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Pump For Perfect Blood Sugar For people with diabetes, the challenge is to keep their glucose, or blood sugar level, from getting too high or too low.

Either way can make you pretty sick.

The problem is, some people either forget to or find it hard to monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day. So, ideally this is done for you. That could happen with a pump being developed to automatically measure the blood glucose level and administer the correct hormones.

This new device is for people with Type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas stops making insulin. Normally, the pancreas secretes insulin into the bloodstream when we eat.

As insulin circulates, it acts like a key by unlocking molecular doors that allow sugar to enter the body's cells.

Without insulin, our cells would not get the energy they need, and the amount of sugar in our blood would get too high – eventually damaging the organs. That's why Type 1 diabetics must monitor their blood glucose levels and inject themselves with insulin.

While a diabetic's blood sugar could get too high, it could also dip too low – something called hypoglycemia. That happens when you take too much insulin, don't eat enough or suddenly increase exercise without eating more.

That's why the new device is ideal. It'll administer insulin to lower the blood glucose level and the hormone, glucagon, which raises it.

The pump should be about the size of a cell phone. It'll be connected to a sensor implanted under the skin to take real time measurements of blood glucose levels.

Then a computer chip will use a sophisticated algorithm to instruct the pump to deliver the appropriate amount of hormones.

The research team could have the pump ready for regulatory approval within seven years. If successful, millions of diabetics could live healthier and more active lives.

 

For more information…

For a very readable article go to ScienceNews magazine online where they described the development of this dual pump that is mated to a sensor that will monitor and maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
For more information…

A similar article appeared at boston.com and sciencedaily.com.

To learn about the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's artificial pancreas project go here.

For reliable and extensive information about diabetes, go to the web site provided by MedlinePlus. MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free. The webpage about diabetes can be found here.