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Artificial Pancreas Treatment: A New Approach to Diabetes?

Updated on May 11, 2017

A common reaction people have when hearing the Artificial Pancreas Treatment® (APT) slows, halts or even reverses the complications of diabetes is skepticism. It sounds too good to be true.

Yet there are hundreds of documented cases that prove it is true. Three examples:

  • A male patient came into the Trina Health of Missouri clinic in Chesterfield with a necrotic toe—a condition that, unfortunately, is not rare with diabetes. He had heard of APT and thought what did he have to lose? After just a couple of treatments the necrotic tissue began to slough off and healthy skin appeared.
  • A female patient suffering from neuropathy underwent just two treatments before exclaiming, “Wow! I can feel my shoes.”
  • Another female patient was afraid she would lose her job because she was unable to think clearly due to chronic diabetic fog. Not only has her fog disappeared, she became full of energy after a couple of treatments.

Diabetes isn’t a blood sugar problem, it’s a metabolism problem

Until now the most common treatment of diabetes was controlling blood sugar, either through medication or via insulin injections. However, this didn’t treat the core problem: the body’s inability to metabolize carbohydrates.

In a healthy individual, in the presence of a meal, the pancreas secretes bursts of insulin every four to six minutes at a specific pressure. This signals the liver to produce enzymes necessary for proper carbohydrate metabolism. Diabetes occurs when this metabolic communication breaks down, and the liver no longer receives the signals to function properly. The result is an increase in lipid metabolism leading to oxidative stress and inflammation followed by common diabetic complications such as neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, erectile dysfunction—all resulting in early mortality.

How the Artificial Pancreas Treatment works

There are other devices on the market that call themselves Artificial Pancreas, but the Artificial Pancreas Treatment is the only FDA-approved process that normalizes carbohydrate metabolism in Pre-Diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics.

After an IV line in the arm is started, the patented, FDA-approved Bionica Microdose Pump is attached. This small mobile device (about the same size as a smartphone) plugs into a neonatal IV needle that’s virtually painless.

The pump’s IV infusion mimics the insulin pulses of a healthy pancreas, which stimulates the liver to produce the enzymes necessary for carbohydrate metabolism. Not only does this produce more cellular energy, APT also calms inflammatory cytokines, reduces cellular oxygen requirements, helps normalize blood flow and allows cells and organs to actually heal themselves.

Individualized treatments

On a patient’s first visit to an APT clinic, a baseline is established determined by their history, vitals, condition and current diagnosis of pre-diabetic, Type 1 or Type 2. The medical team then programs the Bionica Microdose Pump to meet those specific parameters.

A normal treatment takes about four hours. During that period patients are free to sit, walk around, and go outside, work, read or whatever they choose. They’re not confined to a chair.

Initially, patients receive weekly treatments until their metabolism is stabilized. Once the patient is able to maintain normal carbohydrate metabolism, treatments are then extended so that, eventually, patients come in only once every, two, three, or four weeks.

If APT is so wonderful, how come I’ve never heard of it?

Although treatment clinics are fairly new, the actual infusion device was invented over 20 years ago by G. Ford Gilbert who sought a treatment for his two-year-old daughter with Type 1 diabetes. This required years of development including 16 top-level university trials, 16 peer reviewed papers, over 53 publications and 23 Medicare studies as well as the lengthy FDA approval process.

In order to make his invention available to the widest number of people, Dr. Gilbert entered into a marketing partnership with Trina Health, which in turn licenses the Bionica Microdose Pump to qualified companies so they can open clinics worldwide.

To date there have been no reported side effects of APT, no adverse events, no recalls and no failures.

And Dr. Gilbert’s daughter? Thirty years later she’s the mother of five healthy children.

Why can’t I simply buy the Trina Health Bionica Microdose Pump in a drug store?

Even though it’s small and mobile, the pump isn’t like a blood pressure monitor.

It is an FDA-approved medical device that must adhere to certain protocols. For that reason only personnel licensed to administer and manage an IV can supervise the infusion pump’s use. They must also undergo training to learn how to program the device and calibrate it to match each patient’s condition. That’s why our staff, for example, includes a nurse practitioner, a licensed practical nurse and an on-call medical doctor.

Artificial Pancreas Treatment is not a cure

Although the Artificial Pancreas System has been proven to be successful in slowing, stopping and even reversing the ravages of diabetes, it is NOT a cure.

We’re still waiting for that miracle.

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