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Insulin Pumps

Source: The American Diabetes Association Complete Guide To Diabetes

Insulin pumps have come a long way in recent years. These nifty devices are miniature, computerized pumps, about the size of a call-beeper, that you can wear on your belt or in your pocket. A pump sends a steady, measured amount of insulin through a piece of flexible plastic tubing to a small needle that is inserted just under the skin and taped in place. This way of delivering insulin is called continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion, or CSII. At your command, the pump can also send a surge, or bolus, of insulin into your body. You will do this just before eating to adjust for the rise in blood glucose to come after eating.

If you use insulin frequently, you have probably thought about getting an insulin pump from time to time. But maybe it seemed too costly or inconvenient. Maybe you didn’t like the idea of being hooked to a machine or changing your diabetes care routine so abruptly. Now is the time for a second look. Pumps today weigh less than four ounces, so they are easy to wear. You can remove the pump for an hour or two for special occasions and still maintain glucose control.  At $3,000 to $5,000, the cost of a pump is high. But with a doctor’s prescription, and persistence on your part, some insurance companies will pay for all or part of it.