(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Hamad Medical Corporation's (HMC) National Diabetes Center is offering some patients the option of using an insulin pump to help manage diabetes.
Experts caution that while insulin pump therapy provides patients with greater lifestyle flexibility and better control of their diabetes, it isn't the best treatment for all.
Patients interested in insulin pump therapy are encouraged to talk to their diabetic healthcare team.
Fatima, a patient at the center who was transferred to the insulin pump system, said there are many advantages.
"Being on the insulin pump is much more comfortable than injections. It requires some training on how to use the device, but it offers better control overall. I'm very pleased with it," she said.
An insulin pump helps diabetics keep their blood glucose levels within a pre-determined target range by functioning almost like a human pancreas.
It pumps basal insulin every hour, continuously during the day, in amounts adjusted by a patient's doctor.
In addition to providing the patient with more leeway in their diet, and when they eat, it also helps prevent blood glucose levels from fluctuating.
"At meal times patients should input the amount of carbohydrates they consume and their blood sugar readng. The device will then pump the suitable amount of bolus insulin into the body," says Dr Dabia Al Mohanadi, Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Hamad General Hospital.
The role of basal insulin, also known as background insulin, is to keep blood glucose levels consistent.
The basal dose is designed to mimic the minute-by-minute release of insulin by a normal pancreas.
In contrast, bolus insulin mimics the normal release of insulin from the pancreas in response to meals.
It is taken at meal times to keep blood glucose levels under control.
Dr Al Mohanadi, who manages the insulin pump programme at the National Diabetes Center, said the insulin pump therapy isn't an option for all diabetics.
To be eligible for an insulin pump, a patient must be assessed by a specialised diabetes healthcare team and must meet specific medical and lifestyle eligibility criteria.
Diabetics who are deemed eligible for the insulin pump therapy complete a training programme and a trial period to test their adaptability to the insulin pump.
The training includes about five sessions with an insulin pump educator, who teaches the patient how the device is used, and sessions with a dietician who teaches the patient how to measure their carbohydrate intake.