Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

New Devices Improve Diabetes Control

Insulin Pump, Shots Equally Effective, but Pump Plus Monitor Is Best

Insulin Pumps, Glucose Monitors

Continuous monitoring devices give blood sugar readings as often as every five minutes, using a sensor attached to the body. The sensor sends results to a display, which is usually worn on a belt.

The device doesn't replace home glucose monitoring but can more closely track minute-to-minute changes in blood glucose. Patients still need to prick their fingers up to four times a day, but those who rely on finger pricks alone may need to stick themselves as many as 10 times a day.

Insulin pumps offer continuous insulin through a catheter placed under the skin around the belly. The pump replaces daily injections, although patients still have to make decisions about how much insulin they need.

The analysis found that insulin pumps and daily injection are similarly effective for controlling blood sugar, leading the researchers to conclude that decisions about which method to choose should include consideration of patient preference and quality of life.

Diabetes specialist Stuart Weinerman, MD, says some of his patients love the new devices while others don't.

Weinerman is an endocrinologist at the North Shore University/Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

"Some people can't stand the idea of wearing a device all the time, whether it is a pump or a glucose monitor," Weinerman tells WebMD. "Others love the high-tech nature of the new devices and the fact that they have a lot more flexibility."

1 | 2

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

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
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner