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Question:

From Michigan, USA:

I am a 16 year old diabetic and am interested in getting a insulin pump. I have heard many stories of how the pump has helped people. I am very active. I am going to be on the swim team at my high school and I am currently in soccer. Does activity preclude the use of an insulin pump?

Answer:

If you are interested in using an insulin pump, you should sit down and speak with your doctor and/or diabetes team. The use of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy with an insulin pump requires even more attention then intensive insulin therapy using multiple injections. You should decide whether pump therapy would really provide "better control" for you than other methods of intensive therapy. If you are motivated, intelligent, if you have good judgement when it comes to making decisions and if you feel comfortable in social settings, then the pump may be the way to go for you.

There there are pros and cons of pump therapy: Here are some of them.

Pros: With a pump lying at the beach on a beautiful day won't affect the quality of your insulin. There are pumps that are waterproof so you can wear it in a pool. There are other pumps that have water proof cases that you can wear in the water for swimming and other water sports. There is more flexibility in your life with the pump. Meals don't have to be as on schedule as with other ways to manage your diabetes. You can raise or lower the hourly amount of insulin to adjust to exercise. You don't have to carry syringes and insulin with you every where you go. You can take extra doses (called a "bolus") when needed for extra food and you don't have to take an injection.

Cons: The pump should be disconnected for contact sports. Having hardware stuck to your body all the time can become annoying. It is not cheap. You can get infections at the needle site.

There is a lot to think about when choosing which way to go. Make sure you think about it after you have sat down and discussed it with your doctor and/or diabetes team, before you come to any decision.

PL

Original posting 26 Jun 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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