In recent years an alternative to manual insulin injections has emerged. Enter the Insulin Pump. The first Insulin Pumps were quite bulky, but modern ones are about the size of a small Cellphone or Pager. The pump is worn unobtrusively on a belt or in a pocket and it delivers insulin through a thin plastic tube (or Infusion Set) that is inserted under the skin.
WHY AN INSULIN PUMP IS BETTER
In a healthy person, the pancreas produces insulin constantly at low levels, keeping blood glucose levels stable. When a meal is eaten, the pancreas will send larger amounts of insulin into the blood stream to handle the food. Using a standard injection regime, slow and fast acting insulin is used to try and mimic the pancreas. An insulin pump much more closely copies the pancreas. The pump delivers a low level of background insulin (called basal) and at meal times can deliver a "bolus" dose at the touch of a button, to cover the food.
Just like a real pancreas, if you are ill, or exercising, the basal insulin rate can be reduced. If you skip a meal, the bolus is not delivered. In this way, the pump fits into your lifestyle, rather than planning your life around your injection schedule!
CHOOSING AN INSULIN PUMP
Most "insulin pump" s on the market today have all the basic features. Choosing one is much like chosing a Cellphone, it is a mixture of personal taste and what you plan on using it for. If you are a water sports fan, waterproof ones area available! If you love analysing data to improve your control, you can get one with PC download capability and analysis software. If you are new to the world of Insulin Pumps, here are some key points to think about:
- Choose a pump that allows you to set up different basal levels. For instance at night time, if you are sick or exercising. This is an important feature to help you live a full life.
- Pumps that use a standard "Luer Lock" infusion sets are better. This means cheaper consumables.
- Alerts to remind you to check your blood glucose level make life easier.
- Check what batteries it takes, standard AA or AAAs are cheaper and easier to buy.
- More advanced pumps include a carbohydrate calculator to help you figure out what your meal Bolus dose should be.
- Coming to the market are integrated Insulin Pump/Glucose meters. The meters readings are automatically transferred to the pump which can use them to recommend an insulin dose.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q What if I don't get on with the pump, can I switch back to injections?
A Yes. It is not a one way ticket, but most people do notice an improvement in their blood glucose control and find their lives improved.
Q I have a really hectic lifestyle, is a pump for me?
A Yes. Infact people who are extremely busy often see the biggest improvement. If you struggle to remember to test and inject at the right time - perhaps meal times vary from day to day, then a pump could really help you.
Q I am considering a pump but may get pregnant, is that ok?
A Yes. As pumps usually improve your blood glucose control, using a pump through pregancy and beyond is generally a good thing. Having as close to normal blood glucose levels reduces the chances of complications during pregnancy.
Q What are the costs?
A The initial outlay is in the order of a few thousand dollars, but prices are coming down all the time. Infusion sets need changing regularly too. The latest prices can be found from various diabetes suppliers on the web.
You might be thinking "What's the connection between diabetes and the menopause?"Well, for ladies reaching that certain age, it can be very traumatic - especially when some of the effects experienced can easily be mistaken for those we have to be aware of when managing our diabetes...For a diabetic taking medication, keeping blood sugars at the right level is a balancing act. If sugar levels drop too low, because of not eating enough or at the right times, you suffer a hypoglycemia episode (sometimes called 'hypo' for short). For me, this usually manifests itself as shaking; irritability; sweating and a faint-headed feeling. If you are diabetic and have ever had low-blood sugar you may recognize some of these symptoms, amongst others. A quick 'glucose fix' usually settles it within 5-10 minutes.Now, compare that to some of the symptoms of starting the menopause; hot flushes [I call them 'power-surges' ;)] - similar to the sweats of a hypo; mood swings - akin to the irritability you might experience during a hypo. It's very easy to confuse the symptoms you are feeling.When I first started the menopause, I frequently confused waking at 2 a.m. in the morning in a cold sweat as a hypo and took a quick sugar boost to settle myself. That pushed my blood sugar levels up when I didn't need it. Not a good idea!It was only after visiting my Doctor to talk about these frequent, unexpected hypos I discovered I was starting the menopause (I was in my late 40s, so it was rather unexpected, normally it doesn't occur until early-to-mid 50s).If you are a lady, with diabetes controlled by medication, and you are in your early 50s and you start having frequent, unexplained hypos - check your sugar levels before 'treating the condition'. And get your Doctor to check your symptoms. You may be confusing symptoms of diabetes and the menopause.And guys; if your lady normally has great control of her diabetes and suddenly seems to be showing the same symptoms when she was getting her diabetes into balance (if you knew her then) please be supportive and understanding, she's going through one hell of an experience, but I promise, she will come through and be her normal, loving and charming self once again.
