SHAFAQNA- Last week was exciting for all those living with Type One diabetes.
To clarify, Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Its onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. T1D is a chronic life-long disease that requires 24/7 management of blood sugar. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and—at present—nothing you can do to get rid of it.
In Type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time your pancreas isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels normal. Type 2 is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medications (pills), and insulin.
Now for the exciting news: on Sept. 28, the FDA approved Medtronic’s 670G Artificial Pancreas system. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation created the concept, funded the research and advocated to secure its approval from the FDA. This is not a cure but it brings us a step closer to improving daily management of blood sugars.