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Debunking 6 Myths Of Insulin Pump Therapy

Jessica Miller | The LOOP BlogThere are some common myths about insulin pump therapy, and if you’re thinking about pumping, it’s important to gather all your facts before making a decision to start. We asked Registered Dietitian and Medtronic Diabetes Educator of three years, Jessica, to debunk some of these myths for us and provide you with a better picture of what insulin therapy is all about. Jessica loves every minute of her job being able to help people get improve their diabetes management with technology. She works in the Queens area of NY, is a mother to an adorable 18 month old girl, and wife to an amazing husband.

When I initially took this opportunity to work for Medtronic Diabetes, my husband, family, and friends (all naïve to the idea of insulin pump therapy) were thinking…”Insulin pumps? Are they huge? How do they work?”

These days, you can pretty much Google anything and find out way too much information, some of which is probably not true. That’s what I’m here to help with. What are the common myths about insulin pump therapy, and what is actually true? It’s important to gather all your facts before making a decision to start insulin pump therapy. So here we go – TRUE or FALSE!

Myth #1: Pumps are huge and bulky

Reality: Insulin pumps are not huge and bulky. In fact, they are smaller than most cell phones these days. Insulin pumps can be attached to your belt, put in your pocket, and for some women, clipped to their bras. There are many ways to conceal the pump, and in time, you’ll find different ways to wear it that work for you, your outfits, and your activities. MiniMed Ambassadors Cindy and Kelly share how they wear their insulin pumps for various occasions you might find helpful. Most of the time when I’m with a long time pumper and ask to see their pump, they cannot even find it on their body!

Myth #2: I’m going to be attached to something forever

Reality: With the Medtronic insulin pump, you have the freedom to temporarily disconnect from your pump for up to an hour for activities such as swimming, showering, and intimacy. In fact, you should avoid getting your pump wet, so always disconnect from your pump and reconnect after you’re out of the water. Be sure to monitor your BG while you’re disconnected from your pump. If you’re going to disconnect from your pump for longer than one hour, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider for the insulin adjustments you’ll need when you’re disconnected.

Myth #3: The pump needs to be implanted or installed into me

Reality: I hear this one ALL the time. The infusion set that attaches to your body is plastic and it contains a small, flexible plastic cannula that is placed under the skin and changed every 2-3 days. There is NO surgery involved in getting an insulin pump and it is not permanent.

Myth #4: I need to be smart and tech savvy to use an insulin pump

Reality: I hear this one all the time too. My response, “Can you operate an ATM machine? A remote control? A cell phone?” We like to keep it simple- you don’t use all of the features on your phone or in your car, and you may not use all of them on your pump either! Successfully managing your glucose levels with a pump is often as easy as entering the BG and meal information—then pressing enter. Your pump will even do the work of keeping track of insulin, so there’s no need to write anything down. We teach you how and what you’ll need to use on your pump, will practice with you before you start your insulin, and are always available if you have any questions along the way. Also of note, the pump only has 5 buttons to learn!

Myth #5: Insulin pumps are expensive

Reality: Don’t let cost deter you. Insulin pump therapy is affordable for many families, as pumps and supplies are typically covered completely or mostly by your insurance. We contract with more than 600 health plans nationwide, which is very comprehensive. We also offer payment plans and financial assistance to those who meet certain requirements, so I encourage you to reach out to your local Medtronic representative to check your insurance benefits before making a decision.

Myth #6: I have type 2 diabetes and insulin pumps are made for people with type 1 diabetes

Reality: Many insulin-requiring people with type 2 diabetes use an insulin pump and have great success. I work with many patients with type 2 diabetes, and many of them say to me, “I can’t believe I waited so long to try the insulin pump!” It is not a last resort, but simply a different and, for many, a more effective way to deliver insulin.

So what do you think? An insulin pump is a great tool to help you better manage your diabetes. With Medtronic, you receive superior education, customer support, and commitment to helping you live a healthier and more fulfilling life!

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.

– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.

– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems

– The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.

– Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

For more information, please visit http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information.

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