A healthy pancreas is not only able to produce insulin, it is able to react rapidly and precisely to changing amounts of glucose in the blood because of food intake or exercise.
The traditional method of treating Type 1 diabetes is with daily insulin injections. Despite advances in insulin technology and injection strategies, the use of daily injections inevitably results in insulin levels that do not match the normal and rapid changes in blood glucose throughout the day. Too little insulin and high glucose levels create immediate symptoms and contribute to long-term complications. Too much insulin and the patient is at risk of a 'hypo' where there is too little blood sugar leading to loss of consciousness and convulsions.
As an advanced alternative to injections, insulin pump therapy was developed to mimic the normal physiology of the healthy pancreas. Unlike multiple daily insulin injections, an insulin pump is able to provide a constant background infusion of insulin that can be adjusted according to individual need, compensating for daily activity and exercise routines. The pump is also programmed to deliver large, bolus, doses of insulin to address the big glucose swings in the blood that would otherwise result from eating and drinking. By mimicking the natural physiology of the pancreas, insulin pump therapy aims to maintain a constantly normal blood glucose level; avoiding the highs that are associated with meals or the lows that come from too much insulin.