Insulin Pumps: Pros & Cons Of The Hybrid Closed Loop System

Updated: Jun 6




Insulin pumps are a great way to manage diabetes. But what is an insulin pump and how can it help you? Keep reading this article to find out if you should get an insulin pump for your diabetes.


At the beginning of 2013, the first-ever Hybrid Closed Loop (HCL) pump was approved in Europe by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Since then, Medtronic has also released their hybrid insulin pump for both children and adults although it is currently only approved for people with type 1 diabetes.


What Is An Insulin Pump?

An insulin pump is a small computer that is worn on a belt or in a pocket. The pump connects to an infusion set, which consists of a catheter (a thin tube) inserted under the skin and an external device that controls the flow of insulin into your body. The infusion set allows you to deliver insulin at regular intervals throughout the day without having to use multiple injections or pens.

Pumps are also able to program customized basal rates, which can mimic normal physiological functions such as eating and sleeping, making it easier for people with diabetes who have complex schedules and lifestyles.



Woman with Insulin Pumps
Insulin Pumps


How Does The Hybrid Closed Loop System Work?

The hybrid closed-loop system is a combination of the insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor. It's meant to help people with type 1 diabetes achieve better blood sugar levels by delivering insulin at just the right time. The system works as follows:

  • The user wears an insulin pump that delivers basal (background) insulin through a catheter inserted into the abdomen like in traditional MDI therapy;

  • A glucose sensor is attached to the body and measures interstitial fluid every five minutes;

  • The data from this sensor is sent wirelessly via Bluetooth or WiFi to either your smartphone or cloud storage; -An algorithm calculates how much additional bolus (bolus) insulin should be delivered based on current blood glucose levels;




The Pros Of Using An Insulin Pump

An insulin pump is a device that delivers small amounts of insulin through a tube, called an infusion set, under your skin. It's connected to the pump via tubing (usually a short piece is inserted into your abdomen). This makes it possible for you to control your blood glucose levels more easily than with multiple daily injections.

A number of factors make insulin pumps attractive.





The Cons Of Using An Insulin Pump

While insulin pumps are a great tool for managing diabetes, they aren't a cure. They can't replace healthy eating habits and exercise, nor do they work miracles. So if you're looking for a magical solution to your problems with diabetes, an insulin pump might not be the best choice for you.

The pump is also not an alternative to sleep or good health. You should still get enough rest and make sure that you eat healthy meals on a regular basis in order to keep your blood sugar levels under control.


How To Use An Insulin Pump

Learning how to use an insulin pump may seem daunting at first, but it’s actually pretty simple. You don't need any previous experience with pumps or diabetes—just follow these steps:

  • Learn how to inject insulin. This will become your primary method of delivery for all your basal and bolus shots for the rest of your life.

  • Check blood glucose levels with a meter and glucometer. If needed, adjust delivery settings on the pump using its touchscreen display or remote control device (if available).


Should You Get An Insulin Pump?


Getting rid of needles can be an amazing experience and may be worth the additional cost of an insulin pump. However, this isn't always the case—some people have found that they prefer using syringes over pumps because they can control their dose more easily and don't have as many parts to clean.

If you are unsure of whether or not to get an insulin pump, it is important to talk with your doctor. If you have a family history of diabetes, it is especially important that you discuss the option with them. The same goes if you are a parent who wants to protect their child from diabetes.




If you have diabetes and are struggling to manage your blood glucose levels, an insulin pump could be the best option for you.

If you have diabetes and are struggling to manage your blood glucose levels, an insulin pump could be the best option for you.

An insulin pump is a small device that can be worn on the body and delivers insulin through a small tube. The pump can be programmed to deliver insulin automatically, so you don't have to worry about calculating the correct dose.

There are two types of pumps: the hybrid closed loop system or hybrid open loop system. The "hybrid" refers to when the patient still has some control over their doses but it's limited by what the smart device tells them is appropriate at any given time.



Conclusion

We hope we’ve given you a better understanding of the pros and cons of insulin pumps. If you have any other questions or concerns, there are lots of helpful resources out there to help you learn more about using an insulin pump. We also recommend talking to your doctor or health care provider if you have specific needs related to your diabetes management.






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