Why Go Off The Pump?

I have noticed several mentions throughout this JDRF site of folks stopping pump theropy. This raised the question to me of why. Recently at a Dr appointment, I asked my endo if there might be any clinical trials I could be considered for. By my surprise, that same day I was speaking to a clinical trial nurse from Lilly. A new insulin, that could improve my numbers. WOW! But it would require a pump vacation for 1 year. This was a big turn off at first. I actually read the 40+ page disclaimer, and then talked to my loving wife. She stated, "Why would you want to go backwards?" That was really all I needed to hear. I have been a type 1 since 1966, and pumping since 2000. Ten years seems like a long time, but going back to injections just didn't seem to be a good experiment to become a part of. Maybe I am not seeing the forest through the trees, so I ask.

What would be the reasons why someone would stop using an Insulin Pump? One reason I am sure of would have to be around the all important expense factor. If anyone has additional reasoning, I am very curious.

Thanks to all, and may we all survive yet another day with serenity.


The costs are a big issue - but more than that - They are not as reliable as syringes and much more effected by environments we find our selves in. When you sweat, change, when you bath, change, when it pops loose, change. Lot of reasons to say it's not all it's made out to be. The formulas are no different, the calculations for amount of insulins are the same. Just a delivery method that does not justify the additional expenses. Jeff

I like using my pump ... I would say that it is NOT perfect and I don't use it when I go swimming or skiing.  But otherwise, I like mine.

I love my pump. I might be a bit opposite of Jeff because I found syringes far less consistent for me and didn't have problems with infusion sets coming off. I use Skin Tac if I think I'm going to be sweating a lot. I don't even mind it when I'm swimming (there's adhesive covers for that too). Different strokes for different folks.

But sometimes I feel trapped by the pump, and I just want a break. Something mental for me to just have something dangling off you or taped on you 24/7. I just want a few days break. I also don't like the pump when I'm at the beach in the summer because it shows easily and besides that, I want to keep my insulin cooler than I can walking around the beach.

I agree with Dennis.  It's just not to nice having the insertion site showing at the beach ... and I too like to take a break from time to time.  It does take more time than just sticking yourself - fill cartridge, change site, battery, tape, blah, blah ... but really, my control has improved to justify any inconvenience.

I stopped pumping because of a pancreas transplant (yeah!) but have heard many things from different folks. Some develop scar tissue from not rotating sites properly or just from being very sensitive. This affects absorption and control deteriorates. Others have a real mental hang up about being "attached". I would never have given up my pump due to the ability to make such tiny dose adjustments. I was very insulin sensitive.


I was a pumper but after a problem with the flu...then DKA....then ICU... I was forced to go off of it until everything went back to normal. For some reason I have much better control on MDI.


Are you not taking insulin anymore -- did the transplant work?

Great replys everyone. For me, the basal rates of Novolog have done wonders vs the old NPH, and even Lantus. But thats me. When I am at the beach, (as much as possible) I always have a small cooler with ice and drinks. When swimming, the pump comes off, and stays in the cooler. Whencatching a tan, the pump is in the cooler. I guess my biggest worry at the beach is the sand.

My wife gets more irritated by the CGM alarms that sometimes happen while sleeping. This actually motivates me to work harder at preventing those alarms. Motivation to do good with my diabetes has at times been an issue. As we all know, there are NO VACATIONS.

These replys have shed light on a topic that comes to mind now and again. Thanks to all


Scott, Yes, I am insulin free and have been for almost 4 years. It's wonderful. I've had some other health problems, but not having the diabetes to deal with is a huge time saver.


Jdole- Is the research study for a smart insulin?  If so, I'd try it.  It's actually a big step forward from the pump.  The smart insulins require one shot a day but are supposed to keep blood sugars completely normalized.  Started with a company called SmartCells but I think Merck bought rights to it this spring and were supposed to be starting clinical trials.  www.diabetesmine.com/.../smart-insulin-it-knows-what-youve-been-eating.html

Jeff- Insulin pumps provide superior insulin delivery to injections.  While fasting my body uses 6 different basal rates of insulin, anywhere between 0.6u and hour and 1.3.  Long acting insulins provide one steady basal rate (Lantus) or crazy roller coaster rates (NPH).  Also, with a pump I'll correct a mildly high blood sugar of 130.  Not going to take an extra shot to do that.  I can also dose in .10 of units.  Pumps and shots both have pros and cons and diabetics should choose what works best for them.  But you can't argue that shots provide the same level of dosing accuracy as pumps.  

Jenna - I did not argue the dosing accuracy of pumps, but since I started with a  defective pump - that might cause some of my issues with a pump, I  never came across a defective syringe that could not be readily replaced.

I know you had a frustrating experience.  It's hard enough transition to use the pump without having a defective one.  And I too have been "surprised" when my replacement pump covered under warranty by Minimed was a refurbished one.  

The pump definitely doesn't work for everyone.  That's cool that shots work for you.  

Take care.  -Jenna