Results of Our Insulin Pump Survey

| Jun 21, 2007

The results of our pump survey are in, and we had 841 respondents! Clearly, people are passionate about pumping, both pro and con. In fact, they seem to be more passionate about pumping than about sex, judging by the far greater response we got to this survey than we did to our survey about women and sex!

There were many many comments made, as well as many worthwhile suggestions about how to improve pumps. Those comments will be brought to you in a follow-up article in our next issue. Now, to the results.

Pumper Particulars

Six hundred and eight of those surveyed are on the pump, and 233 use multiple daily injections. Fifty-one percent of pumpers use Novolog in their pump; 43 percent use Humalog; four percent use Apidra; and one percent use Regular. Forty-four percent bolus when they eat. Thirteen percent bolus after they eat; eleven percent bolus ten minutes before eating; and one percent bolus thirty minutes before they eat. Thirty-two percent bolus depending on their blood sugar reading.

Thirty-six percent of pumpers check their blood sugar five to six times a day. Twenty-eight percent check seven to eight times daily; twenty percent check more than nine times a day; and fourteen percent check three to four times a day. Two percent check only one to two times daily.

When calculating their insulin dose, 84 percent of pumpers estimate their carbs and dose accordingly. Twelve percent weigh their food exactly and calculate very carefully, but five percent just guess and wing it.

Eighty-six percent of pumpers feel that they are in better emotional shape since going on the pump.

Thirteen percent use a continuous glucose monitor in addition to a pump. Of those who don't, 57 percent don't use a CGM because they can't afford one. Thirteen percent don't want anything else attached to them, and five percent don't think it would help them.

Fifty-one percent of pumpers have experienced a pump malfunction, but only thirty percent worry about the possibility of a malfunction. Fourteen percent have had a problem with crimping of their infusion set.

Seventeen percent think that a pump is more work than multiple daily injections, but 83 percent don't. Forty-four percent wish their pump had additional features. Their suggestions regarding how to improve pumps are very insightful, and we will bring those suggestions to you in another article next issue.

Non-Pumpers Numbers

Of the 233 respondents not on the pump, 87 percent have never tried it, but thirteen percent tried it and returned to multiple daily injections. Twenty percent would like to be on the pump, but cannot afford it. Twelve percent would be on the pump if their doctor would agree to prescribe one for them.

Regarding reasons for not being on the pump, 27 percent of non-pumpers do not like the idea of being hooked up to a machine. Ten percent believe that pumping would be no better for them than multiple daily injections. Nine percent just haven't gotten around to it, and three percent don't want to count carbs. Another three percent think a pump would be inconvenient, and six percent think a pump is too public and obvious. Two percent believe that the pump would malfunction, and two percent think a pump is too hard to use.

Of non-pumpers, 34 percent check their blood glucose five to six times a day. 29 percent check it three to four times daily; Eighteen percent check it seven to eight times daily; nine percent check it once or twice, and nine percent check it more than nine times daily.

Upcoming Insights

Be sure to look for our pump article next issue, when we'll discuss your many thoughtful suggestions about how to improve pumps.

Editor's Note: In cases where the individual percentages do not add up to 100 percent, the remaining answers were "Not Applicable."

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Posted by Anonymous on 29 November 2007

I want to respond to Mary and Joseph, though it has been some time since they posted. I have Type I diabetes, and am a chemical nutritionist. It was unclear - is Joseph a diabetic on a pump who goes low too often, or is he hypoglycemic (not on a pump or insulin)? If on a pump, certainly a low basal rate and small boluses (0.05 increments)should help. Needing very low doses to control my own diabetes, I too tried diluting insulin, and put this dilution into my insulin pump, with only short-lived success. The stability of the dilution did not seem to last. And only Humalog has an available diluent that one's pharmacy can provide from the insulin manufacturer, as well as mixing vials. Without more details, it is hard to offer advice, but in any case it would seem that a diet modification could certainly help out, especially avoiding the high glycemic carbohydrates, or possibly all carbohydrates, as per Dr. Bernstein in his excellent "Diabetes Solution". If Joseph is type 2 diabetic, it could be that an overconsumption of high glycemic carbs could bring on insulin insensitivity, which can cause the pancreas to respond by overproducing insulin. The two main questions would be, is Joseph actually taking insulin, and what does his diet look like?

Posted by Anonymous on 14 December 2007

Please consider publishing the raw data for your survery. I find this very informative. Thanks.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 December 2007

Great information - thanks eveyone for sharing. Tupe 1 for nearly 40 years and have been pumping for close to 8. I wish I would have started 10 years earlier. The pumps have definetely helped improve my control. I do beleive each of the companies offer uniqueness - this is a very subjective decision for the person who is going to wear the device for the next 4 years. I wish the author could have included pictures of all the companies available - there are more products available to us all than what is shown. Thanks

Posted by Anonymous on 1 January 2008

I would like to use the insulin pump, so far I have to fught with my doctor, that I can't takr home with me. I struggle every day with diabeties, and need all the help I can get. Can you do an article on why some people can get the insulun pump and others can't because some docotors, and not patients are the problem.........anonymous a1c is 11.1

Posted by Anonymous on 16 January 2008

I have been diabetic for 13 years and tried to get a pump for years and no doctor would prescribe it. I went strait to medtroniccs and they hooled me up with one of there doctors in my area and I was on a pump within 3 months. I love my pump. Also those who cant afford it. In my state if your uninsured you can get a letter of need for life from your doctor and the state will lease it for a set time from the manufacture if you show improvement in that time they will purchase it for you.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 February 2008

Sometimes I don't like my pump visible. I find that the bra is the best place to conceal it - but it is bulky and uncomfortable. It would be great if it were more pyramid-like in shape so that it would fit right in there!

Also, I find that when I switch my reservoir after 4 days, I have a lot of air bubbles left in there, even if I am careful to get them all out in the beginning. I think this is because of the reaction between the insulin and plastic cartridge...there HAS to be a different material out there!

Posted by Anonymous on 19 March 2008

Posted by deb3 on 2 May 2008

I have been on Cozmo pump for about a year and started having problems with bubble and about one and half inch block in the tubing line. This would cause my sugar to jump sky high. This is another new pump and I have used three different types of tubing. I have been trained by a Cozmo trainer and her's even had a one inch gap in the line the next day when she left. What gives? I am very active and petite, I don;t sit down one bit. Iread somewhere, I thought hear about this.
The Cozmo screen is not easily read. The pump case should be constructed in such a way that you can wear the pump upside down - this decreases the chance of bubbles getting into the infusion line. If one is very sensitive to insulin and the TDD is small, even a small bubble causes problems. What can I do?
I do take small TDD is very small. basal pattern like .05 to highest is 1.0 and that is only a few hours around lunch.

Posted by Anonymous on 9 July 2008

My daughter has had a horrible time with bubbles in her Cozmo pump over the last six months - at times she had 2-4 INCHES of air in the line. After reviewing our loading practices, and swapping out tubing, reservoirs, etc. to no avail, we received a new pump today. I hope this corrects the issue...

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