Digital Contact Lenses Can Transform Diabetes Care

Digital Contact Lenses Can Transform Diabetes Care

Digital Contact Lenses Can Transform Diabetes Care

Google submitted a patent to the US Patent & Trademark Office in 2014 that described a digital, multi-sensor contact lens that can also detect blinking, with benefits like turning the page of an e-book with a “blink of an eye”. Later, more details about the idea emerged, revealing a much more transformative use for the contact lens – measuring blood glucose from tears.
How will the digital contact lens help diabetes patients?
Sensors are embedded between two soft layers of lens material and a pinhole in the lens allows tear fluid to seep into the sensor and be used to measure blood sugar levels. A wireless antenna, thinner than a human hair, will act as a controller to communicate information to the wireless device. Data will then be sent to an external device. Google engineers even considered adding LED lights that could warn the wearer by lighting up when the glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds, but abandoned the idea as the arsenic content of LED could prove dangerous.
The contact lens analyzes blood glucose level every second and transmits the data to an associated app. Detailed readings are available at a tap on your phone. When blood sugar crosses certain thresholds, the app notifies you instantly to act, or to contact a physician if the situation is serious.
Keeping blood sugar levels optimal all day, avoiding spikes or lulls during sleep – these everyday problems wouldn’t depend on pure luck anymore. You could also forget about pricking your finger several times each day. As one of the most powerful ways technology will change dia Continue reading

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11 Everyday Habits That Are Absolutely Ruining Your Diabetes Control

11 Everyday Habits That Are Absolutely Ruining Your Diabetes Control

Portion sizes
Surprise: We eat more than we should—even when we're focusing on healthy foods. (Yeah, you already knew that one.) For people controlling diabetes, portion sizes of carbohydrate foods determine how much medication they need or how their blood glucose responds. Try this rule of thumb for the carb portion of your plate—it should take up about a quarter of the typical, nine-inch dinner plate. Optimal servings of peas, potatoes, or whole wheat pasta is one cup per meal. Compare that to a usual Mexican restaurant plate, where high-carb foods cover the entire plate: rice, beans, tortillas, chips. Too much carbohydrate sabotages glucose control for diabetics. For more portion control tips, check out these tips.
Why drink your calories? Drinks high in sugar and calories add up quicker than anything else. That giant fountain soda easily boasts over 500 calories, all from sugar, skyrocketing your glucose out of control. Sports drinks, fruit juices, smoothies, energy-boost drinks, sweet teas, and fancy coffee drinks contain significant amounts of simple carbohydrate (re: sugar). Even the healthy seeming stuff: Consider that 12 ounces of orange juice has 45 grams of carbohydrate—about the same as 12-ounce can of soda. Sure, the juice includes healthy vitamins, but the glucose load is the same as a cola. For those controlling diabetes, skip these sugary beverages and opt for water to rehydrate. Your blood glucose will thank you!
Skipping meals
Timing your meals throughout the day is key for controlling diabetes. Skipping a meal puts you at risk for hypoglyc Continue reading

Can Your Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?

Can Your Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed?

Advice for type 2 diabetes patients seeking a healthier, happier lifestyle
For patients with type 2 diabetes, managing the disease can be a burden. However, with medical planning, diligence and awareness, it may be possible to eliminate the symptoms. Education is the most important aspect of treatment, as it’s necessary to understand exactly what your goals are and how to guide your body to reach them. We spoke with Maruja Diaz-Arjonilla, MD, a board-certified endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism specialist at St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group, who navigates the latest research to give us a better understanding of how patients with type 2 diabetes might achieve remission.
Q: What does it mean to put diabetes into remission? Is it the same thing as reversing the disease?
A: In certain cases, intensive medical treatment can put type 2 diabetes into remission--that is, the right therapies might enable your glucose levels to remain normal without using diabetes medication. “Reversal” and “remission" have both been used somewhat interchangeably, however, "reversal" suggests that the disease goes away permanently. I prefer the term “remission” because there is always a risk of relapse--a chance for your symptoms to reoccur if you are not consistent with treatment or diet and exercise.
If you can maintain normal blood sugar levels for more than one year without medication, you are in what we would call "complete remission." Of course, you'll still need regular testing to see if your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol are in check and to look out for any prob Continue reading

A Dilemma for Diabetes Patients: How Low to Push Blood Sugar, and How to Do It?

A Dilemma for Diabetes Patients: How Low to Push Blood Sugar, and How to Do It?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with Type 2 diabetes. Surely, then, the way to dodge this bullet is to treat the disease and lower blood sugar.
Well, maybe. Growing evidence suggests that the method by which blood sugar is lowered may make a big difference in heart risk. That has raised a medical dilemma affecting tens of millions of people with Type 2 diabetes — and for the doctors who treat them.
Some diabetes drugs lower blood sugar, yet somehow can increase the chances of heart attacks and strokes. Other medications have no effect on heart risk, while still others lower the odds of heart disease but may have other drawbacks, like high cost or side effects.
It’s becoming clear, researchers say, that there’s far too little evidence on how diabetes drugs affect the heart to make rational evidence-based judgments. “If you think the landscape is confusing, it really is,” said Dr. Leigh Simmons, an internist in Boston.
“Daunting” is how Dr. JoAnn Manson, the chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, describes the situation for patients and their doctors. She explained the option and uncertainties in a recent commentary in JAMA.
There are 12 classes of drugs on the market and two or three different agents in each class. The drugs range in price from about $4 a month for older drugs to $700 a month for newer ones, and they have varying side effects. Many patients take more than one drug.
The older, cheaper and more popular diabetes drugs were never tested for their effects on the heart — they were approved before any Continue reading

World's first diabetes app will be able to check glucose levels without drawing a drop of blood and will be able to reveal what a can of coke REALLY does to sugar levels

World's first diabetes app will be able to check glucose levels without drawing a drop of blood and will be able to reveal what a can of coke REALLY does to sugar levels

The world's first health app could monitor people's glucose levels without breaking the skin - a development which has been described as the 'holy grail' in diabetes care.
The Epic app could also help people find out if they could develop diabetes and need to make lifestyle changes to avoid it becoming a reality.
Users will be able to find out how different food types affect their body; for example, what a can of coke will do to their sugar levels or heart rate or how a plate of broccoli lowers their blood pressure.
It will also be possible to see how exercise or supplements affect vital statistics.
Users will only have to place one fingertip over the camera lens of their smartphone, the London-based firm has stated.
A series of close-up images are taken which accurately show information about the user's blood flow.
These are then sent to the cloud for analysis and can provide feedback on all kinds of vital information - from heart rate to temperature to blood pressure.
It can also tell people about their respiration and blood oxygen saturation.
SMBG (self-monitored blood glucose) is recommended for all people with diabetes and the clinical benefits are widely accepted.
Developers say the app will be available to download - free of charge - on Android smartphone devices and iOS at the end of this year.
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Users have to place one fingertip over the camera lens of their smartphone, the London-based firm says.
A series of close-up images are taken which accurately show information about the user's blood flow.
These are then sent to the cloud for analysis and Continue reading

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