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Insulin Pump Therapy

Section 3: Comparing Injections and Pumps

In this section, you will learn how multiple daily injections (MDI) and insulin pum​p therapy are:

  • similar
  • different​
​​​Some Similarities

Both M​DI and pump therapy try to mimic the body’s normal insulin needs by providing:

  • basal insulin to cover the glucose the liver makes throughout the day (in between meals and overnight)
  • bolus insulin (meal insulin) to cover the carbohydrates you eat
  • correction insulin to correct high blood sugars

Basal-bolus-similarities.jpg

©Alberta Health Services

Insulin delivery with either MDI or insulin pump is not perfect and there are times when:

  • ​there is not enough insulin at certain times of the day, which causes high blood sugars and the need for extra bolus insulin (correction insulin)
  • there is too much insulin at certain times of the day, which causes low blood sugars and the need to treat with a fast-acting sugar

For both MDI and insulin pump therapy, it is necessary to:

  • monitor and record blood sugar at least 4 times a day (before each meal and at bedtime, even if you use a continuous glucose monitor)
  • decide how much rapid insulin to give for meals (use insulin-to-carbohydrate ratios)
  • decide how much rapid insulin to give for high blood sugars (use insulin-sensitivity factors)
  • treat low blood sugars (and always carry a glucose meter and glucose tablets or other fast sugar with you)
  • check for ketones when blood sugar is above 14 mmol/L, to decide if extra correction insulin is needed to prevent diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
  • regularly adjust basal and bolus doses around changes to food intake, exercise, growth patterns in children, lifestyle, weight, and other factors
  • count carbohydrates accurately, which might include weighing and measuring food
  • promote healthy food choices to manage weight and to promote normal growth in children​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​