Managing Diabetes with an Insulin Pump:
The Goal is Controlling your Blood Glucose Levels

Your primary goal to successfully managing your diabetes, is getting your blood glucose levels within your defined range. Making good decisions and balancing your normal day-to-day activities is necessary to reduce diabetes complications. Using an insulin pump helps you manage your insulin levels while reducing the number of injections needed throughout the day. Not only is it simple to use, but it allows you to match your insulin to your lifestyle while keeping your blood glucose levels within target ranges.

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Understanding the Parts of an Insulin Pump


The cannula is a thin tube inserted into the body to administer insulin.

Infusion Set

The infusion set is a “connector” that allows insulin to flow from the pump into the skin. Attached to the skin with strong adhesive, the cannula – a short, fine tube – is inserted into the skin.


The tubing brings the insulin from the pump (insulin reservoir) to the infusion set.


The display shows important information, including operating mode, menu selection, or battery level.

Operating Buttons

Operating buttons allow you to make choices on the screen of your insulin pump.


Insulin pumps can use AA or AAA batteries. It’s important to pay attention to your pump’s battery level to make sure your pump is operating normally.

How Insulin Pumps Work

Insulin pumps are small devices made to mimic the pancreas by delivering rapid insulin through a catheter placed under the skin. Through your insulin pump, basal insulin is delivered continuously keeping your blood glucose levels in range during the day. During meals, it is common for you or your insulin pump to give an extra dose of insulin, known as a bolus. This is done to cover the carbohydrate in each meal or snack. 

If you have high blood glucose levels, you can treat this by taking an additional bolus to correct your levels. 


Where to Place your Pump

Your activity is not limited just because you’re wearing an insulin pump. Depending on the activity, there are common locations to place your insulin pump such as: waistband, pocket, belt, sock, or undergarments. Some common tips to remember:

  • When sleeping, lay your pump next to you or clip to a sheet, blanket, or clothing
  • Most insulin pumps are water resistant, but should not be set directly in water
  • Disconnect your pump for activities such as swimming, bathing, or showering
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