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HomeUK NewsType 1 diabetes patients testing 'artificial pancreas' technology on the NHS

Type 1 diabetes patients testing ‘artificial pancreas’ technology on the NHS

Hundreds of adults and children with type 1 diabetes are testing an “artificial pancreas” to monitor their insulin levels.

The device – a hybrid closed loop system – reads blood sugar levels and uses an algorithm to determine the amount of insulin that should be administered.

It is being tested in more than 30 NHS diabetes centres across England, with 875 people benefiting for a year so far.

The study is the first of its kind in the world and the device could soon be available for use through the NHS.

Professor Partha Kar, NHS national speciality adviser for diabetes, said: “It is not very far away from the holy grail of a fully automated system, where people with type 1 diabetes can get on with their lives without worrying about glucose levels or medication.”

Scientists say the device can eliminate finger-prick blood tests and help prevent hypoglycaemic and hyperglycaemia attacks.

It could be particularly helpful for children – it is estimated that only a third of youngsters with type 1 diabetes achieve good control of their blood glucose level, which is needed to prevent complications from the disease.

Charlotte Abbott-Pierce, six, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just over a year ago and is part of the pilot.

Her mother, Ange, said: “Before the hybrid closed loop system was fitted, my husband and I would be up every two hours every night having to check Charlotte’s blood sugars and most times giving insulin, sometimes doing finger pricks or dealing with ketones due to quick rises in blood sugar.”

Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “This technology has the potential to transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes, improving both their quality of life and clinical outcomes.”

Managing calorie intake could lead to Type 2 diabetes remission

Meanwhile, new research has found that even slim people can get remission from type 2 diabetes by managing their calorie intake.

Obesity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes but 10% of sufferers have BMIs that do not reach the ‘obesity’ threshold.

A trial led by expert Professor Roy Taylor, of Newcastle University, has found that 70% of participants with a low BMI went into type 2 remission thanks to diet-controlled weight loss.

Some 20 patients were put on a strict 800 calorie per day diet for two to four weeks, followed by four to six weeks of weight loss maintenance when normal food was gradually reintroduced.

This cycle was repeated up to three times, until participants lost between 10% and 15% of their bodyweight, and after 12 months, participants’ BMI averaged 22.4 – down from 24.8.

Some 70% had gone into remission – half of them after only one weight loss cycle.



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