Would you like an alternative to injecting yourself with insulin multiple times every day? If so, it may be time to consider an insulin pump, or another form of diabetes technology like a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Gloria Ortiz, MD, FACE, ECNU, Amanda Cantu, MD, ABIM, and the team at the insulin pump clinic at RGV Endocrine Center in McAllen, Texas, can determine if you’re a good candidate for an insulin pump and help you choose the device that’s best for your daily needs. Then they provide in-depth training and ongoing care so you can confidently and safely use your diabetes technology. To schedule an appointment, call the office today.
Diabetes technology refers to devices that help patients manage their blood sugar levels. The two most important devices are insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors (CGMs):
An insulin pump is a small device that gives you steady doses of rapid-acting insulin. You wear some pumps on a belt or your clothing. This type is connected to a small needle with a plastic tube. Other types of insulin pumps don’t need the tubing because the entire device attaches to your skin.
After you insert the needle under your skin, it stays in place for several days before you need to replace it with a clean needle. Your pump is programmed to release a steady amount of insulin through the needle. However, you can press a button to give yourself a dose of insulin at mealtimes.
A CGM constantly measures your blood sugar. You wear a sensor on your skin that detects glucose (blood sugar) in the fluids surrounding cells.
The CGM checks your blood sugar every few minutes, and wirelessly transmits the results to an electronic device. Your CGM may be a stand-alone device or part of your insulin pump.
The real-time information lets you see whether your glucose levels are going up or down without finger sticks. CGMs also show how quickly blood sugar levels are changing. Then you can take action to restore your targeted glucose level.
Nearly everyone with diabetes can benefit from the advanced diabetes technology available at RGV Endocrine Center.
Anyone who takes insulin may be able to use a pump in place of injections. An insulin pump is also a good option if you take insulin, but you still don’t have steady glucose control.
Your provider at the insulin pump clinic located on-site at RGV Endocrine Center evaluates your insulin needs, talks with you about the different types of pumps, and determines if it’s a good option for you.
CGMs were once primarily used for patients with Type 1 diabetes, but they’re increasingly recommended for patients with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.
RGV Endocrine Center often recommends a CGM for anyone who takes insulin or has frequent episodes of high or low blood sugar.
RGV Endocrine Center offers three types of CGMs:
To get blood sugar readings with the Freestyle Libre 2, you only need to swipe a device or your phone over the sensor. You can also set alarms that notify you when your blood sugar gets too low or high.
The Dexcom G6 also lets you set alarms, but this device wirelessly sends your blood sugar information to your mobile phone or smartwatch. The Dexcom G6 also syncs with Siri and gives you the ability to share your information with designated followers.
When you get the Eversense, your provider implants the sensor under your skin. The device sends blood sugar readings to your smart device every five minutes for 90 days.
After 90 days, your provider replaces your Eversense sensor. By comparison, you need to change sensors about every two weeks (or more frequently) with other CGMs.
RGV Endocrine Center is the only certified clinic in McAllen to implant the Eversense CGM.
Most insulin pumps come with built-in CGMs. The team at RGV Endocrine Center currently offers several insulin pumps, including:
The Omnipod System is a tubeless delivery insulin pump. The pump and needle are contained in one pod that you apply to your body. The insulin clinic providers are certified to train patients to use this specialized pump.
The pod holds your insulin and communicates wirelessly with your handheld Personal Diabetes Manager. The handheld device triggers your insulin delivery based on the settings programmed into the manager.
Tandem insulin pumps use two types of specialized software. One uses Basal-IQ™ technology to predict and prevent low blood sugar. It can adjust your insulin delivery, turning it on and off as often as every five minutes.
The other Tandem pump uses Control-IQ™ to protect you from high and low swings in blood sugar. This software delivers up to one additional dose an hour to prevent high blood sugar.
Medtronic offers multiple insulin pump devices with different capabilities. Most of them have real-time blood glucose readings that are displayed on your smartphone. Using these readings, the devices can adjust the amount of insulin you need every five minutes.
If you need to take insulin, call RGV Endocrine Center to learn more about diabetes technology.