A medical device that is used to administer insulin to treat diabetes mellitus is known as an insulin pump. It is also known as continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy and is used as a continuous glucose monitoring system. It simply means, the device is used to manage diabetes and thus match the insulin levels of diabetes patients with their lifestyle, instead of getting painful insulin injections on a daily basis. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, U.K first endorsed the insulin pump in 2003. The latest insulin pumps come with new features that are simplifying the task of delivering insulin bolus.
Insulin pumps are beneficial for both type one and two diabetes patients, irrespective of their age. The catheter is placed under the skin so that insulin pumps can deliver rapid or short acting insulin for 24 hours. It functions through a systematic way of supplying basal insulin throughout the day and night to keep blood glucose levels steady between meals and sleep. During meals, the device can deliver the required amount of insulin which is needed to match the carbohydrates in each meal. This procedure is called as a bolus.
Increasing ageing population, rising ratio of obese people, sedentary lifestyle, bad diet, and various addictions such as smoking and alcohol consumption are responsible for diabetes not only among adults but also among children. In this scenario, insulin pumps are easy to use instead of getting injected multiple times. The delivery of small boluses is useful for diabetic infants. The device has growing support from doctors across the globe with a very less chance of malfunctioning or error. These factors are creating positive impact not only on the growth of insulin pumps but also on continuous glucose monitoring systems globally.
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However, there are certain factors that are creating obstacles to the growing popularity of insulin pumps. Insulin pumps are more expensive than insulin syringes and diabetes patients from economically weak backgrounds may not be able to afford expensive insulin pumps. Users may also experience allergic reactions including skin irritation due to excessive use of insulin pumps. Irrespective of these drawbacks, the use of insulin pumps is expected to expand in future owing to a rising diabetic population across the globe and also due to the need for painless options to monitor the glucose levels in blood.
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