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From America On-Line:

I have an 11 year old son who was diagnosed with diabetes several months ago. We are considering pump therapy. I would like to make sure that there are definite benefits of this before learning something new. He has had pretty good blood sugar tests and blood tests. He is very motivated about doing what is right for his health now and in the future. Does pump therapy help prevent future complications and make life easier on a day to day basis?


I am pleased that you are motivated as a family to take good care of yourson's diabetes. At 11, no matter what the treatment, you, as parents are critical.

How are you managing the diabetes now: 2, 3 or 4 shots a day? How many glucose tests: 4,5 or 6?

What is the Hemoglobin A1c? At only 6 months after diagnosis, I expect it should still be pretty good, in the 7's if normal is about 6. Many will have them in the 6's.

How much insulin is he taking? Again, during the honeymoon, the total daily dose may be much less than .5 unit per kg of body weight.

What about hypos?

How active is he, sports, etc. The pump can be a part of the athlete's equipment, but you have to plan.

To use a pump, you must be committed to measuring glucoses before each meal and determining the dose of insulin to give. I also give insulin if the snack has significant (15g) of carbs. You must also determine the basal dose (this replaces the NPH or Lente or Ultralente insulin). The benefit of the pump is that you can give differing doses of basal insulin at different times of the day and night.

An alternative is the insulin pen where you give Humalog before meals and NPH at bedtime.

The pump is more expensive than other methods: there's the cost of the pump itself and the disposable parts, syringes and catheters.

Many diabetes centers can let your son wear a pump with saline for a few days to see if you both like having it around. That might give you a sense of the hassle/reward ratio.


Original posting 25 Jul 1998
Posted to Insulin Pumps


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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