Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Advances in Diabetes Treatment

    By Camille Peri
    WebMD Feature

    Diabetes treatment is getting better every day. Scientists may be just a few years away from making an artificial pancreas that can safely detect and adjust blood sugar (glucose) levels. In the meantime, new medications and insulin devices can make living with diabetes easier and safer now.

    "We're getting more and more options," says Michael German, MD, clinical director of the Diabetes Center at the University of California, San Francisco. "That's good because no two people with diabetes are the same. It helps us get the right medicine for each person."

    Recommended Related to

    2017 Inventor: Kavya Kopparapu, 17

    In 2016, 17-year-old Kavya Kopparapu invented Eyeagnosis, a 3D-printed lens system and mobile app. The device snaps a photo of the retina and analyzes it with artificial intelligence to diagnose diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes complication that can lead to blindness, without the need for an extensive eye exam. Kopparapu’s grandfather, who lives in a small town in India, inspired the invention. “He was lucky he had the means to go to a major hospital and get diagnosed, but a lot of people in developing...

    Read the 2017 Inventor: Kavya Kopparapu, 17 article > >

    Progress in Diabetes Care

    These treatments are or will soon be available in the U.S.

    • Afrezza. This insulin inhaler for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes hit the market in February 2015. You use it at the beginning of a meal for a boost of short-acting insulin. Unlike an older inhaler, which was the size of a can of shaving cream, Afrezza is easier to use and not as clunky to carry around. "It's quite small – a little bigger than a whistle," says Sethu K. Reddy, MD, chief of adult diabetes at Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School in Boston. It's probably not for you if you smoke or have a lung condition like asthma or emphysema.
    • Medtronic MiniMed 640G. This combined insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor is a step toward the artificial pancreas. It automatically stops pumping insulin when your blood sugar levels are trending down and starts again when they're back up. "Hypoglycemia [low blood sugar] is a real problem, particularly for people with type 1 diabetes," German says. It could be especially useful for people who have hypoglycemia but feel no symptoms. The device isn’t available in the U.S. yet, but it may come to the FDA for approval soon. 
    • Lucentis. Doctors already use this drug to treat the eye disease macular edema in people who don't have diabetes. But in February 2015, the FDA made it the first eye medication for diabetic retinopathy, a serious eye problem linked to diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among U.S. adults.

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    bald woman smelling flowers
    Complementary therapies to ease symptoms.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes highlighted
    4 early warning signs.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    Senior woman using diabetes test kit
    Each one takes 10 minutes or less.
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

    It's nothing to sneeze at.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.