To pump or not?

I have had diabetes for about six and a half years now and lately my health care team has been urging me to go on an insulin pump.


My A1C has been consistently high ever since about a year after giving birth to my daughter a little over three years ago. I did manage to get it down from where it was the last time and feel like I am getting better control, just not good enough to be where I should be. I am leary of going on a pump as I am EXTREMELY insulin resistant and the possibility of weight gain really scares me. 

Any help or information?!?!?

Read "Pumping Insulin" by John Walsh and look online for youtube videos about insulin pumps.  They have a few minor drawbacks, but provide superior dosing, better blood sugars, and allow for so much freedom.  I did shots for 25 years and have pumped for 9.  Would never go back.

On the pump most people use less insulin than with shots.  The larger pumps hold 300 units for 3 days.  If you use more insulin than that you can change the pump infusion sites more often.  

Getting your blood sugars down may cause weight gain.  All the extra glucose in your blood isn't getting to your body's cells, but is instead being cleaned out by the kidneys and urintated out.  So you're not absorbing a lot of those extra calories.  While it seems like a good diet trick, the extra glucose makes your blood thicker and causes all the nasty complications of diabetes.  You'll feel better and look better when blood sugars are lower.  With a pump I rarely have low blood sugars anymore, so it's nice to not have to eat a bunch of extra calories treating lows.  

Thank you for the information. I have researched pumps a lot in the last year, both reading and watching videos.

I spoke with my diabetes nurse the other day with regards to my weight concerns and she said typically people will lose weight with the pumps as amount of insulin used is actually decreased, I am just not sure about that.

My blood sugars are not that high that it causes me to lose weight (my last A1C was just below 8). My weight has been steady for the last two years, even when I have had high blood sugars which would make most people lose weight. The only time I see any fluctuations in weight are when I have to change dosing or if I have more lows than usual but this will only last for a week or so and then with my exercise it will go back to what it was before. The reason why I am more concerned about the potential weight gain is that I had a bad experience shortly after being diagnosed, my diabetes Dr changed my long acting from Humulin N to Lantus which caused me to gain 50lbs in less than a month (approx 90lbs in 7 months total time)!!!!!

And that weight gain was not caused from good control, my blood sugars were constantly going higher and higher so my insulin doses were doing the same, no matter how much exercise I got and I was also on a very strict diet at that time as well, so that experience alone makes me very apprehensive to go ahead with getting on a pump.

If you're curious about it and have insurance, you could just try the pump.  You can always go back to shots if you don't like it.  

With a pump think most  people experience a 20% drop in insulin needs.  Mine was more... with shots I used more than 60 u a day and with the pump I use around 40 and have a much better A1c.  

One think I love about the pump is that you can easily skip meals with no problems.  Makes it easier to just eat when you're hungry.  Good luck making your decision.

That is what I was thinking of doing, I do have insurance but I am not sure if it covers any of the cost of an insulin pump. Some of the pump manufacturers also offer a compassionate use program to help out with the costs not covered by insurance and for people with no insurance.

That is good to know about the drop in use of insulin. I am currently taking approx 75u of insulin per day.

The fact that I could skip meals and just eat when I am hungry would be a bonus of the pump, thats for sure.

I actually lost weight when I went on my pump, because I could choose when and how much I ate. I would never go back to shots. It is so much easier. I couldn't imagine being in college without my pump, and I'm sure you're daughter is keeping you very busy as well. I use between 50 and 70 units of novolg a day with my pump and change it ever three days with very few problems. I've used both minimed and animas and I would recommend either it just depends on what features you want. Good luck =)

About how much insulin were you using when you were doing shots? I am using about 75u on a daily average. I would love the freedom of just eating when I want with out having to worry about anything!!! I eat pretty much how much I want now (i do my Humalog by carb count) which is nice when going out for a meal or just want to have a bit more carbs than normal!!! My daughter does keep me very busy that's for sure!!! It would be nice to have a CGM as then when I am doing activities with her, I wouldn't have to worry so much about going low or even have to stop to test :)

Thank you for your information :)

Greetings Alisha

The pump has been the greatest diabetes advancement I have experienced over the past 45 years of living life with Diabetes. The freedom to eat when you can/want, and the improved a1c's are a great bonus. Being a man, weight gain may not be as important to me. It's been almost 12 years with a pump, and 3 years with a CGM. Life is good. Good luck with your decission!! :-)

Happy March 1st.