09 September 2008

Continuous Glucose Monitoring

A study confirms what we have long known regarding continuous glucose monitoring in the clinical management of type 1 diabetes:
The results of our study indicate that continuous glucose monitoring improves glycated hemoglobin levels and may enhance the management of type 1 diabetes in adults who have the motivation to use this technology and the capability to incorporate it into their own daily diabetes management. Further work is needed to identify and address the lack of effectiveness of continuous glucose monitoring in children and adolescents. ~ NEJM, 08 Sept 2008

Glycated or glycosylated hemoglobin is the hemoglobin often used to quantify the amount of plasma glucose in the body during long time periods. Doctors call it as hemoglobin A1C. While more expensive than your usual fasting blood sugar (FBS) test, the A1C test is preferred sometimes because the results it gives allows the doctor to see a better picture on how effective or ineffective the diabetes is being managed.

I think the keyword in the study is, "motivation." Continuous glucose monitoring is a tedious process, and not every diabetic might have the patience to do it religiously. The monitoring is done almost 4 times daily. Patience is an endangered virtue especially among the elderly and those who are depressed with their ailment. The ideal setup is to have a nurse or a trained relative do it for the patient, but not all patients are blessed to have that kind of help always.

The full text of study can be read here.
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