Q. I read an article on the internet that artificial pancreas has been developed for diabetic patients and the device would be as good and as effective as natural pancreas. What exactly does the device do? Does it help in producing insulin? I also read that researchers have developed a drug named Otelixizumab, which will help in curing diabetes in 6 days. It also said that if approved, it will take some time for the drug to come into the market. Both the articles have mentioned that these methods are for Type 1 diabetes in young and adults.
I am a 30 years old diabetic man for one and a half years. My blood sugar levels are in control by medication, diet control, yoga and exercise. Which type of diabetes do I have i.e. Type 1 or Type 2?
1. You have type-2 diabetes (adult type).
2. The tab. Otelixizumab is for type -1 diabetes. In this type of diabetes insulin producing cells are dying very rapidly and it will be difficult to pickup ideal cases where cells are not fully dead. The drug can save the cells that are left but not revive those which are dead. For early cases, it will be very good.
3. In a normal pancreas, its cells sense blood sugar level and produce insulin and when blood sugar level becomes normal, insulin secretion is stopped and the sugar level is maintained. In artificial pancreas, external insulin (not produced by body) is automatically injected though a pump into the body. The thinking process is done by a computer chip. Thus in artificial pancreas: insulin, pump, and chip, are all artificial.
Answered by: Dr Surender Kumar
Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi