Eli reveals where the pump attaches to his body. He must rotate the site every three days to keep his body’s immune system from rejecting it.
An insulin pump is not an artificial pancreas. It doesn’t measure blood glucose or dose insulin according to the body’s needs. Instead, it delivers short-acting insulin—through a catheter placed under the skin—in two programmable ways.
First, basal insulin is dripped continuously over 24 hours, and keeps blood glucose levels in range between meals and overnight. This is what allows a teenager to sleep late. The basal insulin can be programmed to deliver different amounts at different times of the day and night, depending on activity or the body’s natural rhythms.
Secondly, the pump provides a bolus dose to cover carbohydrates at meals. A bolus is equivalent to a mealtime shot and is based on how much carbohydrates are eaten. The advantage is that the diabetic child doesn’t have to get a shot. He just sets the dose on his pump and it is automatically delivered. If he’s hungry a half hour later, or keeps grazing at a party, he can just count his carbs and give himself another bolus. If his blood sugar rises, he takes another bolus. One “shot” every three days is all he needs.
Insulin pump consultation
If you are interested in a pump consultation at Children's Diabetes Clinic, ask your doctor for a referral and call the Endocrinology department at (510) 428-3654.