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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Testing'

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Help Arrives for Diabetes Supplements

March 1st, 2014 · 3 Comments

Most of us take some supplements every day. But few of us have any idea what we are taking.

Help has begun to arrive.

Shopping for Supplements

Sixty-eight percent of American adults take nutritional or dietary supplements, according to a 2012 customer survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition. I’m sure that the proportion is even higher among those of us who have diabetes.

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Posted in: Testing

Why and How to Track Diabetes Health

February 23rd, 2014 · 2 Comments

Most people who have diabetes track their blood sugar levels. Lots of us also track our weight, what we eat, and our exercise. But not many of us do anything useful with these numbers.

If we want to improve any of them, just writing them down and studying them will get us part of the way there. That’s because of the observer effect where simply observing something changes what we see.

Tracking Bears and Tracking Diabetes Have Lots in Common

But only when we act in response to our health tracking, does it began to be worth the effort. People with diabetes who don’t use insulin are wasting their time and money when they test their blood sugar, according to a study by the Cochrane Collaboration, the most respected group that reviews scientific studies. Two years ago I wrote about and linked that study in my post, “The Trouble with Glucose Testing.” The problem is that our medical professionals don’t usually teach us what our blood sugar levels should be and how to get there.

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A Christmas Gift to People with Diabetes from Polymer

February 15th, 2014 · No Comments

The best way that we have to check our A1C level will live after all. In September I reported here in “The Key Diabetes Test Bites the Dust” that Bayer Diabetes Care would stop making the A1CNow device at the end of this year.


At that time I asked a Bayer spokesperson whom I had known for years if Bayer might sell the facility that makes the A1CNow device to another company. “Our business plans are confidential,” she replied.

But yesterday, December 23, Polymer Technology Systems Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana, announced that “it has acquired the A1CNow family of products from Bayer Diabetes Care.” The announcement was a brief, six-paragraph press release to PR Newswire, and I have not been able to reach anyone at Polymer.

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A Great New Meter System for Diabetes Blood Sugar Tracking

February 12th, 2014 · No Comments

The OneTouch Verio Sync may be the best blood glucose meter for people with diabetes. But before you rush out to buy one as a Christmas present for yourself or for a loved one, please note one problem. It’s not yet for sale.

The Verio Sync Paired with an iPhone

LifeScan Inc., the company that is making it, tells me that they expect their new meter to become available in January, February, or March of next year. LifeScan sells more blood glucose meters in this country than any other company, and the Verio Sync will join their three other current OneTouch meters. They are the OneTouch Verio IQ, the OneTouch Ultra Mini, and the OneTouch Ultra 2 (LifeScan also developed the OneTouch UltraLink, which works with a Medtronic insulin pump, and the OneTouch Ping meter remote that works with the Animas insulin pump).

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Will the Diabetes Sentry Prevent Hypos?

December 27th, 2013 · No Comments

I wish that I could give you an unqualified endorsement of the new Diabetes Sentry. It is the only noninvasive device currently on the market for the detection of hypoglycemia symptoms. Worn like a wristwatch, it is simple and easy to use.

It can detect the two most common symptoms of hypoglycemia, a blood sugar level that can be dangerously low and which many people with diabetes call a hypo. The common symptoms are a drop in skin temperature and an increase in perspiration. When a Diabetes Sentry detects one of these symptoms, it sounds an audible alarm.

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The Key Diabetes Test Bites the Dust

October 27th, 2013 · 4 Comments

A spokesperson for Bayer Diabetes Care today confirmed that the company will stop making the device that is the best way we have to check our key blood glucose level.

When I called Susan Yarin, the spokesperson for Bayer’s diabetes care business, I asked her about the rumor that Bayer would stop making the A1CNow device at the end of the year. This device is the only way that we have to check our A1C levels at home and get immediate results.

“It’s not a rumor,” Ms. Yarin replied. “I can confirm it.”

She told me that Bayer would be closing down the facility that produces the A1CNow at the end of the year. A1CNow units “will be available as long as supplies are available.”

I told her that I was dismayed and that, since I check my A1C level on the first day of every month, I had just ordered A1CNow+ units that Bayer makes for professionals. This is the same as the A1CNow SelfCheck that Bayer makes for patients and sells in pharmacies, except the professional version includes 10 tests while the patient version includes two tests. I purchased the 10-pack kit (1 monitor and 10 test cartridges) from A1CTest for $129.00 plus $8.95 shipping and handling. That works out to $13.80 per test. Most pharmacies sell the A1CNow SelfCheck for about $30, which is $15 per test plus tax.

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A New Audible Meter for People with Diabetes

October 19th, 2013 · No Comments

Most blood glucose meters are either pretty basic and inexpensive or offer lots of features at considerable cost. But one meter comes with a low price tag and yet does more than any other.

For those of us who have limited vision or are blind this meter is a godsend. It is the second generation Solus V2 meter from BioSense Medical Devices in Duluth, Georgia.

I reviewed its predecessor, the Solo V2, three years ago at “A New Talking Meter.” BioSense changed the name slightly and improved a fine meter even more. The V2 in the name of both the original and new meter refers to vision and voice, not version. In fact, however the Solus V2 is also the second version of the talking blood glucose meter from BioSense.

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Find the Best Diabetes Meters

April 20th, 2013 · 8 Comments

Finding the best blood glucose meter has just become a little easier for some people who have diabetes.

If you live in the United States, you now have an extensive website that will make the quest easier. The site is part of FindTheBest where you can “Compare Blood Glucose Meters.”

FindTheBest provides “unbiased, data-driven comparisons” of everything from smart phones to dog breeds with blood glucose meters somewhere in between. The site does this with any advertising or fee.

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Pedometer Prodding for Diabetes Management

February 27th, 2013 · No Comments

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had some gentle encouragement to get the physical activity that those of us who have diabetes need. Even people who are already in the habit of moving a lot can use a non-judgemental poke once in a while to keep on track.

We may prefer to saunter, stroll, or wander. Or perhaps our usual locomotion is to walk briskly, hike, or jog. Whatever way we like to get out, even those of us most dedicated to managing our diabetes sometimes need a bit of a prod.

I know that I do. Even though walking and hiking is an essential part of the good life for me, my experience for the past two weeks proves to me that carrying a pedometer in my pocket encourages me to take more steps.

I have been on vacation in Southwest Florida since New Year’s Day. We have some nice couches in the condo that a friend of mine and I are renting. But we have hardly used them because we came here to go birding and to take photographs of the birds and other natural beauty we can find.

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Posted in: Testing

Operator Error in Diabetes Testing

February 21st, 2013 · 3 Comments

Saying that operator error is the biggest problem that people who have diabetes have when we check our blood sugar sounds like blaming the victim. But I’m convinced that some mistakes we make when using our meters and test strips and lancets is the reason why testing so often gives us wacky blood sugar numbers.

People with diabetes know all about blaming the victim. For years I have argued against the common fallacy that diabetes is a lifestyle disease caused by our weight and sloth. In fact, most of us have diabetes in our genes, as the new science of genetic testing shows.

But sometimes — and not always — the victim herself or himself causes the error. That’s what is going on with some of the inaccurate readings that those of us who have diabetes often get from our blood glucose meters.

For more than 40 years, people who have diabetes have been lucky to be able to check their blood sugar levels at home and when travelling. We can do it whenever we need to do so. We don’t have to go to a doctor’s office or a hospital or a lab. Consequently, we forgot what a sophisticated testing device we have in our hands. Blood glucose meters are one of very few blood testing devices that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lets untrained people use.

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Posted in: Testing