The researchers all over the world are busy trying to find out the exact methods to manage diabetes. For, diabetes has assumed the settled form of a dreaded disease, not sparing children, pregnant women, adults and the old. The aged persons are the worst sufferers because it destroys the strength in their body at a rapid pace.Scientists believe that environmental factors cause the immune system to destroy the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. When the insulin-producing cells are permanently destroyed, the only alternative for you is to provide insulin to the body through external resources such as injections! So, far no other remedy has been found!There are two types of diabetes. Type I and Type II.The former is incurable, and it will remain as your life-long partner- the most unreliable partner for that matter! Because many dreaded diseases are its likely companions. These dreaded companions will never shudder to attack you, should you be a bit less alert in taking care of your diabetes.Type II is curable, it is reported that 9 out of 10 cases are successfully treated. There are certain preconditions however! You must have control over your diet and indulge in regular exercising. Consumption of alcohol as well as smoking is thoroughly prohibited. Body Weight Check is your watchword!For type I, take 2 to 5 injections per day. Insulin has a dual function to play. It regulates both the blood sugar and the speed at which sugar moves into cells. But insulin is not to be treated as replacement for proper diet. The diet and exercise are the foundation stones for controlling diabetes. Insulin will have the favorable impact only after you take the necessary precautions.With course of treatment of type I Diabetes, no chance can be taken. It is always to be considered as a dreaded disease and should be treated and respected as such. Some of the symptoms of your laxity of treating type I diabetes are continuous need to urinate, excessive thirst, weakness, coupled with tiredness, urinary tract infections, blurred vision and numbness in the feet.If Type I diabetes is not treated and looked after properly, it is not a life and death situation, it is life or death, and chances for the later are more!
Believed to effect 1 in 400 cats, feline diabetes often presents itself with symptoms that are very similar to those found in humans. The good news is that "feline diabetes" is treatable and does not necessarily mean a shorter life span or lesser quality of life for cats. In many cases, early and effective treatment of feline diabetes may even lead to a complete remission, which means that a cat will not continue to need insulin injections.Early detection of feline diabetes is critical to a cats health. If left untreated, this illness can lead to weakness in the legs, malnutrition, dehydration and possibly even death. The symptoms of feline diabetes are gradual and may manifest themselves over a period of several weeks. Typically, feline diabetes if not found in cats that are under 7 years of age. The first signs are likely to be a sudden weight loss or gain. In addition, excessive drinking and urination may be accompanied by an sudden increase in, or loss of, appetite. The next symptom of feline diabetes may be the back legs growing increasingly weak.Once any of the aforementioned signs begin to surface, its time to take your pet to the veterinarian for the appropriate tests. If feline diabetes is confirmed, one of the most important treatment methods will be that of a well-balanced diet. Based upon your cats needs, the veterinarian will recommend a diet and nutrition plan, which can be utilized in addition to regular insulin injections. Oral medications are also often prescribed in place of injections, but pills are often thought to cause liver damage or possibly even a remission reversal in cats. Therefore, most pet owners opt for insulin injections for the most effective treatment of feline diabetes.While in treatment, it is important that cats be taken to the veterinarian for regular checkups and to monitor their health and dietary habits. If this illness is not treated properly or if their diet is not closely monitored, your pet may end up hospitalized. When dealing with [*_*], there is no room for error and pets must be closely supervised to make sure that they are eating right and gradually beginning to regain their strength.The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for the diagnosis or treatment of [*_*]. If necessary, individuals should take their pet to a licensed veterinarian for further information regarding [*_*], including a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Diabetes is more prevalent than ever and 95% of cases diagnosed are type 2 diabetes. Although for some the development of diabetes is inevitable, perhaps due to heriditery and other factors, for the vast majority it can be prevented by taking these 7 simple steps...Before diabetes type 2 becomes fully developed you go through a stage known as pre-diabetes. This is where you start to show some of the symptoms, which if ignored, can lead to full blown diabetes.Make these 7 action points part of your daily routine and you could stop this disease happening to you:1) If you are overweight you risk developing diabetes. Reduce the amount of food on your plate so you gradually eat less and start to lose weight. Drink a glass of plain water or a sugar-free drink before your meal to take the edge of any hunger pains.2) Reduce the amount of fat you are eating; grill or bake foods instead of frying; use low-fat spreads and reduced fat meals.3) Check the Glycemic Index of the food you are eating - knowing what each food contains helps maintain your blood-sugars, which in turn can prevent the full onset of diabetes. 4) Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. If you keep a bottle of water with you and sip frequently you'll be surprised how much you do drink throughout the day.5) If you are feeling peckish choose a healthy snack rather than a chocolate bar.6) Use skimmed rather than full-fat milk in hot drinks.7) Exercise is good for health. But if you are not use to exercise then start in moderation. 15 minutes gentle walking each day will ease you into a regular exercising pattern. All of these action points are also the ones that diabetics are advised to take - if you take them now you might possibly prevent irreparable damage to your health.