Diabetes Knowledge

Insulin pump therapy

Insulin pump therapy (CSII – Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion)

With this therapy an insulin pump supplies the body continuously (around the clock) with its basic insulin requirements. The additional insulin required at mealtimes is administered by pressing a button. An important difference compared to therapy with the insulin pen: Short-acting insulin only is used to cover both the body's basic requirements as well as the insulin required at mealtimes.

An insulin pump is worn on the body. In order to ensure adequate insulin pump therapy the insulin pump settings must be adjusted to meet the insulin requirements of each individual and these settings must be checked regularly by measuring blood glucose levels.

There are two insulin pump systems available:

  • The conventional insulin pump with a tube
    This type of insulin pump can be worn on your belt, for example. Insulin reaches the body via an infusion set with a tube whose cannula has been inserted into the fatty tissue under the skin.
  • The insulin patch pump
    This insulin pump functions without tubing. It comprises two components:
    1. A "Pod" that is adhered to the skin and acts as the actual insulin pump (with an insulin cartridge, cannula, and insulin administration system).
    2. A "Personal Diabetes Manager" (PDM) that controls the functions of the insulin patch pump.

Compared with Multiple Daily Injections (MDI) insulin pump therapy has the following advantages, including:

  • It is no longer necessary to administer frequent injections with the insulin pen because the cannula of the insulin pump remains inserted in the skin for up to three days.
  • The insulin pump provides an insulin supply that is virtually normal (i.e. similar to that of non-diabetics).
  • The ability to adjust the insulin supply to the needs of each individual can reduce the occurrence of elevated blood glucose levels in the morning (the dawn phenomenon) or frequent hypoglycaemic episodes.
  • The use of short-acting insulin only provides for a high level of flexibility during athletic activity, at mealtimes, and when you want to have a lie-in.
  • It is easier to manage irregular daily routines and shift work with insulin pump therapy because your insulin requirements can be covered exclusively with individually adjusted doses of short-acting insulin.

Insulin "release" with insulin pump therapy (CSII)

Insulin "release" with insulin pump therapy compared with insulin release in non-diabetics: The insulin administered with an insulin pump is very similar to insulin release in non-diabetics.

Insulin "release" with insulin pump therapy (CSII)
Insulinfreisetzung bei Nichtdiabetiker Insulin release in non-diabetics
Mahlzeit Mealtime
Basalinsulin Basal insulin
Bolusinsulin Mealtime insulin (bolus insulin)
Bolus (kurz wirkendes Insulin) Bolus (short-acting insulin)