Insulin pump therapy (CSII)
Some people with diabetes struggle to maintain control of blood glucose with insulin injections, and may respond better by switching to insulin pump therapy. The aim of insulin pump therapy is to provide better blood glucose control by mimicking how insulin is released in the body of people without diabetes. Insulin pump therapy is more properly called Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII).
In a person without diabetes, the pancreas continually releases a low level of insulin throughout the day and night (called the ‘basal insulin’), with boosts of insulin released at meal times.
With insulin pump therapy, a small, battery-operated pump gives a continuous basal dose of insulin through a fine tube that ends under the skin. You can then press controls or buttons on the pump to give the meal-time boosts of insulin (or ‘bolus’ insulin).
The graph to the right shows the blood insulin levels in a person without diabetes (top) and in a person with diabetes who is using insulin pump therapy (below).
There are large insulin pump services at both Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, each of which are run by hugely experienced teams of specialist healthcare professionals. These services must be accessed through your diabetes healthcare advisor.
Download our local guide to insulin pump therapy below:
Insulin Pump Therapy Guide (pdf format)
Guide to Exercise and Insulin Pump Therapy (pdf format)
Note this file is in Adobe Acrobat pdf format. If you have not installed and configured Adobe Acrobat Reader on your system, a free download is available from Adobe.