When you’re managing diabetes, you’re managing blood sugar constantly and it can be very difficult to always keep it within the range recommended by your doctor. Thankfully, technology is there to help and with every passing year, new developments are making diabetes management less “hit or miss” and more “exactly on target”. The twin threats of too little blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or too much blood sugar (hyperglycemia) may become things of the past.
Currently, there are two separate devices to help: one that delivers insulin, and another that monitors blood sugar continuously. However, the glitch has been in the need for human interaction and monitoring – leaving a margin for error that could be minimized if the two systems worked automatically and in tandem.
For example, an insulin pump can deliver insulin through a catheter in the skin when needed, but getting the right amount depends upon a number of variables, requiring the diabetic patient to frequently check blood sugar levels, try to determine how many carbohydrates he or she is eating, keep track of the amount of exercise, and coordinate the pump settings appropriately.
Similarly, glucose monitors (CGMs) measure glucose levels periodically and signal when levels are out of normal range. While a CGM can be used in conjunction with an insulin pump, ideally, a better system could be developed to automatically make and carry out the necessary determinations – serving as an artificial pancreas.
Visit NPR’s health news at www.npr.org/blogs/health to read about the exciting diabetic management breakthroughs in the works, including a study on coaxing human embryonic stem cells to make insulin.
If you or your loved ones are in need of ongoing monitoring and in-home care to improve the management of diseases or conditions like diabetes, the AAging Better In-Home Care team can help.
Working with AAging Better means better care with caregivers who know how to help loved ones manage their symptoms and recognize health warning signs. If you'd like further information, give us a call toll-free at 866-464-2344 or reach out to us online to learn more or to find out how we can help you or your loved ones help manage chronic health conditions.