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From Erie, Pennsylvania, USA:

My 72 year old brother, who has had type 1 diabetes for 35 years, is taking four shots of insulin per day, but it is not absorbing correctly. How much more absorption would an insulin pump give him? Is there a better alternative?


I would ask you how it was determined that the insulin was not being absorbed. The most common problem is the continuous use of a specific site for insulin injections. With time, this results in a buildup of fat. When the insulin is injected into this area, its absorption is significantly delayed. The increased area of fat is called lipohypertrophy. The hope is that other sites may be available so he might switch to an alternate site for injections.

Insulin pumps still require an area over the skin for insulin absorption. Because the area is continually used for three days, insulin is administered in a relatively small amount at any one time, and the pump uses only rapid-acting insulin, there are more reproducible effects on blood sugars. However, if large areas of lipohypertrophy are present, this may also effect absorption of insulin from an insulin pump as well.


Original posting 22 Aug 2003
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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