Do all insulin pumps check blood glucose levels?
I (hopefully) will be getting an insulin pump on Monday (yay!) and was wondering if all models automatically check blood sugar levels every 5 minutes or whatever, or if that's not standard. Might I still have to stick my finger to check my levels every day?
- micksmixxxLv 710 years agoFavorite Answer
Unfortunately, dear lady, pumps by themselves don't test your blood glucose levels. That only happens if you have them attached to a CGMS (Continuous Glucose Monitoring System), and they are very expensive. (It's another attachment that needs to be inserted subcutaneously, and needs to be changed every few days. I'm not sure how expensive they work out at in the United States, but when I was using them, over here in the UK, they cost approximately £50 each. At today's exchange rate, that's got to be in excess of $70 each.)
Do you want some more bad news? I'm afraid, whilst the pump is new to you, you're going to have to test your blood glucose levels more frequently. This is because pumps only use fast-acting insulins, and there's a greater danger of you having hypoglycaemic [hypoglycemic] attacks. It would also be safer for you to purposely wake yourself up during the night to test, at least until you're sure that your blood glucose isn't dropping unexpectedly.
I know it sounds like I'm painting a black picture of pump use, but really I'm not. In fact, if anyone were to try taking my pump away from me I'd fight them to the death ... and I've been using one for approximately 12 years now.
I'm sure that once you're used to your new pump you'll find it such a wonderfully liberating thing to have.
I wish you well, dear lady.
- 10 years ago
I really like the one answer to this question. It is an educated and sensitive response which is uncommon in this forum. As the other individual stated insulin pumps do not monitor blood glucose levels. Also as the other individual stated there is a continuous glucose monitoring device which is inserted under the skin and offers as the name suggests continuous glucose readings. In my experience in the US these devices are not expensive but it is also true that we lack medical studies that demonstrate that continuous monitoring improves outcomes. Again as the other individual stated you will still need to monitor your glucose levels even if you have a continuous glucose monitor. I suspect that within the next 10 years micro-chips implanted under the skin will be available for routine usage. They are in studies and the technology is not very complicated. Early evidence suggests that this information may be more useful than the present continuous glucose monitoring systems available but of course that is 10 years away if it comes into common usage at all. I assume that if you are getting an insulin pump that you are a type 1 diabetic. Such individual's are at a greater risk for diabetic complications for a variety of reasons. A trial called DCCT which has had 2 follow-up studies looking at 'tight' control of type 1 diabetes finds benefit. This means that unfortunately you are likely to need 4 to 6 blood glucose readings daily. I am very sorry that you have diabetes but I must say that the treatment options today exceed what I ever expected to see during the course of my lifetime. Insulin pumps use modern analog insulins such as lispro and aspart. With these insulins the probability of controlling diabetes is better than ever before but this level of control is dependent upon frequent blood glucose readings. I am sorry that I must agree with the other respondent and I will be pleased to be of further assistance if you require it. I wish you the very best of health and in all things may God bless.
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- MargaretLv 44 years ago
Actually it's normal if it goes up. Your body needs glucose for energy when it works out so your liver pumps more of it into your bloodstream to be used by the muscles. And if you have low insulin at the time the insulin can't store the extra glucose that isn't being used for exercise so the glucose kind of backs up a little. Jumping up by 10 isn't that bad, I would start worrying if it jumped up to like 140 or something like that.
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