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I recently had the privilege of meeting Dr. Francine Kaufman — a distinguished professor emerita of pediatrics and communications at the Keck School of Medicine and past president of the American Diabetes Association — at a Mayo Clinic endocrine lecture program. The focus of Dr. Kaufman's talk was on current and future technology in diabetes. As part of her presentation, Dr. Kaufman discussed artificial pancreas research and what must happen before the artificial pancreas can become a reality.
As you may know, the pancreas is an amazing, complex organ. The three components of the artificial pancreas — or closed loop system — are the insulin pump, the continuous glucose sensor and mathematical equations called algorithms. Algorithms determine how much insulin should be given minute-by-minute to keep the blood glucose in a healthy target range.
Many artificial pancreas research questions still need to be answered. These include:
The development of the artificial pancreas will more than likely be implemented in steps. One existing insulin pump and sensor alerts the wearer of an oncoming event, automatically stopping the insulin pump if the person doesn’t act on the warning. The system is available in much of the world, but the manufacturer is still awaiting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in the United States. Two other major companies are also awaiting FDA approval for integration of their insulin pump and glucose monitor products.
The future looks good for the artificial pancreas, or closed loop system. We just have to let researchers sort through the remaining questions — I'm hoping that will be sooner than later.
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N.
Peggy Moreland, R.N.
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My daughter was born with cranial facial anomalies and has required several surgeries for that. She also developed psoriasis and then gastroparesis and now type 1 diabetes. We would so love an artificial pancreas. We have put the cranial facial issues on hold, for fear of infection with surgeries. Please help!
I have been Type 1 diabetic for the past 18 years, since I was 10 years old. I adopted a plant-based eating lifestyle about 2 years ago, once I learned about the many health benefits it offers. I not only cured my chronic hives, I also decreased the amount of insulin I need and increased my control! After 2 years of researching the science behind vegan lifestyles, I have discovered some very important studies being done which are strongly linking dairy consumption during gestation to Type 1 Diabetes. This is some very important information and I hope that more research can be done for expectant mothers.
Ive been a type 1 for 49 years now Im 55 years old been on a pump for 5 years and love it. started showing some of sign of being a diabetic for so long hands and legs feel like they are a sleep alot but when my mother asked the dr. 49 years ago how long i would live he told her at lease to i was 30 i guess i beat that if they need someone for research im there man i agree with all these comments some times i think type 1 diabetic get forgot about
I am 51 years old and have been a type 1 diabetic for close on 38 years. Within the last 6 - 8 years I have noticed a marked insensitivity to hypoglycema. An annually repetitive pattern is now emerging whereby for roughly 7 months of every year my response to my insulin injections is mostly unpredictable - the more physically active I become, the higher my bloodsugar levels - circa 285 -385 mg/dl. If I remain physically idle all day then it is the exact opposite. Low normal to extreme hypo bouts tend to constantly recur. For the last 3 to 4 months of every year I seem to be repetively hyp-glycaemic. In my country - The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago - sub-cutaneous insulin delivery systems are unavailable and I am of the opinion that this is the best solution for my problem.All vital signs for me are like that of a normal healthy man my age. Help........
I am wondering if the artificial pancreas will also give us digestive enzymes. I need them as bad as I need the insulin. I have only half of my pancreas. It is blocked with stone. The artifical pancreas should offer both insulin and digestive enzymes.
I am a diabetic type 1 since I was 19 years old,now I am in my 57th yr of Diabetic 1.
Y am very interested in cure for this disease by means of the the stems cells.
We are waiting for the artificial pancreas as above mentioned.
BBX9Lj I was a Type 2 diabetic in 2008 and went into Type 1 in February 2012. Wow, what a trip! I now have an insulin pump with a CGM monitor! I love it! I am still riding and training my horses and competing in dressage. I am afraid I will go down fighting to get on a horse! Fibromyalgia didn't take me down in 1995, my horses got me through that, and I pray God will get me through this as well. God bless all us us fighting this disease!
I have been diabetic since I was 17 years old, blood sugar count was 1000 in 1956, I have been on insulin shots since that date. I have had good doctors and nurses to help me and have lived a busy life, I have 1 son who is healthy without diabetes and am thankful for him, however my health is failing and I'm not able to do much of anything now. I'm so glad for all the research that is going on to get this condition for so many young and older people to help them. Thanks to all who have had a part in this time of searching for a way to help all.
Type 1 Diabetes is such an old disease in comparison to many other diseases. However it seems to be a disease that is slow to achieve a universal cure for those suffering from this disease. I have had type 1 Diabetes for 31 years, I have watched the destruction of my health, body and life increase with every passing year despite all my attempts to maintain good glucose levels and healthy habits as a diabetic. At 40 years old, I can no longer enjoy many of the things a typical forty year old married mother of two has the freedom and health to enjoy. My eye sight, muscles, intestinal system, and emotionally well being have all been challenged or tortured by this VERY unfair disease. Why is it that a patient can only have a pancreas transplant once they have reached death's doorstep and are in kidney failure? I have fought very hard to keep my kidneys healthy and had always hoped that the fact that my kidneys are in great shape would make the hope of a transplant that much more real for me. I'm dying, plain and simple. A slow, painful and very cruel death faces me everyday and my outlook on life and a future with my family fades every single time I read where research is at with a transplant or a cure for someone like me. I want to live, I want to be pain free, I want to live the life I have dreamt about since I was 9 years old.
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