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June 6, 2009

Daily Care, Insulin Pumps

Question from Leitchfield, Kentucky, USA:

My 13-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes six months ago. He is currently on five units of Levemir in the morning and five units of Levemir in the evening. His last A1c was 6.3. Would it be a good idea for him to go on an insulin pump at this time?


Insulin pumps offer several advantages, including the ability to deliver multiple small boluses of insulin during the daytime for sporadic eating. When kids graze in their teenage years, they tend to underdose insulin or not take it at all, which leads to higher blood sugars averages. Pumps can help with this if kids will deliver those boluses appropriately. Pumps also can be an integral part of taking excellent care of diabetes for many reasons, especially as he will soon require larger amounts of a rapid acting insulin for meals. It seems a reasonable option for your 13 year old — and in my practice, I would encourage you to pursue it if your son were interested. There would be no huge rush if he were not on any rapid acting insulin now. In the meantime, I would encourage you to learn more about pumps from your diabetes team.