes and poor sleep. Q: I have diabetes, and I'm not sleeping well. Are the two related, and what can I do? A: Yes, people with diabetes often have reduced sleep quality and quantity. Sleep apnea, medications, lack of exercise, and abnormal glucose and hormone...

Read the Getting Better Sleep When You Have Diabetes article > >

The insulin pump is designed to deliver a continuous amount of insulin, 24 hours a day according to a programmed plan unique to each pump wearer. The user can change the amount of insulin delivered.

Between meals and overnights, a small amount of insulin is constantly delivered to keep the blood sugar in the target range. This is called the basal rate. When food is eaten, a bolus dose of insulin can be programmed into the pump. You can measure how much of a bolus you need using calculations based on the grams of carbohydrates consumed.

When using an insulin pump, you must monitor your blood glucose level at least four times a day. You set the doses of your insulin and make adjustments to the dose depending on your food intake and exercise program.

Why Use an Insulin Pump for Diabetes?

Some health care providers prefer the insulin pump for diabetes because its slow release of insulin mimics how a normally working pancreas would release insulin. One large study concluded the insulin pump is a safe and valuable treatment option for those with poorly controlled blood sugar.

Another advantage of the insulin pump is that it frees you from having to measure insulin into a syringe.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on August 13, 2014
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
kenneth fujioka, md
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Article
 
Middle aged person
Tool
Home Healthcare
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
feet
Slideshow