Clinical studies have shown that insulin pumps can improve blood sugar control, with fewer low blood sugar episodes and better long-term control. Pumps also give you the freedom to vary what, when, or how much you eat by allowing insulin delivery rates to be adjusted for different times of day. With more than 35 years' technological development behind them, today's insulin pumps are relatively easy to use and convenient to carry.
Insulin delivery devices come in several forms. A traditional pump is a pager-sized computer device that can be clipped to the belt or a pocket and delivers insulin continuously to its user through a small tube, or cannula, which is inserted easily into the abdomen, buttocks, thigh, or arm and held in place by an adhesive dressing. A patch pump, sometimes called a "pod", adheres directly to the body without tubing.
The latest-model pumps have built-in dosage calculators that manage the complex diabetes math that you previously had to do yourself. This feature will enable you to program different basal insulin delivery rates for different times of the day, depending on changing needs. You can reduce the basal rate before exercise or change the rate at night to help prevent overnight lows.
These pumps can calculate how much insulin is still working from the previous bolus dose. Some manufacturers include such additional smart features as programmable reminders and alerts, information download capabilities that allow you to save information to a computer to keep a record, a carbohydrate database (containing carbohydrate amounts for many foods to eliminate guesswork), variety in styles of infusion sets, and child lockout features.
To learn more about what pumps can do, check out the websites of pump manufacturers: