A diabetes infusion set allows a person with diabetes greater flexibility when it comes to the self-management of their condition. Infusion sets form a part of intensive insulin therapy, a program which is favored by many doctors for the treatment of diabetes. Intensive therapy gives patients greater flexibility in regard to meal times, carbohydrate content of meals, and physical activity. This kind of treatment is thought to be a closer reproduction of the body's natural production of insulin than that achieved with other methods of insulin delivery.
About Intensive Insulin Therapy
Traditional insulin treatment requires a person to inject insulin two to three times a day. Meals must be eaten at certain times to coincide with insulin injections and physical activity must always be monitored. Intensive insulin treatment involves smaller and more frequent doses. This stabilizes blood glucose and keeps it at a constant level throughout the day. This provides a more even secretion of insulin, meaning that there is more flexibility with meals times. The patient can also let the carbohydrate content of their meals vary more.
How Diabetes Infusion Sets Work
These sets are used with an insulin pump which is about the size of a set of cards. A pump holds roughly three days worth of insulin supply. The pump is connected to a patch which is placed over the skin. There is a small needle that inserts into the layer of fat under the skin. The needle is surrounded by a cannula which remains in the skin after the needle is removed.
An infusion set will secrete a basal level of insulin at the programmed level throughout the day. At meal times the user presses a button which then releases an extra amount of insulin. It is important to monitor blood glucose throughout the day to ensure the right dosage of insulin is being released.
The UK Prospective Diabetes Study conceded that intensive insulin treatment decreased the amount of damage caused to small and large blood vessels. Damage to blood vessels can often lead to many of the complications associated with diabetes such as blindness, amputation, and heart disease. The study also recommended that intensive insulin treatment as a preferred option for young people.
For diabetes patients with a fear or dislike of needles infusion sets are a good option. Some infusion sets have spring-loaded insertion devises which insert the needle almost painlessly. Those that find several injections a day inconvenient will also benefit from the use of these sets.
Infusion sets have a quick release which allows a user to disconnect the insulin pump while leaving the rest of the kit in place. This makes showering and swimming easy. The change from insulin injections to an infusion set does require some education and a changeover period to get used to the new treatment. Those with diabetes who choose this method find that they have greater flexibility and are also receiving good long-term health benefits. Intensive insulin therapy is fast becoming the recommended treatment for diabetes.
Diabetes infusion sets form part of a treatment approach to diabetes that allows users more freedom and flexibility. Read on to find out how these sets work to help people better manage their illness.