What are insulin pumps?

In addition to syringes and pens, insulin pumps can also be used to deliver insulin. Insulin pumps are small, computerized devices, about the size of a small cell phone.

Insulin Pump | Cleveland Clinic

They can be worn on your belt, in your pocket, or under your clothes.

Insulin pump attached to belt | Cleveland Clinic

Insulin pumps deliver rapid-acting insulin 24 hours a day through a small flexible tube called a cannula. The cannula is inserted under the skin using a needle.

The needle is removed, leaving only the flexible tube under the skin. The pump user replaces the cannula every 2-3 days.

When using an insulin pump, you must check your blood sugar level at least 4 times a day. The pump delivers a continuous flow of insulin that can be adjusted, if needed, for things like exercise and stress. A pump user regularly enters information about his or her food intake and blood sugar levels so that the pump can help him or her calculate insulin doses for meals and high blood sugars.

Benefits of the pump include fewer insulin injections, a more flexible lifestyle, and a more consistent and adjustable delivery of insulin. Speak with your healthcare team if you would like to learn more about insulin pump therapy.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/22/2016.

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