Diabetes Treatment & Therapy

5 Best Insulin Pumps For Type 2 Diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes is a prevalent condition which disables your body from using insulin the way it is destined to be used. This is mainly because the body of type 2 diabetes patients is insulin resistant. Though this condition is quite common among middle-aged and older people, it is not uncommon to see type 2 diabetes in children and teenagers as well.

This condition is considered as one of the most common types of diabetes. People suffering from type 2 diabetes often have to endure multiple shots of insulin in a day to ensure that they have the right amount of control over the blood glucose levels.

Having to endure these multiple insulin shots in a day is not just painful but also quite tiresome and troubling. One of the best alternative to these multiple insulin shots is to opt for an insulin pump.

These handy pumps can help you in avoiding the multiple shots every day. In this post, find out all about what an insulin pump is, how it works, its advantages of insulin shots, some of the best insulin pumps available in the market today, and more.

What are Insulin Pumps?

Insulin pumps are computerized devices which are quite handy due to their small size. These insulin pumps usually come in the size of a small cell phone. It comes with a flexible tube with a needle attached on one of its end. 


This needle is inserted under your abdomen skin and secured with a tape. The insulin is administered through this the inserted needle.


Due to its compact size, you can easily attach the insulin pump on your belt, trousers, or even your bra. This makes it easy to keep the device concealed if you don’t wish to make the pump visible to others.

How do Insulin Pumps Work?

The insulin pumps are designed in such a way that it will administer the required amount of insulin continuously throughout the day, based on the plan programmed by the insulin pump user. The programmed plan can be easily changed or modified by the user based on their requirement.

With the help of just few buttons, you can easily increase or decrease the amount of insulin being administered at any particular time. The main unit of the insulin pump is the insulin reservoir which can contain 176 to 300 units of insulin.

The insulin pump can administer the insulin two ways:

Basal Rate

Bolus Dose

Type 2 diabetes patients using insulin pumps should monitor their blood glucose levels four times in a day.

There are also two different types of insulin pumps:

  • The traditional pump which comes with a tube which connects the pump and the cannula. All the controls are available on the pump.
  • A patch pump will wither have a tube or not and the pump is directly attached to the skin. You can control the pump through another wireless device.

Before finding out the various advantages of using an insulin pump and who is the best candidate for insulin pumps, take a look at some of the best insulin pumps available in the market today.

5 Best Insulin Pumps for Type 2 Diabetes

1

Medtronic: The Minimed 530G System

Minimed 530G System
  • This insulin pump uses SmartGuard Technology which enables the user to stop the administration of insulin for 2 hours if the blood glucose levels reach the low limit as preset by the user.
  • It can be used by anyone above the age of 16 years.
  • This pump will require you to change the tubing just once in two or three days.
  • You can get the readings on the pump itself.
  • The alerts sent during high or low levels will enable you to make the required adjustments.
  • You can easily track your sugar levels which will fluctuate based on what you eat and exercise.
  • One disadvantage is that the pump is not waterproof which means that you will need to remove it before undertaking any water activities like showering, swimming, etc.
  • 2

    Medtronic: Minimed 630G System

    Minimed 630G System
  • Just like the Minimed 530G System, this insulin pump also uses the SmartGuard Technology enabling the insulin pump wearer to stop the administration of insulin for couple of hours as required. It will react only to the low limit which has been preset by the user.
  • It comes with a color screen and auto-brightness.
  • You can customize the pump with the wide range of personalized skins.
  • This pump also requires you to change the tubing once in every two or three days.
  • The settings comes with an option for multiple insulin delivery.
  • Can be used by people above the age of 16 years.
  • Unlike the Minimed 530G System, this insulin pump is waterproof.
  • It comes with a Bluetooth handset which sends the blood sugar levels to the machine.
  • This pump also has an Airplane mode which comes in handy while travelling.
  • 3

    Insulet Corporation: Omnipod

    Omnipod
  • Currently, this is the only tubeless insulin pump available in the market.
  • It comes with a pod and Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM). This PDM helps the user to control the pod and the release of the insulin.
  • The pod comes with a lifetime of 72 hours.
  • It is travel-friendly as it just consists of two parts.
  • This pump is completely waterproof.
  • The pods come prefilled with insulin and you control it with the PDM.
  • The PDM comes with a color screen.
  • If in case you misplace the PDM, the pod will deliver only the basal program but not the bolus program.
  • 4

