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Diabetes Health
Bionic pancreas

Bionic pancreas

 

A promising future

Type 1 Diabetes is an auto immune disorder in which the body’s own systems destroy the insulin-producing beta cells, leading to complete lack of insulin in the body. As a result patients have to depend on external insulin for life to survive. Moreover, maintaining blood sugar levels close to the normal range is a challenge for most Type 1 Diabetes patients.

Type 1 Diabetes is an auto immune disorder in which the body’s own systems destroy the insulin-producing beta cells, leading to complete lack of insulin in the body. As a result patients have to depend on external insulin for life to survive. Moreover, maintaining blood sugar levels close to the normal range is a challenge for most Type 1 Diabetes patients. Most patients experience episodes of hypoglycaemia (low-sugar feeling), which can be life threating. To address the same a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine assessed the effectiveness and safety of a bionic pancreas in managing blood sugar levels.

 The bionic pancreas used by the researchers in particular study, is a device that contains two hormones – insulin and glucagon. Insulin lowers blood sugar, whereas glucagon raises blood sugar. This device was tested in two study groups, i.e. adults and adolescents, for a period of five days. It was noted that as compared to insulin pumps which deliver only insulin, the bionic pancreas improved the average blood sugar levels and additionally resulted in lesser episodes of hypoglycaemia. Although further investigations are still pending, bionic pancreas may eventually provide hope to people who suffer from Type 1 Diabetes.

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