May 22, 2013
No More Shots! Well, Almost
People with Type I diabetes have much to rejoice about, as there have been great strides in research to find a new way of injecting insulin. One of the many ways and, in my opinion, one of the most successful ways, of inducing insulin to patients with Type I diabetes is using a new form of injectable nanoparticles. These new nanoparticles are able to not only measure the glucose levels within a person’s blood but also are able to inject a form of glucose or insulin to regulate the person’s glucose levels and keep them from going hypoglycemic.
The hardest part that many people with Type I diabetes have isn’t so much the shots or the finger pricking, which although eventually becomes annoying rather than painful, but it’s being able to regulate their blood sugar with the several different types of insulin out there. Every person is different and therefore trying to find a regiment that keeps them from staying low or keeps them from going into diabetic shock can be difficult. These new nanoparticles are able to detect when a person is going “low” and act as an artificial pancreas rather than have a person constantly inject themselves. This, in theory, should be able to stabilize a person’s blood sugar better, rather than them constantly pricking their finger to check and then injecting themselves with insulin.
This should revolutionize how many people handle their diabetes, as there have many revolutionary ideas over the past decade. Different inventions, such as insulin pumps and smaller needles, have made the lifestyle of a diabetic easier and less painful. The invention of the insulin pump allowed people for more control over their diabetes, but this is a heavy responsibility for those that are younger and may not fully understand the responsibility that they have. As medical staff for Texas Lions Camp, we see many different kids that bolus, or induce themselves with insulin through their pump, in order to gain attention from either a boy, girl, counselor, or medical staff. This can be very dangerous because this can cause a person to go into diabetic shock and may even cause death. These nanoparticles take that control that some may not be able to handle and gives more control to the natural balance of their glucose levels within their blood.
Engineers from MIT have been doing this research and know that this will be not be a long term solution to Type I diabetes, but this is one the best ideas that have come out for people that wish to control their diabetes better. They hope to provide a “closed loop” process to help those that have trouble controlling their diabetes. In theory, it will be safer and much easier to maintain when compared to regular glucose checking and shots of insulin that need to still be monitored and constantly checked. This new method will provide families with more options and may even be less expensive for those that are on low income.
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