FDA has approved an artificial pancreas for diabetics, which may change the lives of many people suffering from the disease.
The pancreas may not get as much attention as the heart or kidney, but it is should be kept healthy with the right diet. When gastric juices make their way into the small intestine, the pancreas squirts pancreatic juice into the intestine to make sure the acid stays balanced. The pancreas also adds digestive enzymes to the juice and produces insulin.
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little to no insulin, so the body is not able to process sugar properly.
The company Medtronic Plc won approval for their artificial pancreas. This is the first device to deliver the right dose of insulin to type 1 diabetes patients, so they don’t have to constantly monitor insulin levels throughout the day.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called the new device, the MiniMed 670G, a breakthrough.
“This is a revolutionary day for the treatment of diabetes. We’ve been long awaiting the artificial pancreas, and it’s exciting to see it,” said Dr. Robert Courgi, an endocrinologist at Northwell Health’s South Side Hospital in Bay Shore, New York.
Type 1 patients take insulin shots during the day. However, blood sugar can drop too low if there is too much insulin in the body. So patients need to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels. This is especially difficult for kids at school, as their teachers and school staff need to be up on their condition and on how to treat it.
“This device will mean peace of mind, in knowing a person will be in normal blood sugar range a great majority of the time,” said Derek Rapp, CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“It is a major news event that a system of this kind has been approved – the first time a pump will administer insulin as a result of information it receives from a sensor,” Rapp added.
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