There is a very big hope coming to T1Ds in a very long time. The first of numerous artificial pancreas (AP) developments has been okayed by FDA for release in this coming Spring, by Medtronic. I suspect Medtronic got in first because they are in bed with FDA, as are most large medical companies. BTW, AP is also known as closed-loop controlled insulin pumps.
Anyway, it will allow the best control possible but is still limited to good tracking of food calorie intake. You must decide how many calories, especially carbohydrates, you are going to eat each meal, and program that into the pump. It is also important to develop a fair degree of regularity of eating times, caloric intake, and exercise. These really help you learn your body’s specific response to diabetes. You must also learn about the effect of your insulin sites on how long it takes for insulin to be absorbed. Generally, it absorbs faster in more muscular tissue than in fatty tissue. You’ll need the help of a diabetes educator on site location and rotation, and on how to use a pump.
Pump warranty generally lasts 5 years and insurance companies won’t pay for a new one till your warranty runs out. So I would wait on getting a pump till Medtronic puts the AP on the market in the Spring.
Old myths about diabetics having no control of their health, and shorter life spans, are things of the past. You still must control your blood sugars, try to keep an A1C around 6, and live well. Watch out for fast acting carbohydrates (carbs) because it can be hard for insulin to match its profile. Fast carbs hit fast and then drop a little more slowly. It is good to program that amount into the pump. Protein carbohydrates kick in after one or two hours, and fats in four to five. It is not easy to program all that into the pump. Most pumps have a delayed bolus in addition to the regular bolus, so it tells the insulin how much to release over the time period you set. The APs will take some of that work off our hands, but it still needs to know the calorie profile of your meals (how much carbs, protein, and fat you are eating). A good quality kitchen scale, an app for food calories of all the foods people eat (like Calorie King), and a set of weekly menus will be really helpful. If you like to cook, it will improve your control versus eating out, because you never know what and how much you are eating. When you cook, you can learn the habit of preparing meals that are good for diabetics. In general, you want plenty of protein and slow-acting carbs, and some fat, versus a diet of fast carbs. A diabetic dietitian can help.
If you don’t have an Endocrinology physician, get one. A must for diabetics.