Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Diabetics: We Can Rebuild You

Image courtesy of HuffPo Healthy Living
What I saw today around the world and the web:

Medicine has now given those with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus a fighting chance to not obsess over their disease. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, a combination of an under-the-skin glucometer, a hard-wired bionic pancreas, and an iPhone - of all things - can be used in combination to effectively lift most of the burden of the disease. The original article is here and a more reader-friendly version is here.

In a nutshell, the glucometer constantly monitors your blood-sugars and sends a wireless signal to the iPhone, which then tells the bionic pancreas - which consists of both insulin for when sugars go too high and glucagon for when they dip too low - which component to send into the bloodstream. No more finger pricks, no more insulin needles, no more worry about crashing after a workout at the gym or a brisk walk or going too long in between meals.

I'm sure it will be some time before the product becomes commercially viable, affordable, and/or covered by insurance ... but it's good to know there is hope for my fellow diabetics.

I've always felt that diabetes was, in some respects, like cancer. There is no cure for it, only treatments, and in the end it will kill you just as surely. We know enough about it and have fairly good treatments that it does not need to define who we are, and for sure it doesn't carry the stigma and emotional weight of The Big C, but it is becoming a larger and larger problem in the world - especially for Americans and our consumptive lifestyles.


While folks here in the U.S. worry about which venue they will use to watch the U.S. Soccer team take on Ghana in the World Cup. Cable television? Online? Smartphone? Meanwhile, folks in Ghana are worrying about if their country will have enough electricity to power enough televisions to watch the contest. Apparently most of the electrical power in the country comes from hydroelectric plants and there has been a water shortage recently.

If this doesn't clearly define the difference between "First World Problems" and "Third World Problems," I don't know what will.


Mark's Musings is published on a semi-periodical basis that may change without notice. Find me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/markmusings. Facebook link is over there to the right. This blog is considered to be a digital periodical publication and is filed as such with the U.S. Library of Congress; ISSN 2154-9761. Just a couple of little things today.