What are the benefits of different forms of insulin delivery?
Insulin is an important factor in maintaining good health in people with diabetes; controlling blood-glucose levels can maintain good health and ensure the correct level of insulin in people with type 1 diabetes. The most popular form of insulin delivery remains the simple insulin syringe and needle, which is now being phased out in favor of more technologically advanced forms of insulin delivery.
Many people now affected by type 1 diabetes take their choice between using a syringe or pen, which ensures the correct dosage of insulin is delivered each time it is required throughout the day. In most cases, the use of a pen is simpler than a syringe injection as a dial on the insulin pen ensures the correct amount of insulin is delivered without the need to load insulin into the syringe. Another benefit of insulin pens is the fact that they are completely disposable and can be carried safely to the majority of locations and destinations.
A disposable insulin pen needle is attached to the insulin pen prior to use, meaning the pen can be carried safely throughout the day without the fear of the individual breaking the needle or injecting themselves by accident.
Insulin pens and syringes often suffer from the fact that the insulin must be manually injected at the correct dosage. The development of insulin pumps have greatly changed the way insulin can be delivered to the body; instead of single doses, pumps deliver a constant low dosage. Each insulin pump is a small device controlled electronically, which can be attached to a belt to remain safely attached to the body. A small cartridge is loaded into the pump, which constantly allows a flow of low dosage insulin to be delivered to the person with type 1 diabetes through a small infusion set. Insulin pumps do require a number of accessories, but insulin pump supplies are fairly readily obtained.
One of the main problems those using an insulin pen or syringe have is the large number of injection sites that are possible in a small area of the body. Injection ports are some of the most common and technologically advanced ways of ensuring only a small number of injection sites are needed in a single area of the body. A port is similar to the delivery method used with insulin pumps, which allow insulin to be delivered through a cannula to an injection site beneath the surface of the skin. This can reduce the level of irritation caused by the constant use of injection sites located close to each other.
A number of less common delivery methods are available, which include insulin jet injectors, which can reduce the level of irritation by firing high pressures of insulin onto the surface of the skin. This is of particular benefit to those who do not feel confident in injecting themselves by breaking the skin using an insulin pen needle or insulin syringe. Helping those who are less confident in their ability to inject themselves can also benefit from the use of stabilizing guides to ensure the insulin is delivered correctly. Even with modern insulin delivery methods insulin levels must be monitored regularly to ensure the insulin is being delivered correctly at a high or low dosage level.