A popular alternative, especially for teenagers, to daily insulin injections is to use an
insulin pump. Although it is an alternative for everyone because of the high cost of the
unit and having to wear it 24 hours per day for others it can help in successfully
managing juvenile diabetes.
An insulin pump is worn all the time and provides a steady stream of fast-acting insulin
instead of a combination of fast-acting and long-lasting insulin that is typically combined
in a syringe. If your child is has to have multiple needles in a day this is also an attractive
Wearing an insulin pump provides greater flexibility; there is no specific injection and
eating times that have to be met. But eating at similar times each day is still
recommended. One of the best features of wearing an insulin pump is the ability to bolus
– giving additional fast-acting insulin immediately before eating a meal or a snack by
pressing one of the buttons on the pump. This method can prevent spikes in blood sugar
by providing a boost of insulin when it is needed most.
Some of the downsides of a pump are the expense. The unit itself is not cheap and you
have to still buy the insulin and supplies to go with it. And it has to be worn all the time
with the exception of bathing or swimming. But you and your child will have to weight
the pros and cons of a pump and see what they want to have in the end.
The same amount of effort is still needed to keep blood sugars in control but having an
insulin pump can be more convenient by not having to worry about insulin injections. An
insulin pump will also keep a steady stream of insulin in the body overnight when blood
sugars can sometimes spike.