Category Archives: Monitors

How Long Does it Take to Lower Your A1C Levels?

Red blood cells and the hemoglobin they contain have an average life span of 120 days during which glucose molecules are exposed to the red blood cells and form glycated hemoglobin. Therefore, in theory, changes in your A1C levels won’t be apparent for at least the 120 days it takes for the affected red blood cells to complete a life cycle.

The amount of time it takes to lower your A1C depends on how big of a change you are trying to achieve. If your A1C is in the double digits, it may take a matter of 2 or 3 months to see a significant change if your diabetes management is consistent and tight. If your A1C is a point or two away from ADA/AACE recommendations, getting to goal may take a little longer.

“Lowering your HbA1c from a [high] number to an 8.0 or 7.5 is much easier than lowering it from a 7.5 to 6.5,” said dLife Expert CDE Claire Blum in response to a question about lowering A1C levels. “Tightening of control that occurs at the lower numbers takes a lot of fine tuning. Our bodies also require some time to adapt to the change of improved [levels].”

There are no special tricks to getting your A1C to a level more acceptable to you and your doctor. Lowering your A1C is doing just what your doctor has always told you was best for good diabetes management.


Insulin Dosage Tracking Device To Make Manual Recording Of Blood Glucose Redundant

Working toward the goal of unifying patients’ diabetic treatment information in a single place, the PositiveID Corporation hopes to patent a new device that monitors insulin pens.

The Insulin Tracker would attach to a user’s insulin pen and record the times and amounts of injections. That information would then be sent to a database that allows for comprehensive monitoring. Insulin pens come in disposable and cartridge-replaceable flavors; the tracker can be moved easily from one pen to another.

Positive ID has already developed the iGlucose system, which will work with patients’ blood glucose meters to collect their test results. The information then goes through SMS text messaging to an online database. The Insulin Tracker data will add a critical component to the data, allowing for a wide-ranging view of a diabetic’s treatment regimen.

The company began working on the insulin-tracking device in the second quarter of this year. According to PositiveID chairman and CEO Scott Silverman, the goal is making it easier for diabetics to collect the broad swaths of data necessary for good control.

“Due to the cumbersome nature of manually recording blood glucose levels, insulin dosages and the appropriate dates and times for each, many patients’ diabetes logs are incomplete or even nonexistent, which directly impacts patient compliance,” Silverman said.

“We believe the addition of the Insulin Tracker functionality to the iGlucose system will enable us to provide a complete solution for insulin-dependent diabetics, helping them automate the time-consuming process of manually tracking insulin data and glucose levels, thereby providing more complete health records.”

The company’s data collection system works independently of any brand of glucose meter and does not require a computer, internet access or even a cell phone.

The company is keeping its eyes on Medicare requirements, too. According to its website, the iGlucose device “is the first of its kind to address the Medicare requirement for durable medical equipment manufacturers and pharmacies to maintain glucose level logs and records for the millions of high-frequency diabetes patients.”

Milestone In Diabetes Treatment: Wireless Blood Sugar Monitor

The day diabetes sufferers have dreamed of for decades may have finally arrived.

Researchers have developed an implantable sensor that continually monitors blood sugar then transmits the information to a receiver without wires.

The device was tested in a pig for more than a year without trouble.

A research team at the University of California at San Diego calls the device a “milestone in diabetes treatment.”

The researchers say it also takes the field of diabetes a step closer to development of an “artificial pancreas” that could control the way the body handles blood sugar.

Scientists believe the device, that detects oxygen in the tissue where it’s implanted to measure glucose, will be able to send information to cell phones.

That would be especially helpful for parents of diabetic children who spend days and nights worrying whether their child is threatened by nocturnal hypoglycemia.

Details of the research is reported in the journal “Science Translational Medicine.”

The researchers hope to begin human trials for the device in a few months.

Diabetes: Gum Treatment May Help

Treating serious gum disease in diabetics can help to lower their blood sugar levels, a new study has found.

Edinburgh University scientists have found reducing gum inflammation in people with diabetes can help minimise complications with the condition.

It is thought when bacteria infect the mouth causing inflammation the chemical changes reduce effectiveness of insulin and raise the levels of blood sugar. Treatment to reduce inflammation may therefore help reduce blood sugar.

The findings are published as part of the international Cochrane Collaboration.

The team, including researchers from UCL Eastman Dental Institute, Peninsula Dental School and Ottawa University, said their findings highlighted the need for doctors and dentists to work together in the treatment of people with diabetes.

Dr Terry Simpson, honorary research fellow at Edinburgh University’s dental institute, who led the study, said: “This research confirms that there may be a link between serious gum disease and diabetes.

“It highlights the role dentists can play in managing the condition, given that gum disease is very treatable. By far the most important aspect of diabetes management is the use of insulin, drugs and diet to control blood sugar levels but maintaining good dental health is something patients and healthcare professionals should also recognise.

“Although the benefit in terms of insulin management is small, anything we can do to promote the well-being of people with diabetes should be welcomed.”

Story from BBC News

Removing Pain From Diabetes Management

Diabetes is not an easy disease to manage. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, patients are asked to test their blood glucose levels daily and inject themselves with insulin as needed.

The disease requires constant vigilance and faithful adherence to monitoring and treatment regimens. Non-adherence increases a patient’s risk of developing complications such as nerve damage, blindness, kidney problems, heart disease and stroke.

Unfortunately, diabetes patients don’t always engage in the self-care needed to control the disease. Continuous monitoring of blood glucose levels can help patients make the right choices in managing their diabetes, but the standard method of blood glucose monitoring, in which the patient pricks his or her finger with a lancet, may be painful or inconvenient enough that some patients eventually stop testing as they should. Similarly, some patients may grow weary of daily insulin injections.

A variety of factors can play into non-adherence among diabetic patients: cost of equipment and medication, depression, stigma about the disease, denial and more. However, making it easier for patients to test and treat themselves may help reduce non-adherence among those with diabetes.

A number of companies have developed continuing blood glucose monitoring and insulin injection products with the goal of improving compliance in diabetic patients. Some of these companies include the following:

Echo Therapeutics has developed a wireless, transdermal glucose monitoring system for patients with diabetes. The Symphony tCGM System uses a skin permeation device, called Prelude, to painlessly remove the outermost layer of skin in approximately three to five seconds, allowing the transdermal biosensor to read glucose levels through the remaining layers of skin.

OrSense has also developed a noninvasive continuous glucose monitor that utilizes a patented technology called Occlusion Spectroscopy. A ring-like sensor temporarily closes off (occludes) blood flow in the patient’s finger, creating new blood dynamics that generate a unique optical signal. Clinicians can analyze the signal to obtain measurements of glucose levels and other blood parameters.

To encourage compliance in diabetic children, Bayer Diabetes Care recently released its Didget blood glucose monitor, which connects to the Nintendo DS and DS Lite. The meter provides children with an adventure game that rewards consistent testing with points, which can be used to unlock new game levels. The product was approved by the FDA in April.

Bioject Medical Technologies markets a needle-free injection system that is approved for delivering subcutaneous or intramuscular injections. The system forces liquid medication through a tiny opening held against the skin, creating an ultra-fine high-pressure stream that penetrates the skin. The technology can be used for a variety of applications, including diabetes, malaria and influenza.

What are some other technologies or methods to increase compliance among diabetes patients? Do write.

Unfortunately, these systems are way too expensive and there is an urgent need to bring down costs and make patients to take better care of themselves.

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