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New Insulin Pump Cuts Odds of Overnight Hypoglycemia

Sensor device may ease patient fear of dangerously low blood sugar levels during sleep, experts say

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For the study, 247 patients with type 1 diabetes who were subject to hypoglycemia during the night were randomly assigned to the new device or a standard insulin pump for three months.

Patients wore a sensor along with an insulin pump. When the sensor sensed that blood sugar was getting too low overnight, the software was programmed to stop the pump for a short while.

The researchers found that the new device cut the times patients experienced hypoglycemia by 37.5 percent, compared with patients who didn't have the new device.

In addition, patients using the new device had about 32 percent fewer bouts of hypoglycemia during the night and 31.4 percent fewer hypoglycemia events during the day, the researchers found.

Moreover, the device had no effect on blood sugar levels, which were controlled in both groups.

Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed that with the sensor, "we are one step closer to the artificial pancreas."

"This is an upgrade of the insulin pump and patients can avoid night-time low blood sugar, by using this technology," he said.

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People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

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Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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