Chancellor's Check-Up: New Diabetes Treatment - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/25/04

Chancellor's Check-Up: New Diabetes Treatment

Diabetes results from the body not producing adequate insulin, which is necessary for conversion of food to energy. Dr. David Smith, Chancellor of the Texas Tech University system, tells us how insulin injections may soon be a treatment of the past.

Patients with Diabetes have traditionally had to inject themselves with insulin, but as Gayle Gage, a certified diabetes educator and registered dietician at the Texas Tech Medical Center explains, insulin pumps are providing more freedom for individuals with Diabetes.

"An insulin pump is used to deliver insulin continuously to a patient. The patient would be insulin dependent and the pancreas would not deliver the insulin that the patient needs. The pump mimics the action of the pancreas," says Gayle.

Insulin is delivered from the pump to the patient by an infusion set that has a soft cannula inserted under the skin, usually the abdomen. This process resembles standard insulin injections and is replaced every two to three days.

"A base rate is also programmed into the pump and this delivers insulin continuously for the patient over a 24-hour period. This rate can be changed and can be set for different hours during the day," adds Gayle.

Since the pump is about the size and weight of a small pager, it can be easily attached to the belt.

Based on recent research, the more precisely one can control their Diabetes with instruments such as this, the better and healthier your body will be.

Patients diagnosed with the disease should receive extensive Diabetes education. Dr. Smith adds if you would like more information about treating diabetes, many clinics and other health care facilities have certified diabetes educators you can talk to.

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