Keeping track of blood sugar levels is a necessity for the diabetic. Now, the FDA has approved a device that will make it easier, for longer periods of time, to keep up with levels that are constantly changing.
In this week's Dealing with Diabetes, the Eye on Health team hears from a local specialist about the new seven-day glucose monitoring system.
Las Vegas resident and Type 1 diabetic, Butch Benda likes to use the latest gadgets to keep track of his blood-glucose levels. The system he currently uses monitors glucose levels for up to three days before the sensor has to be changed.
Benda said, "This system shows if you're going up or going down to see that you don't get in trouble."
Abnormally high levels of glucose can damage blood vessels leading to serious complications, including heart disease.
DexCom's new STS-7 Continuous Glucose monitor is equipped with a sensor that goes under the skin. The device displays information every five minutes for seven days. It does not take the place of finger sticks, but it does provides far more information that sticks alone.
Dr. Fred Toffel said, "It's really adding another dimension to diabetes care. Before, we basically had highs or lows, but they were fixed points in time. It was like taking a snapshot. Now, we have a movie of how things are progressing throughout the day."
Las Vegas endocrinologist Fred Toffel aays patients can also study daily glucose trends. He says the 7-day system should be very useful for those whose blood-sugar levels fluctuate to extremes. But he adds that at least for now, there's one draw back.
Dr. Toffel explained, "The problem still is the lack of insurance coverage of this new modality. Most of the insurance companies are not covering this modality of diabetes care."
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