MOH News
Dr. Al-Harbi: “Abrupt Spike in Blood Sugar and DKA Are of the Most Serious Complications of Misuse of Insulin Pump”
26 February 2014
A consultant in Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, and the Director General of Diabetes Centers at Hospitals General Department in the Ministry of Health (MOH), Dr. Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Harbi, has touched upon some misconceptions associated with the usage of insulin pump amid diabetics, most notably the negligence in maintaining the diet regime and the physician’s instructions. Besides, Dr. Al-Harbi has indicated that the effectiveness of the insulin pump has been proven in the treatment of the repeated and chronic diabetes fluctuation, in addition to alleviating the suffering of daily repeated injection pains from diabetics.
 “Some diabetics misbelieve that the purpose of the pump is only to avoid the repeated injection pains, not also for the treatment of diabetes in general, the matter which leads them to the misuse of the pump and negligence in following up the diet regime and the physician’s instructions. Thus, the rich prefer to go to the private health care centers and buy the pump at their own cost, while those misconceptions may lead to many complications,” said Dr. Al-Harbi.
He went on adding that some diabetics think that they can eat whatever they desire as long as insulin is being secreted incessantly in the body, along with increasing of insulin doses according to the intake of food. In this spirit, Dr. Al-Harbi indicated that those patients may gradually gain weight, and suffer from fat accumulation in the liver and in other parts of the body, such as the big arteries feeding the heart and the feet, the matter which results in blocking these arteries, and consequently causes bad effect on the organs including them.
 “Abrupt spike in blood sugar and diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are among the most serious complications of the misuse of insulin pump” warned Dr. Al-Harbi, adding, “This may take place due to stopping of insulin release, for any reason, without the patient himself or any of his family members taking notice. However, some pumps include alarms, that alert the patient in case of the stop of insulin release, overweight or fat accumulation in the body, which may result in some chronic complications. These complications may be caused by the negligence of following up the diet regime prepared by the treating physician.”
Dr. Al-Harbi has highlighted that those complications include acute blood sugar drop among children, especially when they are engaged in playing during the insulin release via the pump, without eating, or without anyone taking notice. Therefore, Dr. Al-Harbi called upon all diabetics to abide by the instructions of the treating medical team, noting that these instructions are reckoned the main pillar in diabetes therapy, beside using the pump. Therefore, the patient should consider it as an integrated therapeutic system, not just a tool for avoiding the injection pains.
Within the same vein, Dr. Al-Harbi has underscored that this insulin pump is not just like any devices given to the patients. However, it is a very delicate tool, which necessitates some requirements or conditions to be met in the service provider as well as the patient; in order not to be a harmful instrument hurting the patient instead of benefitting him.
Furthermore, Dr. Al-Harbi has briefed some of these requirements that should be met by the service provider, namely; 1- There must be a medical team, headed by a consultant in endocrinology and diabetes, and with the membership of a specialist in therapeutic nutrition and a diabetes educator, with a long experience in the treatment of diabetes using the pump, in addition to other key members such as a social worker, a nurse trained in this regard and an administrative official. 2- The easy accessibility and communication with the treating medical team when necessary. 3- The availability of the pump and its accessories permanently in the health facility.
“As for the patient,” Dr. al-Harbi continued, “he is required to be so convinced of the real benefit of this pump, as it isnot only a tool for just avoiding the injection pains, butfor the treatment of diabetes in general. Besides, he is required to learn the way to recognize the rate of carbohydrates in his food, because this is important for identifying the suitable food for his condition. Moreover, the patient should be accurate and abide by conducting the required check-ups on their due dates, and maintaining the diet regime, commensurate with using the pump. He, also, must be in contact with the treating medical team.”
Finally, dr. Al-Harbi has highlighted that the insulin pump has several advantages and benefits, including that it is a tool  not only for providing diabetics (Type I or II) with insulin, but also for sparing them the injection pains, and the effectiveness of this pump in the treatment of the repeated and chronic diabetes fluctuation has been proven. Besides, the conditions of blood sugar drop may come to an end or at least decrease when using the pump. In addition, it grants the patient some flexibility in eating and movement, with no fear of any chronic complications of diabetics.

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Last Update 27 February 2014 05:06 PM
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