Artificial Pancreases Could Improve Type 1 Diabetes

An artificial pancreas could provide an improvement for type 1 diabetes patients. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have been working on a study which compares the use of a conventional insulin pump to an artificial pancreas. They have discovered that the artificial pancreas has provided much better results.


Type 1 diabetes is a disease that primarily affects children. The number of children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is on the rise. In addition, the risk factors for type 1 diabetes include genetic disposition to the disease as well as obesity. Currently, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Many patients that have type 1 diabetes use insulin on a daily basis. The pancreas is responsible for producing and controlling blood sugar levels.


If blood sugars are not controlled, a dangerous condition known as hypoglycemia can result. This condition is known as insulin shock because it can happen quickly. The symptoms include anxiety, sweating, chills, confusion, sleepiness, blurry vision, weakness and tingling or numbness.


The study has confirmed that artificial pancreas systems can help to improve control over blood sugar levels and also reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. These systems work better than insulin pump therapy systems. This statement was made by Ahmad Haidar, of Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montreal, who is the co-author on the study.


The study was published to the The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology and looked at two different types of artificial pancreas symptoms and compared the use of these symptoms to an insulin pump in 30 patients. While the insulin pump was only able to deliver insulin, the pancreas were able to deliver insulin and glucagon or just insulin. The patients were made to come in 3 times within 24 hours during the time that the researchers tested a different device.


Only 5% of the population of individuals with diabetes has type 1 diabetes. However, this group still includes millions of individuals. Insulin is needed for daily life in order to properly convert sugars into the energy that the body needs. Without a proper system for the delivery of the energy, the diabetic person’s body can not function. Researchers hope that the artificial pancreas will be able to provide diabetic patients with some assistance within five to seven years so that blood sugar levels can be managed at nighttime when blood sugar levels tend to be lower.

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