From Gothenburg, Sweden:
I'm 18 years old and have had Type 1 diabetes for eight years, treated with insulin. Now I'm getting tired of taking shots so I was thinking about changing to an insulin pump.
I also have problems with sugar in the urine. It's always high, no matter how high or low the blood sugar is. Could a pump be the solution to that? How is it with a pump on the summer when you're taking a swim? What pump would you recommend?
Please read the information at this web site about insulin pumps. I think you'll find it very helpful.
In general, I would not recommend a pump unless you are willing to do "more" and not "less" in your diabetes care. Very careful blood glucose monitoring is required to make the most of your pump, and to check that everything is working okay. As there is no long-acting insulin involved, you can go into diabetic ketoacidosis in a few hours if the flow of insulin to your body is interrupted. The pump is also more expensive. Also consider how it will feel to have this device on you and visible to others.
Not to sound like such a pessimist--the pump may be just the thing for you if the above warnings don't deter you. It can offer you more freedom in your routine, and some people find the regimen to give them more predictable blood sugars. For swimming, you can disconnect the pump. If you decide to use a pump, make sure a diabetes team with experience in the insulin pump is available to help you.
[Editor's comment: This Question and the Answer have drawn some very strong responses from parents of kids on insulin pumps, indicating their beliefs that the feelings expressed are a bit on the negative side.
These writers correctly point out that some highly motivated kids (with highly motivated parents, and support systems in place) can do very well on pumps. But the point of this question is that people who are looking for a quick fix (see the comment that "Now I'm getting tired of taking shots so I was thinking about changing to an insulin pump") are not going to find it by wishful thinking, nor by using pumps. WWQ]
Original posting 4 Dec 97
Editor's comment added 8 Dec 97
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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