    Roche: Accu-Check Combo

    Check Combo
  • With a weight of 2.8 oz, this insulin pump is extremely lightweight when compared to other insulin pumps.
  • It has the capacity to hold 200 units of insulin.
  • The insulin pump is connected to a Bluetooth through which you can easily program the pump.
  • It uses pre-filled cartridges which can be difficult to change.
  • It does not come with any Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) capabilities.
  • Though the screen is tiny compared to other insulin pumps, it comes with a color screen and touch screen feature.
  • It provides advice on carb counting.
  • 5

    Tandem Diabetes Care: t: slim X2 

  • The t: slim insulin pump is considered to be one of the heaviest insulin pumps with a weight of 3.95 oz.
  • It comes with a reservoir of 300 units of insulin.
  • Like most of the other insulin pumps, it has a color display with touch screen feature.
  • It can calculate carbs for different types of carb intakes.
  • It is waterproof only up to a depth of 30 minutes which means that while you can wear it while showering, you will need to remove it while swimming and other such water activities.
  • It has a high quality design.
  • It comes with a micro USB cable to recharge the lithium polymer battery.
  • There are a number of other insulin pumps also available in the market and you can opt for the one which matches your requirements the best and suits your budget.

    Advantages of using an Insulin Pump

    Using an insulin pump has a number of advantages over getting multiple insulin shots in a day. Some of these advantages include:

    • Multiple shots in a day can tally up to 120 shots in a month whereas with an insulin pump, you will need to change the insertion set just 10-12 times in a month. This is one of the most beneficial advantages of using an insulin pump.
    • Switching to an insulin pump therapy offers you more flexibility in terms of your eating habits, especially during outings. With the help of just few buttons you can increase /decrease your insulin when you wish to eat or delay your meal. It offers you to chance to live a more spontaneous life.
    • Some medical practitioners suggest insulin pumps for type 2 diabetes patients as it acts more like your regular pancreases by slowly releasing the insulin.
    • Another key advantage is that you no longer have to worry about measuring the right amount of insulin in the syringes.
    • Since most of these insulin pumps come with CGMS, it helps in quickly indicating low levels of blood sugar, enabling the patient to quickly take the required action.
    • Some of these insulin pumps are technologically so advanced that they can often give you the required amount of insulin before you completely hit the low level.
    • The insulin pumps offer you the capability to program specific amount of doses at specific intervals of time, throughout the day.
    • Insulin pumps also help in reducing risk from complications such as nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, cardiovascular damage, etc. This has been clinically proven which showed that insulin pumps are better at reducing A1C as compared to the multiple insulin shots in type 2 diabetes patients.

    Disadvantages of using Insulin Pumps

    Just like every product out there in the market, the insulin pump also comes with its share of disadvantages. Some of these disadvantages are:

    • You will need to check your blood sugar levels more often while using an insulin pump Ideally, it is recommended to check your levels at least four times in a day.
    • There is a risk of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) if your insulin pump malfunctions or the needle comes out, especially when you are asleep. Though this risk has been minimized with the help of CGM which sends out an alarm, it is still a disadvantage which needs to be kept in mind if you are planning to switch to using insulin pumps.
    • Insulin pumps are not cheap at all and you will have to shell out quite a lot of money if you plan to go ahead with insulin pump therapy.

    Are you the Right Candidate for an Insulin Pump Therapy?

    If your answer is yes to any of the below questions, then you are the right candidate for an insulin pump therapy.

    • Are you taking three or more insulin shots in a day?
    • Apart from insulin, are you taking any other medications to control your diabetes?
    • Has your medical practitioner informed you that your blood sugar levels are not being controlled correctly?
    • Has your medical practitioner informed you that your A1C is elevated?
    • Are you finding it difficult to stick to your diabetes management insulin regime?

    Switching from your daily multiple insulin shots to an insulin pump is not an easy decision. It is recommended that you discuss it thoroughly with your doctor and opt for it only if it is completely in your best interest. Though the advantages of using an insulin pump outweighs its disadvantages, it can differ from patient to patient.

    If you are the right candidate, then you must definitely opt for an insulin pump as it can not only help you in controlling your blood glucose levels better, but also enable you to enjoy your life more freely.

    Dr. David J Thoreau is a Health professional born and bought up in Australia. He is a trained cardiologist and a passionate blogger too. David got involved in the medical field as a heart specialist at the start of 2000. But he never gave up on his passion and dedicated some time to study all the pieces of blogging along with the profession. Now he decided to devote the rest of his life to blogging. So he teamed up with the medical counsel, a complete and genuine health-related blog.

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