View Single Post
Old January 29 2013, 04:17 PM   #1489
thestrangequark's Avatar
Location: Brooklyn

TheSeeker wrote: View Post

It's interesting that you posted this when you did. I was browsing CTV News yesterday and came across this article and it looks like they are talking about the very device you are using, except they are referring to it as an artificial pancreas.
Just missed this!

The pump and the artificial pancreas aren't exactly the same thing, though the artificial pancreas involves a pump. The pump has been around for ages, and the artificial pancreas is still very much in the testing phase. The artificial pancreas involves what is called a "closed-loop" system -- a glucometer and pump, either internal or external, that monitor and regulate blood sugar on their own. Current pumps, while they can link to glucometers wirelessly, and can be programmed to do a lot of things automatically, are still ultimately under the control of the individual. Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) technology is still very new and imprecise, and frankly, closed-loop systems scare the crap out of me and I don't think I would ever want one. This sentiment is shared by a lot of diabetics.

I'd actually prefer the implantable pump, but you can't get it in the US anymore,there are currently 4 US patients still using them, but they have to fly to France every 4 months to get them refilled. The reasons for them being discontinued are not medical, but business and bureaucratic decisions. The implantable pump is not automatic like an artificial pancreas, but it is implanted completely in the body and controlled via remote. The big difference between the implantable pump and the pump I'm on now is that the implantable pump delivers insulin directly to the liver (instead of sub-q) which is how the body naturally does it. Delivery of insulin directly to the liver much better regulates blood glucose and eliminates hypoglycemia. It also requires much less insulin. Sub-q insulin has to be mega-dosed, because insulin is not naturally supposed to enter the system sub-q. Even the miniscule doses I take are mega-doses compared to a non-diabetic. Apparently this results in type 1's being sick and fatigued all the time, but since you don't know how it feels to feel normal, you don't notice. Patients who've had the implantable pump report feeling like completely different people the instant they wake up from the surgery.

I'd love to feel that.

The Enterprise is my TARDIS.
thestrangequark is offline   Reply With Quote