Glucose Control: Benefits |
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Glycated protein measurement
In October of 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first portable meter that measures the blood value of glycated protein, an indicator of overall glucose control during the previous two weeks. It gives a better idea than an individual finger-stick reading of how well a person's diabetes management plan is working. With the device the glycated protein test is generally done once a week. The device is made by LXN Corp., of San Diego. An even newer device, the Duet Glucose Control Monitoring System, tests both glucose and glycated protein and sells for about $300. Neither of these tests is a substitute for daily finger-stick tests or the hemoglobin A1c test.
Continuous glucose monitoring system
The FDA approved this device in June of 1999. It senses glucose levels in tissue rather than blood. This is done through a tiny needle inserted under the skin at the abdomen. Though it can measure tissue glucose every five minutes and work for up to 72 hours, the device is not intended to replace the finger-stick method, but to supplement it. This is because the sensor provides trends rather than actual glucose levels.
If you have one of these, you won't see the glucose information while you're wearing the device because it's not displayed on the device's monitor. The data is stored and transmitted to a computer to be evaluated only by a doctor. So you have to continue your usual finger-stick testing. The device is made by MiniMed Inc., of Sylmar, California.
Typically, people with diabetes have used what are called lancets -- small, razor-sharp devices -- to puncture skin for a blood sample. However, in December of 1998, the FDA cleared the first at-home laser called the Lasette. It's a portable, battery-operated laser that pricks the skin as easily and accurately as lancets. It's available by prescription only and your doctor is required to give you information about how to use it. It's sold by Cell Robotics of Albuquerque, New Mexico.