Diabetic Testing Supplies
Diabetic Testing Supplies
Diabetic testing supplies have had a profound impact on people suffering from diabetes. The process, called blood glucose monitoring, involves drawing a small amount of blood which is then tested on a chemical strip to determine if the blood’s glucose level is where it needs to be. The results of these tests, which in some cases need to be administered three to ten times per day, will let the patient know if changes need to be made to diet or exercise as well as to let the person know when to take their medications.
There are two main types of monitoring systems in use today which have various benefits and problems. They are blood glucose meters and continuous blood glucose monitoring. Both of which shall be discussed alongside some experimental techniques. A blood glucose meter tests the patient’s blood by pricking a small wound in the finger of the patient. The blood is then tested on a small strip which reads the glucose level and lets the patient know if they should consume food or inject insulin. In times past, monitors required more blood and were less reliable because they required the patient to match their control strip sample against a log of readings, much like a person would check chemical levels in their pool or hot tub. Newer meters have the advantage of requiring less blood and the meter will also automatically read the blood for the patient. Some of the more expensive models no longer even require the finger to be pricked but less sensitive areas such as the palm of the hand. Sadly, these meters are expensive but the cost saved by not requiring serious medical attention makes them a worthwhile investment for most patients.
Continuous blood glucose monitoring follows the same basic principles as does the blood glucose meter. The difference is that instead of pricking one’s finger, a small probe is inserted transdermally under the skin which continuously monitors the person’s glucose levels. The advantage here, besides not having to prick fingers, is that the blood is measured constantly and the device will even alert the patient if the blood levels get out of control. The downside to these devices, other than the cost, is that they can be uncomfortable as the probe stays under the skin for days at a time. Site wounds can even develop in these areas causing severe pain. Another reported problem is the lag time which can develop causing inaccurate readings. This lag time can sometimes range between five and ten minutes and they will sometimes give a healthy reading while the patient has already begun to suffer from the imbalance.
Some experimental diabetic testing supplies include glucose sensing bio-implants and non-invasive technologies. Glucose sensing bio-implants (picutred left) require a minor surgery which will actually implant a monitor into your body which will last for three to five years. Some of the non-invasive methods would test the blood via ultrasound at no pain to the patient.
Diabetic testing supplies have come a long way in a relatively short time and continue to make people’s lives easier and more pain free. As our understanding of this disease grows, so will our ability to better treat it. It’s an exciting time for people with diabetes and one that will hopefully soon provide a cure.