Myth vs reality: Insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors
Today, Amanda Griswold from the Customer Experience Team here at Medtronic joins us to talk about questions that people commonly have before going on an insulin pump and/or continuous glucose monitor (CGM). What are some questions you had before trying a pump/CGM and how do you feel now?
When first thinking about insulin pump therapy or continuous glucose monitoring, did you have questions or thoughts of what it might be like and how it would work? Maybe you were concerned about what the change in therapy would be like? Even though you may wear the pump and/or CGM, you still might not have all of the answers. Maybe friends ask you questions, and you're never sure how to answer. Today, we look at a few misconceptions or myths people associate with the pump and CGM, and we tell you the real answers.
Myth: I don't know a lot about technology, so I could never use an insulin pump
Reality: You know how the latest and greatest cell phone has functions varying from dialing a basic phone number to using an advanced app? That's the way the pump can be, where you learn the necessary ways to use it in the beginning and one day you might want to begin to talk to your healthcare provider about utilizing the more advanced features. Wearing a pump can be simple. Using a pump is often as easy as entering your blood sugar and meal information and pressing enter. Your pump even does the work of keeping track of your insulin, so you don't need to write anything down.
Myth: If I wear the pump, everyone will know that I have diabetes
Reality: Using a pump can be as public or private as you want. Since insulin pumps are about the same size as cell phones, wearing a pump can be very discreet. You can put your pump underneath your clothes or wear it on the outside of your clothes, depending on how noticeable you want it to be. The good news, it's completely up to you where you want to wear it!
Myth: You still have to do shots with a pump, and it's painful
Reality: What you feel when injecting insulin with a needle is similar to inserting an infusion set. However, with a pump you have a dramatic reduction in needlesticks - from 3 to 4 injections per day with multiple daily injections to only 1 needlestick when inserting an infusion set every 3 days with a pump. Learn more here.
Myth: Wearing an insulin pump will interfere with daily activities
Reality: Insulin pumps can be easily worn on or under your clothes very securely. There are a variety of cases and clips available to wear with your pump. The pump can also be disconnected from your body for up to an hour for activities like swimming, showering, exercise and other activities you enjoy, so it won't stop you from living your life.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Myth: If I go on CGM, it will replace my fingerstick tests
Reality: CGM therapy today does not completely replace fingerstick testing. Since sensor readings are taken from your interstitial fluid (fluid surrounding the cells in your tissue) and not your blood, you still need to test using a BG meter. This is required to calibrate the sensor throughout the day, to make sure the glucose sensor maintains accuracy over time and always when deciding whether or not to make a treatment decision. Learn more here.
Myth: Readings on my sensor should always match the readings on my meter
Reality: It is important to note that sensor glucose readings are taken from your interstitial fluid (fluid surrounding the cells in your tissue) whereas fingerstick tests are taken directly from your blood. There is a natural lag between glucose levels in the interstitial fluid and glucose levels in the blood. Therefore, it's normal, and should be expected, for your sensor glucose readings and BG readings to be different but for the most part they should be close. Learn more here.
Myth: I want CGM but I don't want to use an insulin pump, so it's not for me
Reality: Although an integrated insulin pump and CGM work very well together and are convenient, if you're not ready for pump therapy and are on multiple daily injections, you can use a stand-alone CGM device like the Guardian REAL-Time System to help manage your glucose levels. Learn more here.
Myth: Wearing CGM will give me information overload
Reality: With alerts, graphs, and sensor glucose readings occurring evrey 5 minutes, it may seem like your CGM devices give a lot of information at first, but with the right product training and an explanation of how to use the information, you will have the tools to help you take control of your glucose management. Incorporating CareLink Personal Software into your management routine brings together critical information from your insulin pump, CGM, and more than 25 of the most popular blood glucose meters allowing you and your diabetes team to view that information in a meaningful way and make therapy adjustments when needed. Work closely with your diabetes team at the beginning to make sure your needs are met, and over time you will gain the expertise to help fine tune your glucose management. Learn more here.
Note: Medtronic offers CGM products for adults as well as for children ages 7 and above.
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 MedtronicDiabetes.com/isi.