A question about pumps

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I was on here, and I honestly don’t remember how to search for specific topics in older posts… Hope you can bare with me here.

So anyway, I’ve been wanting to get a pump, mostly because injections hurt a lot, my whole stomach is just a big bruise right now, and I get suuuuper anxious every time I need to inject, but also because I’ve been ignoring high blood sugars during night time, just because I don’t feel safe injecting a needle in the dark (I’ve had multiple nights this summer where I was at 16-18 the whole night through…).

Buuuut I still take veeeeery small amounts of insulin, and I’m not sure if a pump can do that? I’ve heard that older pumps didn’t work with small amounts, because the insulin got stuck in the tubing or whatnot, but I have no idea how these new modern pumps are.

I only take about 15-20 units per day (basal included).

I do feel like the ability to dose 0,1 units would be SUPER beneficial for me as well, since I need so little insulin. Sometimes, even 0,5 units is too much, but if I don’t take anything I will be high.

So yeah… What do you guys think? Would a pump be good for me? I have one friend who says she thinks a pump would be THE BEST for me, and I would really love to have one, but I don’t know that much a pumps… :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway. Hope you’re all doing good, and keeping safe! <3

Hi, I think most pumps do pretty small doses. My Omnipod does dosing in .05 unit increments. So you can take a very small dose.I 'm not sure about other pumps but you have to load an Omnipod with at least 80 units of insulin for 3 days use. (3 days plus 8 hours for some wiggle room).

I love my Omnipod, it’s a tubeless pump. I never wanted to mess with tubes. Plus the Omnipod can be put in all sorts of places since it doesn’t have to be connected with a tube to a pump itself… Waterproof too. I’ve worn them on my legs, on my backside although mostly on my stomach. I like to save my arms for my CGM, but they can be worn there too.

It’s not as advanced as some which have things like lowering your basal rate automatically when you are trending low like some. But the new release is due out next year. Hopefully, it was due out this year but got delayed because of covid and is supposed to have all the bells and whistles plus in it.

If you don’t have a CGM, I would really recommend it. It’s makes having a pump easier. In my opinion a CGM is more important than even a pump!

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That sounds awesome!!
I’m seeing my diabetes nurse on Thursday, and I want to ask her about getting a pump.

I do have a CGM! A dexcom g6 :raised_hands:


The Medtronics 670G can set to an increment of 0.1, 0.05 or 0.025 units. I have mine set to 0.1 units. You may find setting different basal rates at different times of day useful.


Yes, most pumps can handle small dosing amounts. I use the Tandem and making a change from a basal of .35 to .3 made the difference I needed. And yes sometimes a .1 bolus is all I need to bring things in line.

As far as needle fears, not sure about a pump fixing that one. Depending on which type of infusion set you use can make a difference. And most people have to change every 3 days, some sooner some longer. Pump site rotation is key and if you are having problems with needle injections, this might be an issue moving forward with a pump.

I think a very serious discussion with your medical team is needed. Tell them all your fears and all the problems you are currently having. They may have other solutions for you. There are auto injectors out there. Some are very expensive and complex but it might be an option.

That said, I love my pump and it gives me so much flexibility. Is it work, yes. But once you get it set, it can be a game changer. It just doesn’t always happen overnight. It takes some time. Good luck with your decision!

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This can cause problems.

I’m trying to remember, didn’t @Marilyn6 have issues with this? She might know where this is discussed on the forum. It can get a little complicated. Ask the Doc if you don’t hear back from Marilyn by the time the appointment pops up.

No, I have never used a pump.

Does anybody remember who had that issue? Let me look around.

Yes, every pump on the market let’s you request very small amounts of insulin. That isn’t a limiting factor. The question becomes though, how CAPABLE are they of delivering that small volume. There’s what is called “mechanical tolerance” built into every device… Even pens and syringes. You might request 0.05 units, but the pump is actually delivering 0.05 +/- a questionable amount. The lower your insulin needs, the more concerning the variation can be.

You need to figure out what it is you want in a pump, because they all have different pros and cons. Once you decide what your preference is, you can easily verify the capabilities of that particular pump. They’re in the back of the user manuals, under specifications, which can be downloaded from the website of every manufacturer. Talking to a sales rep can be beneficial, but not necessarily the most truthful source.

If you discover that you’re insulin needs are at the very exteme end of what the pump allows, then you may want to consider using diluted insulin. It basically requires you to use more volume of insulin to get the same dose, so you lower the risk. It also changes the extremes, too. Instead of a minimum 0.05 unit bolus and a 0.1 u/hr basal rate (Tandem specs), the pump can now theoretically deliver 0.025u boluses and 0.05u/hr basals. That example assumed a 50/50 dilution, but you could really dinner dilute however you want.

I didn’t see you specify your exact needs, so if you’re not actually needing these miniscule amounts, then it doesn’t matter at all.

Thanks for all the answers! I will talk to my nurse on Thursday and see what she says.

My ratios are small, like 1 unit to 25 grams of carbs, and sometimes even less than that!

And I should’ve been clearer in that that I don’t have a fear of needles! I just get anxious about the whole deal. Not fear, but anxiety. It’s hard to explain the difference.
But I am not afraid on inserting cgm or anything, it’s just that my pen hurts every single time, and I’m sick of it. :see_no_evil:

I think it was Dee. She needed very low basal, alternating segments with zero. Tandem didn’t work, but Medtronic did.

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I now use the 770 in automode. I only use my programmed basals when I am calibrating or during sensor warmup. I am really enjoying the freedom of not having to test my basal rates. The 770 isn’t perfect but it is good enough to do what I need it to do. My tir is pretty consistent maintaining 70-90% in range.:blush::+1:


That sounds great! How much insulin do you use, approximately?

I use between 8 and 11 units per day. It all depends if I have had a failed site which usually drives up my usage. My basal bolus percentage is 20/80. Most of my insulin is given for food. I need very little basal insulin. I am small. I am 5ft and weigh 83 lbs. It never used to be this way. I was a fat child. When I reached teenage years the weigh started to drop, thank god! But through my pregnancies(2) and menopause I haven’t gained it back. I am 56 years old.

Wow, that’s about the same as me! I’ve never talked to anyone who take such small amounts, I always feel so alone.
I really hope I get to try out a pump!

Yeah, it was very disappointing when the tslim did’nt work out for me. They suggested on diluting the insulin but it paves the way for errors in dosages. When Medtronic came out with their 770 pump that can be updated when new software is available I jumped on it. Their sensors aren’t quite as good as dexcom’s but I was dying to get a pump that communicated with its sensor. I used to use a 630 with a dexcom g6 but I was still having lows and I hated having to test my basal rates. Medtronic’s guardian 3 sensors work well enough for me I just wish they didn’t need calibrating. The Zeus sensor is in the works and it will only need calibrating on the first day. It is supposed to come out when the 780 does. Europe has it.If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

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Babies and toddlers use pumps, and their insulin needs are much smaller than yours. :slight_smile: My son was diagnosed at age 3, and his initial carb ratios were something like 1:45 units, and his basal rates were between 0.1 and 0.25 per hour.

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I suggest getting the book “Pumping Insulin’. It is very helpful and enables you you to make pump adjustments on your own.

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I use about 5O in its a day. Pretty much 25/25. Basal and bolus.
What I read it should be pretty even. Mine is but not because I aimed at that, it just sort of worked out that way.

It’s been like this for 34 years. Give or take. I use more insulin now because I have a pump and sites fail or don’t absorb sometimes and there is priming.

I’m more than double your weight though. 208. But I was using the same amount insulin at 155.