April 22, 2018

Diabetic Pregnant Moms Finally Get Artificially Pancreas

Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas stops producing insulin and the blood sugar levels become too high or too low. It also makes getting pregnant and giving birth very risky.

Babies that are born to mothers with Type 1 diabetes are 3 times more likely to die within months of birth. They are 5 times more likely to be still born and they are at high risk for deformities. It’s also very unsafe for mothers, since low blood glucose is the leading cause of death for pregnant mothers.

There is an artificial pancreas or insulin pump that has been used for children in the past. It wasn’t until recently that the device, which is the size of a mobile phone that is attached to the hip, was used with pregnant women. The device monitors glucose levels and pumps the body with insulin automatically when needed.

Researchers who have been studying the use with pregnant women are encouraged by the results. It has huge potential to make pregnancies much safer for women with Type 1 diabetes.

According to the research director at Diabetes UK, Iain Frame, “It’s a fantastic example of how existing technologies, in this case, insulin pumps and CGMs, can be adapted and developed to benefit as many people with diabetes as possible. We now need to see an extension of this study, one which tests larger numbers of women, and then take it out of the hospital and into the home setting.”