New approach to diabetes treatment eliminates need for constant injections

HOUSTON – A new approach to insulin eliminates the need for some diabetics to give themselves shots multiple times throughout the day.

Fifty-one-year-old Bessie Neal has been injecting herself with insulin for about four years. She says it's unpleasant for a number of reasons.

"Trying to take a shot in a restaurant, maybe people looking, is kind of embarrassing and some people don't want to see you take care of your medical needs in public," Neal said.

It's different now, she says, because she's free from multiple daily shots since she started using the V-Go method instead.

It pricks her with one needle in the morning. Once it's in, it stays in place with an adhesive patch and provides a steady dose of insulin. She can give a boost before meals.

Neal says it's not uncomfortable because the needle isn't very large.

"The only uncomfortable part is feeling the first stick but you only feel one stick!" she said.

Dr. Shreya Parikh, from Sugar Land Endocrine & Thyroid, says the V-Go system delivers a constant amount of insulin. Since you're not able to decrease that amount, it is not ideal for patients who are Type 1 diabetics.

Instead, Parikh recommends it to a certain group of her Type 2 diabetes patients.

"I find the V-Go to be a good device for patients on multiple doses of insulin and have difficulty complying with it," Parikh said. "They don't have to carry their pens with them wherever they go. It's on them at all times and they can deliver the insulin as needed."

Parikh says this reduces the number of injections on average from 28 to seven per week.

Neal says it's giving her back time and better control of her diabetes.