Bad Pump Sites - an indication of inflammation?

By John Latest Reply 2012-02-02 01:10:13 -0600
Started 2012-01-31 07:07:53 -0600

I've been pumping for five and a half years. I've had up and down experiences with pump sets failing. They get sore and stop working well, sometimes altogether. I figure from reading many discussions on them that it was natural and was likely due to external interference. Things like tube-tugging, clothing friction, and even bed stressors can slightly dislodge them and cause irritation buildup followed by occlusion. I've tried various taping strategies with inconsistent success, such as taping the tubing down so the tape absorbs the external forces.

This autumn was not a good period. Set after set after set died well before three days. Many didn't work at all. By the week before Christmas, I was ready to go back to injections.

Skip to my diet.

I've been low carbing since July, 2008. I've lost weight, gained weight, lost weight, and have had pretty good success keeping my BGs in line. I've had three hypos in the last two years where I needed help, way down from previous years, and these were unusual situations involving alcohol I should know better of. Still, they were not 911ers, and nobody was in danger.

Just before Christmas I took a look at my insulin usage and noted once again it was growing. Even my bad sets couldn't account for the numbers. Carbs were sneaking back in. I decided to log food carefully and strive for a 70% fat diet, something I hadn't yet achieved. I've done it pretty consistently since then except for two of the last six weeks. I'm down 4 pounds, and my sugars have been fantastic. I've had one reading over 10.0 mmol/l [180 mg/dl] which is unheard of with me.

In six weeks I've not had one bad set. Not one! And I've tried them in all the bad spots, and I've not used any tape. I've even worn two for five days each, and they had almost no swelling.

I've always believed sugar consumption leads to inflammation, and I'm wondering if this is an indicator? But maybe it's simply the lower BGs, or maybe it's the lower insulin usage.


3 replies

EllieS 2012-02-02 01:10:13 -0600 Report

From my own experience, the more insulin you pump per day, the faster the infusion site gets messed up. If I keep my carb count below 180, I'm good for 3-4 days. If I am in pig out mood, that set is replaced in two days. And after 13 yrs of pumping I feel like I have ran out of good places where to stick another needle.

daydreamer630 2012-01-31 10:06:15 -0600 Report

Did you ever talk to the company with whom your pumps through? I know one year some of my sites weren't working, turned out the company had accidently sent out a bad batch.
Also I was always told to watch where you're putting your site. For instance, if you know you're going to be playing tennis it's probably not a good idea to put your site in your arm. Little things like that. But I feel you on the "pump blues",I've had mine now for ten years. I've finally broken out of the 10.9 A1C range yet, I'm not overly happy with my pump. I still bump it, always get the tubing caught, and I've simply run out of places to but the thing. If you come across something that makes things easier please share!

PS. Way to go with the control! Keep up the good work!

Type1Lou 2012-01-31 07:39:02 -0600 Report

As a relatively new pumper, I found your discussion interesting and informative. Thank you. What kind of pump are you using? I started on my Medtronics Minimed pump last August. It has really cut back on the severe hypos I had been experiencing and I love the pumping experience. I, too, strive to follow a low-carb diet but carbs can easily creep back in. I try to eat no more than 120 grams of carb per day. So far, I've had one instance of occlusion where I've had to replace the infusion set earlier than the 3 day interval. I've had some bruising at a site twice but it doesn't seem to affect the absorbtion. Using the pump enabled me to get my A1c's back into the 6's after it had crept into the 7's. I see the endo next week and expect it to be better than the 6.7 last time. There was an article here recently about how diabetics are more prone to inflammation…you may be on to something here about the sugar. Congrats on your good results.

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