Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

8/9/04

Q:
My mother has been suffering from diabetes for more than 20 years. As she has to measure her blood sugar twice a day before injecting herself with insulin, her fingers has been numbed and hurt consistently. I saw an advertisement on TV about a new device that does not punch the skin in order to take the blood sugar value. Please advice if such a product is as reliable as the old method and if so, what the brand name is to buy it and where.

A:

There are other methods for testing. The first (and cheapest) I would recommend is forearm testing. This is done similarly to finger testing, requiring only a small amount of blood, assuming your meter is of that variety (as most are). The only time this may not be a good method is when testing for a low blood sugar reaction; finger (capillary) testing is best then.

Continuous blood glucose monitors, are gaining respect for accuracy. Therasense would be one web site to peruse. The Glucowatch is one system that has persisted in the market place. With all these systems, there may still be times when you should finger test, particularly if using mealtime insulins. The overall message is that technology is constantly working to improve the management life for those with diabetes.



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