I think I'm allergic to infusion sets

I just found out that I can get Contact Detach sets with the long sized tubing, so next time I order infusion sets I am going to order three boxes of these instead of three boxes of my usual sets (Comforts) to see if they help my blood sugars at all. Or, I may try contacting Animas and see if they can send me some to try, but I don’t think my current infusion sets are working very well for me anymore.

I’ve been changing sets every two days but even with that, they get itchy after a day. I took a site out tonight because I had ketones (has happened randomly the past week or so). The site had felt itchy since last night but only had a small raised area around the cannula which I would usually count as “no reaction” as far as an allergy, but tonight I decided to take a picture of the area since I can’t really see it in the mirror. The picture showed a BRIGHT red spot right where the cannula is (which is raised as I can feel it) plus a bright red ring outlining where the adhesive had been. If a site that I thought was normal looks this red and irritated, then I can’t imagine what the ones with actual hives that are crazy itchy must look like.

So, I think I have a problem. And I’m hoping that a needle site will solve this. And I’m also hoping that, if this is affecting insulin absorption, it’s the reason my blood sugars are so random and (of late) mostly high. Today I ate 25g of carbs for breakfast (high-fibre cereal and almond milk, weighed and measured)) and spiked to 12.8. I corrected that and was back in range by lunch. I lowered my I:C ratio to 1:7 and ate 20g of carbs for lunch (half a tuna sandwich and veggies and dip) and spiked to 10.0. I took a correction for that and was back (barely) in range by dinner. I ate 20g for dinner (turkey soup with some crackers and a small salad) and spiked to 10.8 after dinner. I took a correction and am almost back in range. I also had ketones after dinner, so I changed my site. But I find these spikes crazy. I might as well not bolus at all because I wouldn’t be a heck of a lot worse off with what I’m eating! I just bolused for 25g with the new site, so we’ll see what happens … (I’m 6.0 (108 mg/dl) at two hours. HUGE difference, almost too low!)

It’s interesting because I have always needed more insulin on the pump than I did before going on it. It makes me wonder if infusion sets have always been a bit of an issue. I used Tegaderm underneath the sites for years when I first got the pump but then that started making me itchy when I exercise, so I switched to IV 3000, but then my pharmacy stopped carrying both so I need to find somewhere to buy it so I can start using it again.

My allergies in general have gotten worse every year, especially my environmental ones but even my food allergy has gotten worse in that I now have reactions to things that don’t even contain potato starch directly but contain a substance derived from potato starch. That stuff never used to bother me. And all my environmental/seasonal ones get worse every year, too, so I now need to take medications year-round or else suffer. So why shouldn’t my body start reacting to something new like an infusion set that it’s exposed to all day, every day for the past 4.5 years.

Ugh. I just hope this is the problem because at least it’s relatively easily solvable.more, though.

Are you using humalog? About 6 months to a year in to pumping I was itching all over my body, had angry looking sites. I talked to my allergy nurse and after a few calls to manufactures (to find out what was in the sets) we discovered the only thing that I was allergic to was stopper in the humalog. It has natural rubber solids in it. I had developed a latex allergy. Switched to novolog and things improved greatly.

I used Humalog for years (since it came out in 1997 or so) but I switched to Apidra about six months ago because I was having all kinds of random highs that would not come down with Humalog. I’m now thinking it’s kind of the same issue I’m having now. Thanks for the information, though, that’s useful to know in case it’s not the sets themselves.

Hi Jen,
I have had T1 D since 1974. I have also had many allergic reactions to supplies and even insulin. I am currently on the Omni Pod pump for the past 4 1/2 years. (4th pump over the many years of D). I started out with site allergies and I have used pretty much everything under the sun to alleviate site irritation. WHat I am currently using and have been for the past 2 1/2 years under my Pod site is a RX foam medication. It is under the generic drug name Clobetasol Propionate Foam 0.05%. This foam creates a barrier like no other I have every used. It is actually used for open wounds from colostomy sites. I hope that you can find it where you live but you will need a RX for it, usually a dermatologist or MD can prescribe it for you. Good Luck and I hope you find an answer. I too have gone through what you described years ago (at the early pump stages). This foam is the only thing that I use to keep my Pods on without irritation. However I will say it takes a while for the absorption levels to come back. I only use my arms for my Pods because I have to much tissue damage for absorption on my stomach or legs. Best of Luck to You.

:( I am currently going through this. well, I went through it over a year ago and have been giving shots. i want to go back on the pump before I get pregnant again, but nothing works! :( I just want a cure already!