Thursday, June 19, 2008

First there were injections, then there were pumps and inhalants, soon there may be insulin patches and even pills. Learn more about new breakthroughs in diabetes treatment.

Diabetes is a complicated disease in which the body cannot create or properly use insulin, a hormone that enables the body to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy. Loss of vision and damage to nerves, blood vessels, and kidneys are all potential side effects of the disease.

Fortunately, in recent years, scientists have made several treatment breakthroughs, including the introduction of insulin pumps and inhaled insulin (Exubera). Both treatments have advantages and disadvantages, but for many diabetics, they are proving to be successful alternatives to injections that offer convenience, flexibility, and improved quality of life.

Insulin Pumps
Portable insulin pumps, which deliver insulin 24 hours a day through a catheter placed under the skin, were introduced in the early 1990s. In the past two decades, the technology has evolved to the point that now they can be a good alternative to traditional injections.

"Pumps can be a very nice thing for diabetics to have,Not only do pumps inject insulin more accurately than injections; they allow the patients to feel more in control of their disease, enabling them to continue to live their lives more normally.

By continuously administering a basal rate of insulin while allowing boluses of insulin only when the patient needs it, the pump offers many diabetics increased flexibility when it comes to meal plans and greater control of their blood glucose levels. Perhaps best of all, patients donÂ’t need to schedule their lives around insulin injections.

Inhaled Insulin
Exubera, the first dry-powder inhaled insulin, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2006 and is used for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The medication, which delivers short-acting insulin via an inhaler, is administered two to three times a day just prior to meals, and the dosage depends on the weight of the patient.

"[Exubera] is doing very well,.ItÂ’s more convenient for patients and it doesn't have many more side effects than injected insulin." What's more, "studies on Exubera suggest that it controls blood sugar levels just as well as injected insulin."

At the same time, Robles is quick to note that this treatment isn't for everyone. “Exubera does have the potential for causing lung damage because of the deep inhalation process, so patients must have very strong lungs to use this medication.” Poff points out another drawback: "There might be an issue with the dosage of insulin because it's only inhaled. It may be hard to know precisely how much of it is actually absorbed by the lungs."

That said, Exubera users have cited additional advantages, including the size of the devices. Exubera powder packets are small, and the inhaler is about the size of a small flashlight, so patients can carry it with them in a purse or briefcase.

Pills, Patches, and Beyond
Along these lines, there are several breakthrough treatments on the horizon that may further revolutionize the way diabetics live and manage the disease. Some of the most eagerly anticipated noninvasive insulin-delivery methods include the skin patch and the insulin pill.

The insulin skin patch is currently under development. The insulin patch, when placed on the skin, will give a continuous, low dose of insulin. To adjust insulin doses before meals, users will pull off the tab on the patch to release insulin." Because it's difficult for insulin to penetrate the skin, it is believed that delivery will be aided with sound waves or an electrical current.

Insulin pills would provide insulin in tablet form, and the FDA reports that researchers are working to find a way around this approach's biggest challenge: getting insulin into the bloodstream before it is changed by normal digestive processes. Possible solutions includes using nanotechnology to coat the pills with special polymers so the insulin doesnÂ’t get broken down in the stomach.


Welcome Message

Hey there fellow bloggers ! I would like to welcome you here in my blog. Please relax and sit back while browsing .Make a comment, & suggestion. For exchanging links... let me know or leave me a message on my message box. Thank's for dropping by, I appreciate it and hope you come back again soon.

Message Box

ShoutMix chat widget

Disclosure Policy

This policy is valid from 01 December 2009 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers' own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest. To get your own policy, go to

Blog Archieve