MIAMI, Fla. – Type 1 Diabetes is a serious disease that needs to be monitored around the clock.
A new pump for people with type one diabetes has just been FDA approved for use in kids, starting at 7. Â
Here’s how this new device is helping them stay healthy and active.
Like most teenagers, Colton Smith is extremely active.Â
â€śI play outside linebacker,â€ť Smith said.
So it was quite a shock when Smith was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 14.Â
â€śIt was kind of out of the blue,â€ť Smith said.
Dr. Miladys Palau Collazo, MD, from Nicklaus Childrenâ€™s Hospital said the diagnosis changes families forever.Â
â€śWhen you have type one diabetes, you actually have to think like youâ€™re a pancreas,â€ť Palau said.
The challenge is regulating blood sugar levels. Smith was getting up to eight shots of insulin a day. His mom was concerned about him playing football.Â
â€śMy worry was ‘Okay, heâ€™s going to lay flat on the field and heâ€™s going to be out,’ you know,â€ť Smith’s mother Jean Smith said.
Palau said exercise can have an effect on blood sugar levels up to 12 hours later. Thatâ€™s where the Minimed 670-G system by Medtronic comes in. The pump has a glucose sensor that measures blood sugars every five minutes.
â€śThe pump has a computer algorithm that can calculate the rate of rises and drops in blood sugar and deliver the insulin,â€ť Palau said.
So Smith can set it and forget it when he hits the field.Â
â€śI just disconnect it from me and give it to my trainer to hold onto during the game, then when itâ€™s over, I just reconnect and Iâ€™m good to go,â€ť Smith said.
And because the system is able to adjust the amount of insulin the patient is getting, thereâ€™s no more worries overnight.Â
â€śIt will send an alert to the parents and let them know that the blood sugar is low and they need to come to fix the problem,â€ť Palau said
Smith said the pump has been a game changer.
â€śI donâ€™t find myself worrying about it, and I get to enjoy life a lot better,â€ť Smith said.
Helping to make this disease more manageable for families.
Studies show patients using the 670-G pump spend up to 75 percent of their time in the target range for blood sugars.Â
The pump is covered by most insurance companies.Â