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June 7, 2001

Insulin Pumps

Question from Los Osos, California, USA:

My 27 year old son has had diabetes since age nine. He is active physically and thinks the pump would cramp his lifestyle. In the meantime he has lows at 11 am and 11 pm. He is recently married and thinks the pump would be a detriment to spontaneous, joyful sex.

Answer:

Personally, I treat a lot of my patients who have type�1 diabetes with insulin pumps. Although you need to invest some initial time in learning how to use it, most patients tell me that they have to work less to have good control and have more flexibility with schedule and eating. The pump does not have to interfere with sex. Some people don’t accept a pump because of the feeling it is always attached and affects their self-image. One option would be to see if he can wear a demo for a few days to see if he would like it.

JTL
Additional comments from Lois Schmidt Finney, diabetes dietitian:

As far as what to do with it during intimate moments, the pump can be put in suspend and taken off. We say to suspend the pump since it beeps every 15 minutes in thisss modes, but needs to kepy within earshot as a reminfder to reconnect. I realize thuis may sound dumb, ounds dumb, but several of our patients forget to re-hook it up.

LSF

[Editor’s comment: I would suggest that your son visit Insulin Pumpers and chat with pump users about his concerns.

SS]