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Managing type one diabetes is difficult enough for adults, but imagine if you’re an active kid? Now new technology is making managing this disease a little easier, even for younger children.
Like most teenagers, Colton Smith is extremely active.¬†
He says,¬†“I¬†play outside linebacker.”¬†
So it was quite a shock when Colton was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 14.¬†
He continues,¬†“It was kind of out of the blue.”¬†
Doctor Miladys Palau says the diagnosis changes families forever.¬†
Dr. Palau, Pediatric Endocrinologist, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, explains,¬†“When you have type one diabetes you actually have to think like you’re a pancreas.”¬†
The challenge is regulating blood sugar levels. Colton was getting up to eight shots of insulin a day. His mom was concerned about him playing football.
Jean Smith, Colton’s mom, says,¬†“My worry was ok he’s going to lay flat on the field and he’s going to be out, you know.”¬†
Dr. Palau says exercise can have an effect on blood sugar levels up to 12 hours later. That’s where the Minimed 670-g system by Medtronic comes in. The pump has a glucose sensor that measures blood sugars every five minutes.
Dr. Palau explains,¬†“The pump has a computer algorithm that can calculate the rate of rises and drops in blood sugar and deliver the insulin.”¬†
So Colton can set it and forget it when he hits the field.¬†
Colton says,¬†“I¬†just disconnect it from me and give it to my trainer to hold onto during the game, then when it’s over I¬†just reconnect and I’m good to go.”¬†
And because the system is able to adjust the amount of insulin the patient is getting, there’s no more worries overnight.¬†
Dr. Palau says, “It will send an alert to the parents and let them know that the blood sugar is low and they need to come fix the problem.”¬†
Colton says the pump has been a game changer!¬†
He adds, “I¬†don’t find myself worrying about it and I¬†get to enjoy life a lot better.”¬†
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.¬†
The pump is covered by most insurance companies.¬†