Health & Fitness

‘Revolutionary’ artificial pancreas could offer hope to millions with type 2 diabetes

MILLIONS more diabetic Brits could benefit from “artificial pancreas” devices set to be rolled out on the NHS.

The NHS this week got the green light to offer people with type 1 diabetes gadgets that control blood sugar automatically.


Devices to control blood sugar levels could one day replace drugs and jabs[/caption]

Now scientists say the technology works for people with type 2 diabetes as well.

Type 2 is the most common form of the condition, affecting more than four million people compared to 300,000 with type 1.

A study by Cambridge University found the “closed loop” insulin devices can double the amount of time patients spend with glucose levels in a healthy range.

They could one day be used to replace pills and painful insulin injections, slashing the risk of complications like blindness, nerve damage and even amputations.

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Study author Dr Charlotte Boughton said: “Many people with type 2 diabetes struggle to manage their blood sugar levels using the current treatments.

“The artificial pancreas can provide a safe and effective approach to help them, and the technology is simple to use and can be implemented safely at home.”

The “closed loop” system uses a sensor and insulin pump worn on the body to automatically control blood sugar by injecting insulin when it falls too low.

The Cambridge trial involved 26 local patients and gave half of them the new treatment and left half on their standard insulin injections.

People trialling the automatic system spent 66 per cent of their time in their target blood sugar range, compared to 32 per cent for people on standard therapy.

Patients using the devices spent half as long with high blood sugar, which is what causes serious side effects, scientists said in the journal Nature Medicine.

Source of data and images: thesun

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