The latest studies done on an artificial pancreas create new hope for people with Type I diabetes. The artificial pancreas shows promise of helping people with Type I diabetes to control their blood sugar levels, without causing the dreaded effects of low blood sugars in the process.

What the Artificial Pancreas Does

The artificial pancreas that is being tested uses the technology that is already in place to allow the Type I diabetic to live less tethered to machines, medicines, and rules.

In the human body, the pancreas sends insulin to the body when the blood glucose levels get high. The insulin lowers the glucose levels automatically. We do not have to think to make our pancreas monitor our glucose levels and adjust our insulin dosage.

The artificial pancreas will take the technology of the automated insulin pumps, and the glucose meters that tell the patient when their levels are too high or too low.  With this technology, the artificial pancreas can determine how much insulin the person needs to maintain a proper blood sugar.

The patient will need to keep track of the carbohydrates they consume so they can input their carbohydrate intake into the device and the device can decide how much insulin will be needed.

The Study

There are 58 patients currently using the artificial pancreas in a study. The participants in the study are a mix of children and adults.

The participants wore the artificial pancreas device for 12 weeks and for 12 weeks they used the glucose monitoring and automated insulin pumps to determine if the artificial pancreas was capable of doing the best job of regulating the insulin.

Type I Diabetes

Type I diabetes is a chronic medical condition where the pancreas in a person’s body fails to produce the insulin needed to control the blood glucose levels. The effects of the lack of blood glucose control are damages to internal organs, especially the heart and kidneys, confusion, fatigue, and ultimately a premature death.

Currently people with Type I diabetes control their high blood glucose levels by eating a diet that is strictly regulated to limit the amount of carbohydrates ingested, and they take insulin by injection.

Insulin by injection helps the Type I diabetic to control their blood glucose level, but if the person takes too much insulin, or they decrease their food intake, and sometimes for unexplained reasons, the insulin can cause the blood glucose levels to fall below the normal and a low blood sugar can lead to a coma, or death,

People with Type I diabetes have to walk a tightrope each day monitoring their blood glucose levels, taking their medication at the right time, in the right doses, and adjusting when needed, and eating a very strict diet. People with Type I diabetes have to plan every meal out carefully, and they must always be prepared for their sugar to go high or go low.