An artificial pancreas is a device that is currently being tested to treat type 1 diabetes. Recent studies have shown that patients can in fact see improvements in their overnight experiences with type 1 diabetes through the use of an artificial pancreas. This device is designed to monitor glucose levels in the body and naturally distribute the right amount of insulin whenever blood sugar levels get out of normal range. It takes over the job that a real pancreas would have in the body.
Overnight Benefits of an Artificial Pancreas
One of the main issues that type 1 diabetes patients have to deal with is the maintenance of their blood glucose levels over night. Many patients will go through drops in their blood sugar levels as they sleep that can actually cause seizures or even death unexpectedly. The artificial pancreas is the perfect solution to this problem though because it can take over insulin treatments as a person sleeps. If it works properly, it can significantly reduce the chances of sudden death in children and adults with type 1 diabetes.
Studies have shown that patients who use artificial pancreases instead of insulin pumps had a much better chance of getting the insulin they needed when they needed it most, and the benefits of the device seemingly improve when a person goes out for a night. Some participants in the study were told to go out for a standard dinner and alcoholic beverage for part of the experiment, and they found great changes in their blood glucose treatments through the use of the device.
The Future of the Artificial Pancreas
As of right now, the artificial pancreas is still in development. The process of using it is still not fully automatic, but researchers suggest that they can automate the process in the future. They have yet to receive the approval for their testing, but once they do, they will begin trying out different ways to create a fully functional device for nighttime use.
The FDA is keeping a close eye on artificial pancreases before they are released to the general public. There are still years of research to come to test the safety of these devices before they can actually work at improving the lives of diabetes sufferers. Nevertheless, the research so far has shown great signs that these devices will in fact be able to help people with type 1 diabetes in the near future. It is just a matter of testing and developing the perfect solution for the market and the medical community. Someday soon, this may be a treatment worldwide for type 1 diabetes and similar medical conditions.