N.B. woman one of first people in Atlantic Canada to receive artificial pancreas
A New Brunswick woman is one of the first in Atlantic Canada to get an artificial pancreas to help manage her diabetes. She says her routine has changed dramatically the last few weeks thanks to a new piece of medical technology.
"What this is capable of is kind of amazing,” says Alicia Hunt, who is a type-one diabetic.
Hunt uses an artificial pancreas that was just approved by Health Canada last fall. A pump is worn outside of the body and is connected by radio frequency with a glucose sensor. It continuously monitors blood sugar and delivers insulin on an as-needed basis, mimicking a healthy organ.
Before this pump, Hunt says she was going through diagnostics for a pancreatic transplant, and that the artificial pancreas has changed the course of her life.
She says it's still a lot of work, but it is work that takes away the burden of constant worry.
"This pump before wearing it, it was next to impossible to manage my diabetes in a safe range. Now I woke up this morning, my sugars were 5.8, and I was able get up and make pancakes for breakfast and just feel good and have energy and be excited for my day."
There are about 93,000 New Brunswickers living with diabetes and of those between five and 10 per cent are type-one diabetics.
Hunt believes that this new technology could give people the type of future they never thought possible for themselves.
"This is not just going to help us manage live a more normal life; this is going to lengthen my life expectancy. I'm going to be able to live and watch my daughter graduate and hopefully have a family of her own, and God willing, have grandchildren."
Horizon Health says this technology will eventually be considered for type-two diabetes as well.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.