Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Insulin Pump Feature May Prevent Low Blood Sugar

Device could improve quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes, experts say

continued...

The new study compared 49 people on standard pump therapy to 46 people on the low-glucose insulin suspension pump. The study volunteers were between the ages of 4 and 50, and all had type 1 diabetes.

Before the start of the study, the people in the low-glucose insulin suspension group had about six times the rate of moderate to severe hypoglycemic episodes compared to those in the standard pump therapy group.

After six months, that trend almost reversed, and people in the standard insulin pump group had nearly four times as many hypoglycemic episodes as those with the low-glucose insulin suspension pump.

The study found no difference in levels of long-term blood-sugar control between the groups, and there were no serious episodes of high blood-sugar levels in either group.

"The major findings were that moderate and severe hypoglycemia was reduced significantly on the new treatment," Jones said. "There were zero overnight convulsions in the group on the low-glucose suspend treatment, whereas the group on usual therapy continued to have events at the same rate as before."

"New technologies will improve the treatment of diabetes and reduce the burden of care," he said. "To reduce the fear of severe hypoglycemia would be a major advance, as would reduction in the frequency of major events. This would allow diabetics to get better control of their diabetes and improve their lives significantly."

Dr. Rubina Heptulla, chief of the division of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City, said the low-glucose insulin suspend pump would help improve the quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes, and parents of children with type 1 diabetes.

"For some people, their [long-term blood-sugar levels] can never be brought down because they're petrified of low blood sugar, especially during sleep," she said. "If you're deathly afraid of hypoglycemia, this type of pump may be a way to mitigate those fears. It's a safety feature."

Heptulla said she was surprised that the current study didn't find a difference in long-term blood-sugar control for those on the low-glucose suspend system.

Both Jones and Heptulla said the low-glucose suspend pump is the first step on the path to an artificial pancreas, a device that experts hope will eventually be able to take over the control of diabetes management from patients.

1|2

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

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.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article