Registered Nurse, educator, public speaker, humorist, author, and radio host
Diabetes and glucose monitoring
May 15, 2017
As of 2016, it was estimated that there are more than 29 million people Americans living with diabetes, and over 86 million living with prediabetes. The CDC estimates that nearly 25% of those with diabetes are not aware of it, and as many as 90% of those with prediabetes are not aware of their condition. Left undiagnosed (and thus untreated), diabetes/prediabetes can elevate a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic medical conditions (kidney disease, blindness, peripheral neuropathy and lower limb amputations).
Opportunities for change in this chronic condition are emerging daily. Education in the control and prevention of diabetes/prediabetes is found everywhere. Whether accessed on the internet, classroom setting, or doctor’s office, everyone should seek out information on diabetes and learn what they can do to lower their own risk factors. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a yearlong educational program available to teach people about diabetes, and educate them on diet and lifestyle changes. Statistics have shown this program has helped people lower their risk of diabetes by as much as 58%.
When lifestyle changes and diet alone are not enough, persons with diabetes may be put on medication to control their blood glucose (sugar) level. Oral medication is usually the first treatment option, followed by injectable forms of medications (including insulin) to lower an elevated blood sugar. Persons placed on insulin therapy will need to check their blood sugars (glucose monitoring) to ensure therapeutic blood levels are achieved.
Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is the standard for persons with diabetes (and sometimes, prediabetes as well). Although it provides better control, it may be met with resistance due to many factors (cost factors, anxiety over finger sticks, complicated testing supplies, and more). Support from medical providers, family and friends is paramount.
A new product has come to my attention-> a non-invasive (painless!) glucose monitoring system! GlucoTrack is a device that can monitor your glucose level through a clip on your ear lobe. No more finger sticks, and no need for test strips. Persons using the device report a better quality of life, and a higher comfort level with testing their glucose levels. GlucoTrack is pending FDA approval in the USA, but is available in other countries. Check out their website and current list of distributors.