Artificial Pancreas Beneficial for Pregnant Women with Type 1 Diabetes
Already having diabetes when a woman becomes pregnant can raise a lot of red flags and automatically gives her the high-risk status. Diabetic woman are at a much higher rate for developing additional health problems of there in addition, to the health problems their baby can be born with including premature delivery, stillborn, neonatal death (death within a few days of birth), congenital defects and malformations.
The medical research laboratories in Cambridge, England performed a study that involved ten pregnant women with type 1 diabetes. During the study, researchers monitored the women for a twenty-four hour period during weeks 12-16 and again during weeks 28-32 of the gestation period. Each woman was fitted with an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor. Every fifteen minutes the data from the continuous glucose monitor was fed to a computer where the researchers where able to analyze the data according to an algorithm. The researchers found that the artificial pancreas (is a two part external device a continuous glucose monitor that is attach to the abdomen with a sticky type substance and an insulin pump which part of in attached to the abdomen and the other part which reads the woman’s glucose level is clipped to her pants or shirt.) was able to keep the women’s glucose level within a target range of 84% during the early part of the pregnancy (weeks 12-16) and at 100% during the later part of the pregnancy (weeks 28-32.)
The researchers were happy with the study results as were the ten pregnant women who participated in the study. Researchers believe that an artificial pancreas could be a solution for pregnant women with type 1 diabetes. It is also very possible that the artificial pancreas will work as well for women with type 2 diabetes and women with gestational diabetes. Further studies need to be performed and the researchers hope to see the artificial pancreas become available to all diabetic pregnant women in the future.