The 6th Edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas reports that the number of people living with diabetes rose to 382 million in 2013 and evidence shows that diabetes prevalence by 2035 will be nearly 600 million with diabetes and approximately 470 million will have impaired glucose tolerance. 1 in 8 people in the world, 1 billion people,will live with or be at risk of diabetes.
Bionic Pancreas to Control Blood Glucose
A recently published paper on a study by Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital provides a boost to the global fight against diabetes. The Bionic Pancreas is a wearable experimental device that has passed the test of constantly monitoring blood glucose and automatically giving insulin or a sugar boosting drug as needed.
The device controls blood glucose in people with Type 1 Diabetes mellitus using doses of both insulin and the blood glucose raising hormone, glucagon.
Unlike other artificial pancreas in the process of being developed that just correct high blood glucose, this one can also fix low blood glucose thereby imitating what a natural pancreas does.
The device has three parts, 2 cell phone sized pumps for insulin and sugar- raising glucagon and an IPhone wired to a Continuous Glucose Monitor. Three small needles go under the skin usually in the belly, to connect patients to the components which can be kept in the pocket.
The study results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- The use of multiple injections of modern insulin or
- The use of DAFNE(Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating) style education that help people match their insulin dose to the amount of carbs in each meal.
- Insulin pump therapy sometimes combined with continuous blood glucose monitoring can be helpful.
- Reduces risk of severe hypos
- Leads to improved awareness of hypos
- Less variability in blood glucose levels
- Improved quality of life and reduced fear of hypos.
- Those who have experienced two or more severe hypos within the last two years and have impaired awareness of hypos
- Those with a functioning kidney transplant who experience severe hypos and impaired hypo awareness or poor blood glucose control despite best medical therapy.
- Those who need a lot of insulin a day – e.g more than 50 units a day for a 70 kg body weight.
- Who weigh over 85 kg
- Those with poor kidney function.