New technology for diabetes patients - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New technology for diabetes patients

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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Karen Abernathy – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Diabetes numbers continue to grow in America, and are especially high in Mississippi. Whether you have type I or II, the complications can be very serious if blood sugar levels are not controlled. But new technology is helping patients live longer and healthier lives.

The insulin pump has already made a tremendous difference in the lives of many patients with diabetes, giving them better control of their blood sugar levels without painful injections. Now there's an addition to the pump, which improves that control even more. 

Technology has definitely made a difference in LeJuan Noel's life. She has a strong history of diabetes; three grandparents and her mother had the disease. LeJuan was diagnosed with type I diabetes in 1985, and years later started developing serious complications from heart problems to diabetic retinopathy. That's when she turned to Nurse Practitioner KC Arnold at the Diabetes Center in Ocean Springs for help. 

"Three years ago I came to see KC and wanted to get a pump to get better control of my diabetes, and it has," KC Arnold said. "The insulin pump is like a portable pancreas, the closest thing we have to that today that gives us insulin 24 hours a day."

The pump has helped LeJuan live a healthier life and saved her sight.  

"I was beginning to develop diabetic retinopathy. I was going blind. And ever since I got on the pump, it hasn't increased from that point. My ophthalmologist said if I hadn't gone on the pump, I would go blind."

Now the pump has new add on technology, a special sensor that improves the pump's performance even more.  KC said it "checks your blood sugar every five minutes."

An alarm will sound if blood sugar is to high or too low. The pump and sensor give KC amazing data about LeJuan's diabetes health. 

"We're able to download the information off the pump and I can tell them how to improve their care, and look back over 90 days to see how they have done."

This allows KC to adjust the insulin that the pump delivers to LeJuan 24/7, enabling her to keep her blood sugar at healthy levels.  It's technology that offers her peace of mind. 

"It's controlled, and at least now I hope I never to have to lose my legs. Things that happened to my grandparents won't happen to me."

KC said the pump is an amazing tool that helps control blood sugar levels, but reminds patients that diet and exercise are also an important part of the equation.

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