There are many people living with diabetes and having a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels but now scientists claim nasal spray treats hypoglycemia.
- 9% of Americans have diabetes
- Glucanon is a hormone which increases the insulin in the blood
- Nasal spray is just as effective as an injections but it takes less time
In 2012 there were 29 million people who suffered from diabetes in the U.S. This is a disease which affects a person’s metabolism and influences the level of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the sugar in our blood and it’s created by the pancreas. There are basically two types of diabetes: the one in which the pancreas produces too much insulin and we talk about hyperglycemia and the one in which the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin and that is called hypoglycemia. On the long run, diabetes can affect the kidneys or the nerves.
In case a person becomes hypoglycemic, their blood sugar dropping below 70mg/dl, they need to take in something sweet. Otherwise, hypoglycemic symptoms include anxiety, impaired visions, seizures and even unconsciousness. Many people can solve this with only some candy or a can of soda, but there are people who experience more severe case of hypoglycemia and need something more powerful to bring the blood sugar level back to normal.
The best solution is a peptide hormone called glucanon which can increase the insulin in the blood. However, the hormone had to be made to last longer, so it was converted into powder. The powder is dissolved into water and then injected intramuscularly with a syringe.
But imagine having to pull out a syringe from your backpack and try to inject yourself with the hormone or to ask someone else to do it if you have a hypoglycemic attack in a public place like a café or a library or the cinema.
This is why scientists came up with a less ‘invasive’ solution – a nasal spray. It would be a lot easier to use and people are less likely to stare at you like you’re some kind of freak. Obviously, researchers had to test the efficiency of such a system.
They tested the spray on 75 subjects who had type 1 diabetes. The patients were treated in five US clinics. The researchers induced all participants hypoglycemia twice and tested both the nasal spray and the injection in order to see which one is more effective.
They found that the nasal spray need 3 more minutes to take effect than the injection, but since it’s so easy to use, the time in which your insulin increases will actually be the same, around 15 minutes. Therefore, you can either spend at least to minutes to administer the injection or 20 seconds to use the spray.
Image source: www.bing.com