Omnipod Review – By Emma

There is one feature of the Omnipod is that I can’t imagine living without it. It has saved me from many hypos, allowed me to enjoy exercise (hypo free) and recover from hyperglycaemia gradually without any sudden plummets. The temporary basal feature allows me to increase and decrease my basal rate for up to 3hours. You can also suspend the temporary basal and return to the normal basal rate at any time and even suspend all insulin delivery when necessary. In particular I have found the temporary basal feature to be incredibly helpful at managing my blood sugars when exercising, unwell or treating hyperglycemia.

1. Exercise

One of the reasons I chose the Omnipod over the other insulin pumps available was because it is tubeless which makes it more practical and suitable for exercise and swimming. As most diabetics know exercise is fundamental to good blood sugar level control, although it is not as simple as just exercising. Certain forms of exercise cause blood sugars to increase and others result in hypos. Annoyingly hypos can interfere with exercise, occurring in the middle of a workout and forcing you to have to leave the gym to treat the hypo. Most clinicians suggest that you should have a snack before, during or after working out. However, the temporary basal feature of the Omnipod allows you to be more flexible with workouts and suspend all insulin delivery before blood sugars drop too low. I have found that using a minus temporary basal of 20% during and one hour after my work out is perfect for keeping my blood sugars stable and preventing hypos.

2. Physical illness

All diabetics know that getting a virus or physical illness is one of the most irritating and frustrating experiences. Not only do we feel run down and unwell, we also have to deal with high blood sugars that don’t seem to want to shift. Being able to add a temporary basal of up to 100% allows you to increase your insulin for the duration of the time you are ill.

3. Hypoglycemia

There is nothing worse than having what feels like a never ending hypo. When I was on injection pens, it would often take an entire packet of dextrose to finally get my blood sugars to start to increase. Once the insulin has been injected there is no way of correcting it HOWEVER… with the Omnipod you are able to suspend all insulin delivery, so once you start to feel a bit on the low side you can prevent any further decline. The only thing it doesn’t have which I wish it did was an alarm that tells you when your blood sugars are beginning to decrease.

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I have had type 2 diabetes for 5 years now, and do struggle with my insulin levels, my consultant at BARTS, Professor David Leslie, recommended that I attend a four day Intensive Carbohydrate Education Programme, funded by the NHS, which helps diabetics to better manage their food management, using carbohydrate intake to correctly calculate the correct dosage of insulin, and correct usage of insulin pumps. I am finding the course very useful, and would certainly recommend that you consider attending such a course before using an insulin pump.
Hoping for a Diabetic cure for us all. Wishing you all good health.
F. Hussain (City of London)

Our little boy has just got Omnipod after having a Medtronic for 4 years. it is amazing. i would say his control is even better – I don’t know if that is because he is exercising more and resting better without a large pump attached or just a slightly longer canula it is hard to say but he loves it. James try and state that you go sailing/swim a lot etc and you find you go higher a while after and see if that helps?

Regards.

I am due to change my pump in April but my area NHS do not support the Omni Pod system I am close to Staines, MIDDX Can anyone tell me hospitals in my area that have adopted Omni pod so I can look into being referred ASAP.

Kindest regards

James

Hello all, I think for me the greatest joy of the omnipod is not having that psychological battering of injecting yourself 6 times a day. You prick your finger, and give yourself what you need which involves no further pricking. For that alone I think it’s a huge bonus.
I have occasionally had problems with it staying on, but not enough to worry about…I find it sticks much better if you give the area a clean with soap and a flannel and dry it properly – this means it’s really secure.
Since the omnipod I’ve felt more in control of my diabetes, BUT also had a mild retinopathy result come back…I’m now back to my diabetes team to have a continual glucose monitor for a week – which I hope will tighten up my control even more.
There IS funding for the omnipod, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.
I think my biggest challenge has been excercising – although I agree it makes it MUCH easier, it’s still tricky and my lucozade is a pretty permanent fixture. I hope that with the glucose monitor this will help me figure out the levels I should be giving myself.
Before the omnipod I looked swollen and un well – now I have my body back. And although there’s always more you can do with diabetes, I feel like this is the future…and it’s way better.
Another positive is how lovely all the people are at Ypsomed – you never feel like a pain or a freak, they are always wanting to help.

I love my temporary basal rates and basal suspends on my Medtronic pump, they have been keeping me out of trouble for years! I’m up for renewal next year so thanks for the review, it’s good to get good balanced opinions. (Although I couldn’t live without my continious monitoring integrated with the pump…)

Hi Helen
I was given the choice of what pump I wanted but because the Omnipod was the onlt tubeless one available I didn’t even consider the others available.
Have you not been given the choice?

Hi Marie
I too have a pump which I call my best friend! Just wondered if the sub heading hyperglycemia show say hypoglycemia? Thanks for taking time to do the review.

I am impressed that you say you CHOSE the omnipod. My experience is you get what you are given. Is Emma’s experience the norm? If so, I will be more pushy in the future.

Hi Marie.
I haven’t really had any trouble with mine actually falling off, however occassionally the pod will loose its stick around the sides. I have used a waterproof plaster style tape to keep it on when that occurs. I found if my skin was sweaty or warm that happened more. The other thing I use is a band, which you can buy online. They make bands for children and adults and they have bands for arms, legs and tummy. Its really important tthat the skin is completely dry when putting on the pod.
I am sorry that I cant be of much help and I hope your appointment goes well. I would really love to know more about the spray and was wondering if u could let me know once you find out.

I have tried a demo omni pod on my 4 year old little boy, he’s has type 1 for nearly 2 years with multiple injections.
It won’t stay on. We’ve got an appointment on the 10th, tour diabetes nurse said they have a spray we can put it on before attaching it so it stays on. fingers crossed.