October 23, 2009
This week I had the opportunity to attend the Insulin Pump Expo 2009. This event is organized by The local chapter of Diabetes Australia, and brings together the diabetes community interested in Insulin Pumps. There were two presentaton tracks on the day, one for prospective pumpers and an advanced one for those of us who have been pumping for a while.
In the introductory session they introduce the basic concepts of pumping, with the objective of helping people decide whether they may be interested in an insulin pump. There is also presentations by most pump manufacturers and it’s an interesting to see them competing with each other for patients attention.
I’m already on a pump and pretty much locked to it for the next 3 1/2 years, so for me, the advanced session was where the real value was. Cheryl Steele from the Diabetes Department at Western Health, presented a very comprehensive presentation on bolus options, handling tricky food and continuous glucose monitoring.
Particularly interesting for m was the section on takeaway foods. I’ve always had issues with some foods and had assumed that there was not much you could do… Naughty eating gets naughty BGLs…. It turns out that what I’ve been doing wrong is using the wrong type of bolus. I’ve been using normal bolus for everything while in reallity the fat content of the foods slows down the absortion rate.
Some of the recommendations were quite impresive… for a Big Mac, for example… 50% of the insulin immedicately and 50% over 3 or 4 hours… Pizza, 30-40% now and the rest over 6-7 hours. We were also told to include part of the fat content in the carb count as the liver will eventually turn it into glucose.
Overall was a great night and look forward to see whether I can used what I learned to get better control.
October 6, 2009
Many people with chronic conditions successfully manage them with pills. This, however, is not the case for those of us living with Type 1 diabetes.
When first diagnosed I remember being told that the main issue with insulin is that it was a protein, and that as a consequence, it would be digested if taken in oral form. While there has been a number of attempts at alternative methods of delivery, we are still ultimately stuck with shots (or variations like a pump).
This may now be about to change. A group of scientists have combined nanotechnology and magnetism to create a delivery system that is simple, but extremely durable and accurate.
According to an article published in Diabetes Health, “The Boston researchers’ solution is a small implantable device, less than a half inch in diameter, that is placed in a patient’s body. The device contains a drug-filled membrane that is also embedded with nanoparticles of magnetite, a naturally magnetic mineral. The nanoparticles are about 1/100,000th the width of a human hair.”
“The amount of the drug that a patient receives can be controlled by how long the magnetic field is applied. Longer pulses produce higher doses. Theoretically, diabetes patients using such a system would be able to self-administer insulin simply by passing a magnetic field near their implanted drug delivery devices for a set amount of time.”
October 2, 2009
Today I bumped into the website of a company from Israel that is working with some incredible technology for insulin pumps.
NiliMEDIX seem to have created the first insulin pump without a motor. This will, in theory, help eliminate a lot of the risks and malfunctions inherent to using a pump in the first place, and may also make pumps cheaper.
Here is a video from the company describing the product:
The company is also working on a patch pump to compete with Omnipod and a disposable insulin pump, likely aimed a type 2 diabetics.