Dangerous Eating Mindset and Insulin Pumps
( This article includes terms that those just learning about insulin pumps may not understand. See our Insulin Pump Terminology guide for definitions. )
Insulin pumps present many advantages that injection therapy doesn't. These include the ability to change your insulin pattern on the fly or to have that unexpected meal earlier or later for that matter. There is one danger that having an insulin pump could trick us into thinking.
What's the danger?
Eating like a person without diabetes. Now first let me clarify that people without Diabetes should eat a well balanced diet. In fact they should also be careful when it comes to sugar and carbohydrate intake. But I'm sure the scene has played out when considering insulin pump therapy that you are free to eat without the diabetic repercussions. Diabetic restraint is still needed.
Who's at fault? I'd have to point the finger at the marketing departments for insulin pump companies. They love putting together those videos that use words like freedom. Many times they depict diabetics with pumps eating food that is high in carbohydrates and keeping control of their sugars. Now while it is possible to do this to an extent it can become very difficult to manage.
Here's something else to consider. How we bolus for different foods can change from time to time. For instance how you bolus during periods of intense activity or during an illness can change. Trying to figure in how to bolus for different foods especially ones that are complex like pasta or pizza can be unpredictable even for a pump veteran.
Does that mean that a pump does not allow any freedom to eat those fun foods? Moderation is the key. Portion size will help you keep sugars under control. It can be tempting to lick your plate clean at that favorite restaurant you go to. Doing that though could mean a night of high blood sugars even while using correction boluses. Instead cutting down your portion especially on high fat and or carbohydrate foods can do miracles.
Here's something else insulin pumpers find in general. There are still foods that no matter how you try to cover them by bolusing they always bring the glucose numbers sky high. For the insulin pumper he could get into the mindset that no matter what he or she is going to figure out how to bolus that meal right. The problem is we find little success trying. The best bet is just to avoid eating those kinds of foods.
The keyword in this article is moderation. Remember it when it comes to your meals and you'll find a lot more success with the blood sugars. And keep this in mind - Insulin pumps are excellent tools to have but they are not miracle workers.
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