When you think of humans with implants, you may picture sinister movie characters, like Dr. No with bionic metal hands or the Borg from "Star Trek."
But as a force for good, a newly approved implantable glucose monitor may turn you into a diabetes-fighting machine.
One of the challenges of managing insulin-dependent diabetes (that's everyone with Type 1 and 30 to 40 percent of those with Type 2) is knowing how much insulin to use and what to eat, so you can keep glucose levels in a healthy range and dodge high and low glucose readings.
Highs can lead to complications; the lows can be life-threatening.
But knowing your numbers so you can adjust your medication and food intake means frequent (and bothersome) finger sticks using a glucose meter.
Enter continuous glucose monitors (CGMs)!
For a few years the devices have been available, using an implanted sensor that's replaced every six to 14 days, plus a transmitter and a receiver. But now there's a newly approved CGM with a tiny sensor/transmitter that can stay implanted in your upper arm for 90 days, and it sends data directly to your smartphone. It alerts you 24/7 to both high and low glucose levels.
However, with 17 and 16 percent false positives respectively, you need to use your low-tech glucose meter to check its readings.
Then, careful monitoring along with regular exercise and eating right will improve your glucose control, so no matter if you have Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes, you're less likely to have complications.
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