Posted on Oct 16, 2017, 4 p.m.
The FDA has recently approved (2016) artificial pancreases for patients over the age of 14
Diabetes is the dis-regulation of blood sugar of glucose in the blood. There is Type 1 Diabetes, which begins in childhood and is a failure to the pancreas to make enough Insulin to regulate the sugar in the blood particularly after eating. This can cause a host of symptoms and severe illness, and even coma. Type 2 diabetes has an adult onset, usually after the age of 35-45, and can be a combination of factors where there the pancreas and/or liver releases incorrect amounts of hormones or blood regulators causing wide swings in blood glucose which upset the entire body and metabolism. One of the most significant co-factors of either type of diabetes is obesity.
Many diabetics are controlled by the use of diet and exercise; however, the majority of people will not maintain the rigid protocols and effort needed to manage their sugar levels and need to progress to oral medications. When that fails to adequately control levels, insulin injections become necessary. Depending on the severity of the condition, some patients are required to inject insulin anywhere from one to six times a day, with doses dependent upon food and calorie intake. A demanding schedule of monitoring glucose blood levels is also required with as many as 5 or 6 blood tests (finger sticks) with a glucometer daily. Even with diligence levels can bounce up and down creating a very difficult life for many diabetics, which greatly affects their ability to function.
In an effort to streamline this process, scientists have been working on an “artificial pancreas” since the 70’s. The FDA has recently approved (2016) artificial pancreases for patients over the age of 14. It automatically senses when the body requires additional insulin every five minutes, and then pumps out the right amount through a small catheter, thereby automating the otherwise laborious and sometimes painful processes of monitoring and injecting. Some are connected to a computer or smart phone for accurate analysis and dosing. At this time patients must still calibrate the device and confirm the proper dose before administration. Future models will do everything automatically.
US trials and devices are based on European devices and research. FDA approved US trials beginning in 2012. There are many other insulin pumps in the US today and most are covered by many insurance plans but there very few artificial pancreas models available yet. The two most popular insulin pumps available today are made by Medtronic and sell for between $600 & $800.
Now with FDA approval, this technology and distribution of devices is expected to advance rapidly; thereby easing the enormous burden and insufficient glucose control for diabetic immensely.
Campbell, H. (2016, September 28). Diabetes: MiniMed 670G hybrid closed-loop insulin system is a waypoint to an artificial pancreas.
FDA approves first automated insulin delivery device for type 1 diabetes. (2016, September 28).
Hybrid closed loop pivotal trial in type 1 diabetes. (2016, October 4).
JDRF. (2012, March 19). First U.S. outpatient artificial pancreas trial gets FDA approval [Press release].
JDRF celebrates historic artificial pancreas success bringing life-changing benefits to people with type 1 diabetes. (n.d.).
Priority access program. (n.d.).
The 670G system – P160017. (n.d.).
By: Dr. Michael J. Koch, Editor for www.WorldHealth.net and Dr. Ronald Klatz, DO, MD President of the A4M which has 28,000 Physician Members, and has trained over 150,000 physicians, health professionals and scientists around the world in the new specialty of Anti-Aging Medicine. A4M physicians are now providing advanced preventative medical care for over 10’s of Million individuals worldwide who now recognize that aging is no longer inevitable.