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For the last 100 years, diabetics have had to rely on at least two insulin injections a day to control their blood sugar.
But a pill could banish the need for shots forever, a new study says.
Capsule - Needle - Insulin - Spring - Place
The capsule contains a tiny needle that is made almost completely of freeze-dried insulin, and a spring - all held in place by a disc of sugar.
Once the pill reaches the stomach, water dissolves the disk, releasing the spring, and pushing out the to inject the stomach with the all-important insulin.
Team - Brigham - Women - Hospital - Massachusetts
The team, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says this localized approach is more pleasant to take, easier to carry around and less expensive than traditional injections.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30.3 million Americans - about 9.4 percent of the population - suffers from diabetes.
Prediabetes - Condition - Diabetes - Years
Another estimated 84 million are living with prediabetes, a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes within five years if left untreated.
Diabetes occurs when there are too few beta cells in the pancreas to produce insulin or when they produce very little insulin, the hormone needed to get glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
Left - Diabetes - Health - Complications - Kidney
When left untreated, diabetes can result in serious health complications such as kidney damage, eye damage, heart disease, stroke and even vision loss.
The traditional method of treatment is an insulin injection, usually administered in the stomach.
Gastroenterologist - Injection - Stomach - Ulcers - Bleeding
'I'm a gastroenterologist and we often give injection in the stomach to treat ulcers or stop local bleeding,' Dr C Giovanni Traverso of Brigham and Women's Hospital told DailyMail.com.
'We recognize that the stomach is very tolerant of injections and there is a high tolerance in the GI tract of a sharp object.'
Researchers - Capsule - Size - Pea - Polymer
The researchers describe the capsule as 'about the size of a pea' and made from biodegradable polymer...
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