The Doctors: Type 1 Diabetes
As you probably know, Blood Sugar management is a critical part of health for Diabetics. But there could be some new hope to make this process easier for patients. The Doctors highlighted new research about an Artificial Pancreas for Type 1 Diabetes and the possible connections between Psoriasis and HIV.
Who better to learn about the latest advancements in medical technology than healthcare professionals? The Doctors audience included a group wearing scrubs. I sometimes wonder what actual medical personnel think of these medical advice shows, so now we know that some of them are just as eager to learn as the rest of us everyday viewers.
The Drs: Artificial Pancreas for Diabetes
Ellie was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 8, and has had an impact on her daily life, from a dozen daily blood tests to carb counts. Her mother feels like Ellie doesn’t get to be a kid because she is constantly having to manage her disease.
But Ellie learned about an Artificial Pancreas trial and nagged her mother to participate in the program. She was excited about the opportunity to give herself and her mom a break from the daily drudgery of insulin pumps and blood sugar readings.
The Artificial Pancreas worked great for Ellie during the trial, and she was reluctant to give it up after the trial. “We know it’s going to get us one step closer to having the device in our lives,” Ellie’s mother Stephanie said.
The Doctors: Artificial Pancreas Trial Results
In the audience, 12-year-old Ellie called the experience “amazing,” taking over for her Diabetes management.
From Boston University, researcher Dr Edward Damiano explained that the Artificial Pancreas was able to adapt to Ellie’s personal insulin needs over the trial. “The system actually learned and improved,” Dr Damiano said.
Though Ellie’s trial ran on a laptop, but a future evolution of the tool is designed for a smart phone. The Doctors agreed that this was a great practical application for popular technology.
However, Dr Damiano said it could still be about five years before this technology gets through the testing phase and is widely available.
The Drs: How Artificial Pancreas Works
Dr Travis Stork explained that a Pancreas is designed to produce Insulin to manage sugar in the body. But Type 1 Diabetes means you have little or no Insulin production and need to rely on Insulin injections.
But this Artificial Pancreas monitors your Blood Sugar on an ongoing basis and works with an internal system to constantly monitor Blood Sugar levels and maintains a healthy level around the clock.
“It’s an artificial bionic pancreas,” Dr Jim Sears said. Dr Travis added that this could really improve the quality of life for Type 1 Diabetics.
The Doctors: Psoriasis HIV Protection
Allison from Arizona emailed The Doctors an intriguing question. Is it true that people with Psoriasis have a lower risk of contracting HIV?
Dr Andrew Ordon talked about Psoriasis, an autoimmune disorder that fights against your body’s own skin. This can result in scaly patches, especially around the elbows or knees. It is often associated with Arthritis and is similar to Eczema.
Dr Travis added that there is some correlation between Psoriasis and HIV. “People with a genetic predisposition to Psoriasis may actually have the ability to defend against HIV infection,” he said.
However, Dr Lisa Masterson said this is still an early correlation, but could have promising applications in future research of autoimmune disorders.