Starting the cortisol pump!
If you are considering the cortisol pump method to manage your cortisol replacement, the following steps are a guide to help you successfully navigate your pumping journey!
1- Assess your life, health and disease management.
The cortisol pump is not a cure for adrenal insufficiency and is not a treatment that is right for everyone. If you are well managed on the steroid replacement pills, the adrenal pump is excess money and effort you may not need. The pump is not an easy thing to acquire and the fight to get one takes a great deal of trouble, mental stamina and resources.
2- Research, learn and educate for yourself.
Information you need to know:
What is your diagnosis?
What form of adrenal insufficiency do you have? What is your quality of life?
Are you able to work, drive, do housework or function normally?
What have you tried to manage your adrenal disease?
What is your current daily dose of replacement steroid?
How much are you stress dosing?
What other medical issues do you have?
Are you able to afford the supplies and medication needed for the pump?
Insurance may or may not cover your pump, supplies or solu-cortef.
3- Find a Pump Friendly Endocrinologist
Prepare the best case possible. Send your research, your health information, everything you can to the endocrinologist before your appointment so they are aware of your intentions before hand. Write a letter to the endocrinologist explaining your diagnosis, failed treatments and desire to be on the pump. They may or may not be receptive to your request and alerting them of your intentions beforehand may save you time, money and effort.
4- Battling the Insurance Company
What your insurance will cover is completely dependent on your location, specific coverage plan and insurance company. If you are denied, you can always file an appeal. Visit this link to download the example appeal letter you can fill out with your information to appeal your insurance company’s denial.
It is also an option to cash purchase pumps and supplies if you have a prescription from your overseeing physician.
The non profit organization Adrenal Alternatives Foundation has a program which assists adrenal patients to acquire pumps in a safe and legal manner.
Prescriptions & Supplies Needed
Types of Pump Systems
Infusion Site Locations
For more information on cortisol pumping can be found in the book: