backup og meta

Insulin Pump Pros And Cons: Is It Right for You?

Medically reviewed by Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Mar 14, 2022

    Insulin Pump Pros And Cons: Is It Right for You?

    Anyone with diabetes, regardless of their age or what type of diabetes they have, undergoes several kinds of treatment and maintenance management to control their blood sugar levels. As the hormone responsible for regulating glucose in the body, insulin is sometimes needed. However, not all diabetics are inclined to reach for insulin pens and injectables, especially those who need higher doses of insulin on a daily basis. This is why an insulin pump becomes an  alternative. 

    What Is an Insulin Pump?

    An insulin pump is a portable, wearable device similar in size to a beeper. It is a machine that transmits and delivers a steady supply of insulin to the body on a prearranged schedule. It helps many individuals administer the respective dosages accordingly and appropriately at a given timeframe. 

    Types of Insulin Pumps

    There are two different types of pumps to choose from:

    • Traditional Insulin Pump: The traditional version  is comprised of three main parts, which are the pump, the tubing, and the infusion set, which can either be angled or straight. The smaller thin flexible tubing (cannula) is used to administer the insulin flow and pump it to the desired skin attachment. The body of the pump also provides you with buttons, enabling you to set your own insulin administration before and after meals, the specific basal rates types, and, even the option to interrupt the infusion when needed. 
    • Insulin Patch Pump: This specific type is enclosed in a small case with the following main parts: the reservoir or the container, the pumping mechanism, and the self-adhesive infusion set, which the patient should wear or stick to the body. A second device controls the patch pump remotely, allowing regular insulin delivery before, during, and after meals depending on the doctor’s prescription.

    There are also a variety of pumps available with extra features that may better help you with the infusion process. Some have systems with the continuous glucose monitor built in, while others provide wireless control.

    Other notable user specifications for other styles and brands of this handheld device are:

  • Controllable functions through the touchscreen
  • Water resistance
  • Alarms and updates to schedule reminders
  • Customizable bolus settings
  • How to Use an Insulin Pump

    It is relatively easy to use an insulin pump even if you’re going to administer the infusion yourself. 

    The device supplies the body’s required insulin dosage in either of these two ways:

    • Basal insulin provides small but sustained doses of insulin.
    • Bolus insulin releases insulin right before meals.

    The pump calculates how much bolus insulin you need based on the information you enter for your food intake and blood sugar levels. After that, the pump will then suggest a bolus dose and will wait for your consent before administering the infusion. Other pumps automatically alter the baseline doses depending on the glucose levels measured on the attached continuous glucose monitor. 

    Take note, it is still important to monitor your blood sugar levels from time to time before operating this device.

    Pros of Using an Insulin Pump

    More often than not, patients with Type 1 diabetes consider these pumps to be a better option than insulin pens or injections. Take note of the following advantages:

    • Fewer  injection prickings
    • Consistent and programmable insulin administration
    • Greater control over the different basal rates throughout the day
    • Flexibility in terms of food intake and movement 
    • Improvement in the control of blood sugar levels
    • Reduced risk of serious complications and other comorbidities

    Cons of Using an Insulin Pump

    Despite all the benefits, there are a few considerations. 

    • More costly than the typical insulin pens/injections
    • Risk for skin infections (especially on the attachment site)
    • Frequent checking and testing of blood sugar levels throughout the day
    • The steep learning curve in terms of usability and functionality
    • Repair for pumps and tubings over time

    Key Takeaway

    Most people find using an insulin pump a convenient and effective alternative to administer insulin. If you want to learn more about this device, consult your doctor. 

    Learn more about Diabetes here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Mar 14, 2022

    advertisement iconadvertisement

    Was this article helpful?

    advertisement iconadvertisement
    advertisement iconadvertisement