Now a sophisticated piece of technology, the insulin pump as it now is was just an idea back in the 1960's.
The first insulin pump created at that time was the size of a backpack, large and unwieldy.
The first portable pump was tried out at Guys Hospital in London in 1978.
The idea of trying continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) came about as an option to introduce intensive insulin therapy to try and normalise glucose levels in diabetics.
These ideas were the result of research by endocrinologists, diabetes researchers and doctors.
In the late 1970's, research showed evidence that near normal glycemic control could significantly reduce the risk of chronic complications.
At around the same time, the HbA1c measure was introduced to provide a long term measure of glycemic control.
A major trial, the DCCT (the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial), proved that there was not only a relationship between good glycemic control and a reduction in chronic complications of type 1 diabetes.
The reduction in chronic complications was far better than even the researchers and physicians had hoped for:-
However, there was one unexpected side effect also, which was that subjects experienced more hypoglycemic events, many during the night.
Nevertheless, CSII was found to offer a more flexible lifestyle.
Additional benefits of using an insulin pump include:-
The conclusion of the DCCT study was that CSII should be a serious consideration for all type 1 diabetics.
Modern pumps offer a range of facilities including:-
Despite this research, individuals can often be concerned about trying out a pump for themselves.
Talking to other pump users (at your health care centre, hospital or in an online chat) can help to ease the concerns that you may have before seriously considering this option.
Books & Info - there are several good books on insulin pump therapy and it's benefits
Jen's diabetes blog - the ups and downs of a mother and daughter and using the pump
The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star.
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin