Regularly checking blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, can help people control their diabetes when they are living with the illness.
Checking Blood Sugar
When a person with diabetes needs to check their blood sugar, they must use lancets to prick their fingertip. After getting a drop of blood onto the test strip, they hold the edge of the strip to the device and the blood glucose level appears on the meter. Monitoring must be done throughout the day. At least four times per day is essential. Ideal times of the day for glucose monitoring are before and after meals, when waking up, and before going to bed. Continuous glucose monitoring is beneficial so that levels do not take a drastic turn. For some Type 1 diabetics wearing pumps that deliver their insulin, they may have to test up to 16 times per day.
Structured testing of blood glucose every day at specific times will help you find patterns and develop solutions for the aspects of your diet and life affecting your blood sugar. Analyzing the patterns and consulting with your doctor on these readings you record is ideal and will prevent diabetes complications from arising.
How Many Times Should You Test Your Blood Sugar Each Day
When first diagnosed with diabetes, doctors usually advise when and how many times per day to monitor based on the patient’s type of diabetes, age, and overall health. Insurance companies will help pay for more strips when a person is first diagnosed so that the patient can monitor more frequently. Some doctors will vary in the number of times they advise patients to test their glucose. Even if a person has Type 1 diabetes and their levels are stable and in control, they should still monitor four times a day. Dr. Ganda says that there are only a few patients with Type 2 diabetes that are in good control of their blood sugar levels and these people can monitor just twice a day. Health insurance companies usually only cover one to two test strips per day for Type 2 diabetics. In this case, the patient will need to have a doctor’s prescription for more test strips or pay out of pocket to get them.
Blood glucose that rises or falls too rapidly is very dangerous for a person with diabetes.
If glucose levels fall below 70 milligrams per deciliter, hypoglycemia can occur depending on the patient. Medications may need to be adjusted if low blood sugar levels are not easily managed. WebMD sites low blood sugar could be the result of poor diet and exercise regimen, some medications like sulfonylureas, or other existing medical conditions. It is also probable that you can get low blood sugar if you take too much insulin in comparison to the amount of food you eat or drink. Rebecca Abma of Diabetes Self-Management says that people that take insulin or certain oral diabetes drugs are at risk of developing low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include confusion, dizziness, hunger, headaches, feeling shaky, pale skin, sweating, weakness, and anxiety.
If glucose levels rise too quickly, hyperglycemia can occur. Hyperglycemia is dangerous because high blood sugar can lead to ketoacidosis or diabetic coma. Symptoms of hyperglycemia include increased thirst and frequent need to urinate according to medical author Melissa Stoppler. According to Mayo Clinic, high blood sugar can occur from eating the wrong foods, not exercising enough, an illness, or taking non-diabetes medication. Also, skipping or taking a reduced amount of glucose lowering medication can raise your blood sugar level. Diabetics need to seek help for their hyperglycemia because if left untreated, it can cause severe complications like a diabetic coma. Without treating high blood sugar, a person’s eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart may be affected over time.
Apple Sensors for Testing Blood Glucose
Apple is creating sensors to test blood sugar levels without taking blood. The sensors are non-invasive. Apple’s team of nearly 30 biomedical engineers are developing these sensors that will detect glucose levels without drawing blood. The sensor will shine a light through the skin to measure glucose levels continuously. With the use of this new technology, diabetics will no longer have to prick their finger to get a blood sample in order to check their sugar levels. Feasibility trials at clinical sites across the Bay Area have begun. Cor, Apple’s 2010 company acquisition, has been working on the integrations for the past five years. This noninvasive glucose monitoring device will be integrated into the wearable device you know as the Apple Watch. Using an Apple Watch to detect glucose levels will result in not having to carry around a device such as the Accu-Check. Apple’s new product will have to be approved by the US FDA before releasing for production and sales. Once completed and approved, the Apple Watch will no longer be recognized as an accessory, but instead a revolutionary health device.
Apple’s iHealth Device
Apple iHealth Wireless Blood Glucometer
Apple has already produced an iHealth Wireless Blood Glucometer. The device is small and portable. It has been FDA approved and allows for you to take accurate blood sugar readings. It comes with iHealth test strips. Unlike the traditional meter, this Apple iHealth device syncs data to your phone by using the iGluco app on your iOS device. You can save your readings on the secure iHealth Cloud and look at your trends at a glance. Apple’s overview of this gadget mentions that you can send the data from your iPhone or iPad to your doctor or family. The iHealth test strips need a smaller amount of blood to test than traditional meters. There is also a feature where they sync with the app so that expiration and quantity can be tracked.
In 2016, ABI estimated the diabetic testing market reached $12 billion and forecasts that in 2021 it will be at $17 billion. Over 9 million wearable continuous glucose monitoring devices are expected to ship by 2021.
This new and innovative technology is a source of hope to all the diabetics that must prick their fingers multiple times a day.
Stay updated about this new Apple technology that will revolutionize how diabetics can track their blood glucose. Visit our Helpful Tips page to learn more about how to incorporate Diabetes Diet Tips into your lifestyle.
CBS News & CNBC