We live in some pretty amazing times. We have some amazing technology available — and some amazing stuff coming down the pike. Let’s take a look at some new technology that will soon be available for diabetics.
Nasal insulin sprays are currently being tested by two different drug companies (Bentley and Nastech). Early data from both drug companies is showing that insulin is absorbed more quickly when inhaled, rather than injected. This could mean that managing blood sugar will be faster and easier in the near future.
Tired of pricking your finger and squeezing out a drop of blood every time you want to check your blood sugar? Researchers at the University of California, Irvine are working on a breath test that can check your blood sugar levels. The experimental test measures methyl nitrate levels in breath — these levels are much higher when blood sugar levels are high. With such an easy test, diabetics could quickly and easily check blood sugar more often throughout the day. This would help them recognize patterns — when blood sugar spikes and when it drops.
Combine the speed, ease, and comfort of a breath test with a nasal insulin spray and this disease could become a lot more manageable. I know my grandmother is NOT a fan of the finger stick test, and fights testing her blood sugar more often than not. I would love to see her be able to use a breath test to measure her blood sugar the four times per day her doctor has requested.
And there may well be a cure for diabetes in our lifetimes.
Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri are working on a way to cure diabetes in monkeys. They have successfully taken insulin-creating cells from a pig’s pancreas and implanted them into diabetic monkeys. The researchers are confident that this will cure diabetes in monkeys and are looking at starting human trials of the same procedure in the next few years.