• Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Implantable sensors can monitor glucose for 90 days

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    One of the challenges of managing insulin-dependent diabetes is knowing how much insulin to use and what to eat, so you can keep glucose levels in a healthy range. The old way was pricking your skin to test a drop of blood, above. Enter continuous glucose monitors, using an implanted sensor that’s replaced every six to 14 days, plus a transmitter and a receiver.

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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 youdocsdaily@sharecare.com.

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.

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