Glucose Monitoring - Monitoring Your Blood Sugar
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By Mallory Creveling
Can you explain the importance of self blood glucose monitoring for
diabetics and if there are any noninvasive ways to take these measurements?
The American Diabetes Association recommends regular self-monitoring of
blood glucose levels to control diabetes, and those using insulin should
test their levels three or more times daily, according to Dr. David Kendall,
the chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes
Association. This will help with insulin dosage and medication needs.
High blood glucose levels, or hyperglycemia, can lead to ketoacidosis -- a
condition caused by too many ketones in the body, which can eventually lead
to a diabetic coma or even death. Hyperglycemia can also cause an increased
risk of diabetes-related complications like eye, nerve and kidney disease,
On the other hand, low levels of blood glucose, or hypoglycemia, which can
result from insulin treatment, can lead to dizziness, sweating, pale skin,
clumsiness and seizures among other symptoms. In severe cases, it can also
result in death.
Though researchers and diabetes experts have been exploring different
technologies for monitoring blood glucose levels to avoid these
diabetes-related conditions, fingerstick blood sampling is the only approved
method for self-monitoring blood glucose, according to Kendall.
Some of the methods being investigated include infrared devices or the use
of other technologies that scan fluids under the skin.
"[They] attempt to estimate blood glucose based on complex scientific
modeling of the results," Kendall said. "Please note, however, that these
are still investigational."
Most insurance companies will cover the cost for self-monitoring blood
glucose levels for those individuals diagnosed with diabetes.