Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you think of humans with implants, you may picture sinister movie characters, like Dr. No with bionic metal hands or the Borg from “Star Trek.” But as a force for good, a newly approved, implantable glucose monitor may turn you into a diabetes-vanquishing, fighting machine.
One of the challenges of managing insulin-dependent diabetes (that’s everyone with Type 1 and 30 to 40 percent of folks with Type 2) is knowing how much insulin to use and what to eat, so you can keep glucose levels in a healthy range and dodge high (hyper) and low (hypo) glucose readings.
Highs can lead to complications; the lows can be life-threatening. But knowing your numbers so you can adjust your medication and food intake often means frequent (and bothersome) finger sticks using a glucose meter.
Enter continuous glucose monitors. For a few years the devices have been available, using an implanted sensor that’s replaced every six to 14 days, plus a transmitter and a receiver.
But there’s a newly approved monitor with a tiny sensor/transmitter that can stay implanted in your upper arm for 90 days, and send data directly to your smartphone.
It alerts you 24/7 to both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. However, with 17 and 16 percent false positives respectively, you will still need to use your low-tech glucose meter to confirm readings.
Careful monitoring along with regular exercise and eating right will improve your glucose control no matter if you have Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes, which means you’re less likely to have complications.