What a insulin pump and the microinfusion therapy are
A insulin pump is a small computerized device which has a small cartridge or a syringe inside filled with insulin. The syringe or cartridge is then connected to the subcutaneous tissue through an infusion kit composed of a catheter and a Teflon cannula. The nsulin pump is able to reproduce the physiological secretion of the pancreas, producing insulin in two modalities: either continuously (basal infusion) or on request (insulin bolus).
The devices which are today available, far more sophisticate than in the past, allows to program the basal infusion during 24 hours according to one’s personal and metabolic needs.
The administration is precise and accurate also for unit fractions. It is also possible to program different basal infusion profiles for different moments of the week (for example for the workdays or for the weekend) or program temporary basal infusion lasting some hours without modifications and then go back to the previously set profile in case of a disease, sport etc.
Generally speaking, the microinfusion therapy is flexible in administering the basal insulin dose, therefore it is different from the multiple-injection therapy, it is absolutely superior in this function.
With the nsulin pump, the insulin boluses can be delivered upon request to cover the insulin need related to meals or to correct any hyperglycaemia. This function is similar to the one obtained with syringes/pens.
Today nsulin pump have however sophisticated systems to give insulin during meals, in addition to the “standard” bolus (the delivery of insulin in a few minutes). Microinfusor, unlike syringes and pens, can deliver a “square-waved” or “prolonged” bolus (a delivery lasting from minutes to hours) and the “dual” bolus which combines the standard and prolonged bolus. The choice of the most suitable bolus depends on the composition of the meal and on the rate of absorbing the nutritional elements.
Modern nsulin pump include, among their auxiliary functions, also the insulin “bolus calculation” which enables patients to be guided and calculate their lunch or correction bolus in relation with the insulin/carbohydrates ratio, the insulin sensitivity and the amount of insulin still active in the body. Therefore, also from the point of view of the bolus, microinfusors offer some advantages in comparison with the multiple-injection therapy. Today there are also many reminders and alarms which help patients manage their daily therapy.
Some nsulin pump models enable patients to download the recorded data and to create charts to show the basal rate infusion, the frequency and type of bolus, when the catheter was changed etc. This function allows to check the patients’ compliance and their managing skills.
What insulin is insulin
Insulin is a protein hormone with anabolic properties secreted by the beta cells of the pancreatic Langerhans islets. Its most famous function is to control the blood glucose levels reducing the glycaemia through the activation of various metabolic and cellular processes. Insulin has also other and still very important functions, it stimulates the mitosis, the growth of the muscular and bone mass. Unlike other anabolic hormones, it stimulates the growth of the adipose mass and increases the LDL cholesterol. The first studies about insulin were made by Nicolae Constantin Paulescu, who patented the discovery of Pancrein on April 10, 1922.