New technology and research for diabetes patients

Published: Mar. 7, 2012 at 11:49 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2012 at 12:31 AM CST
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Amarillo, TX - New technology and research in our area are helping detect and treat type 1 diabetes earlier, meaning more children and adults are being diagnosed.

Fifteen -thousand people in the panhandle are suffering from type 1 diabetes.

Twenty-percent of them are children, as young as newborns.

Now doctors and experts in our area are using many different new technologies and new research to help with treatment, prevention, and possibly finding a cure.

There are several reasons why more children are suffering from this auto-immune disease, one reason is genetics.

New technologies on the market are also making it quicker to diagnosis.

"We have better monitoring devices and that really has been a huge improvement over the course of my career. That certainly has been the biggest advancement in diabetic management, to be able to monitor the blood glucose right at that moment and make adjustments immediately," says Dr. Edwin Dodson, Amarillo Medical Specialists.

There's even a new app called Glucose Buddy available for iPhone users.

Once downloaded, it's designed to help patients keep track of their glucose levels.

There is also an increased number of families in our area having more than one child diagnosed with the disease.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Amarillo participates in many studies to help bring patients the latest technology and treatment options.

"One of the most promising things that they've been working on is called the artificial pancreas project. Basically, it's an electronic device that checks your blood sugar, knows how much you need for certain amounts and then gives you insulin based on that. It reacts with your body, eliminating the need for human intervention," says Steven Denny, Son has Type 1 Diabetes.

More clinical trials are necessary before it's available on the market.

It could take even longer to get approved for children, but area parents remain hopeful.