Bloodless Monitors / Anticipating the future of diabetes care - From Our Pharmacist - Raley’s Family of Fine Stores


From Our Pharmacist:  Bloodless Monitors
Anticipating the future of diabetes care

Diabetes can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure and even blindness. Evidence suggests that diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by more than 300 percent. Although there is no cure yet, scientists believe they may be getting closer. Researchers are developing ways to repair the failing pancreatic cells and actually prevent the blood vessel thickening and nerve damage that causes the complications. What can you do to improve your quality of life if you've been diagnosed with diabetes?

Your best defense against long-term damage is to measure your blood glucose level frequently and try to keep it as close to normal as possible. With the more compact meters that are now available, it's never been easier, or more painless, to keep an eye on your glucose level.

HOW DO METERS WORK?

The new machines use a drop of blood 10 times smaller than before, so that you can now prick your arms or thighs rather than your sensitive fingertips. Meters with test strip cartridges are great for those who have trouble handling small, individual strips. A meter that stores the insulin bottle and has a built-in injector makes it easier for those who travel. Some exciting changes we expect within the next five to 10 years:

  • Bloodless glucose monitors: Small sensors that resemble wristwatches or earrings send ultrasonic pulses and infrared light to the blood vessels below or sample the fluid in the skin, automatically recording your level every 15 minutes. The Glucowatch meter is already available, but others are close to being marketed.
  • Smart insulin: Injected once a day, this form of insulin continuously measures the glucose level and automatically releases insulin only when it is needed.
  • Early detection and screening of family members: Identify those who might develop diabetes so that they can be treated with medication to prevent the disease. Malfunctioning pancreatic cells can be replaced with transplanted cells or even permanently repaired.

 

The availability of non-invasive glucose monitoring should take the sting out of a diabetes diagnosis and encourage more people to see their doctor for annual blood sugar screenings. The payoff will be earlier diagnosis and treatment and longer, healthier lives. See www.diabetesincontrol.com for more information.

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