February 28, 2018 04:16 PM
Endocrinologist Jennifer McVean with University of Minnesota Health works to help her young patients find balance.
Patients like 7-year-old Logan Kearns, who has Type 1 Diabetes. Together the two of them meticulously examine his eating and exercise schedule, identifying the times when his blood sugar is high and low.
"I can tell when I'm low," Logan said. "My legs are shaky."
Dr. McVean knows about all the worries. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 30 years ago, and that's one of the reasons she relates to her patients so well.
"People with Type 1 Diabetes never get a peaceful night of sleep," she said. "There's that fear of hypoglycemia. They are always saying, 'What happens if my blood sugar gets low in the middle of the night? Will I wake up?'"
Fortunately, research and technology are helping. For instance, new, high-tech pumps can do a lot of thinking for patients. They continually sense and monitor blood sugar levels. Some of the newer ones even come with their own apps and Bluetooth.
"I can't tell you what a life-changer this has been for my patients and their families," McVean said.
McVean is also part of a team of University of Minnesota researchers working to predict and prevent Type 1 Diabetes with a blood test before it occurs in certain patients. The research is in clinical trials right now.
Updated: February 28, 2018 04:16 PM
Created: February 28, 2018 01:36 PM
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