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

Entries Tagged as 'Diabetes Testing'

Diabetes Testing Is Useless

April 17th, 2015 · 5 Comments

I agree with the conclusions of a review from the Cochrane Collaboration, the most respected group that reviews scientific studies. The review concluded that among people who have had type 2 diabetes for more than one year and aren’t using insulin the effect of testing “is small.” And when they have diabetes longer it makes even less difference. Even worse: no evidence shows that testing “affects patient satisfaction, general well-being, or general health-related quality of life.”

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New Diabetes Test Sites That Work

February 16th, 2015 · No Comments

The usual problem with using one of our fingertips to check our blood sugar is that it hurts. Our fingertips need to have lots of nerve endings because we use our fingers as fine sensing devices.

That’s why people with diabetes got excited about using alternative test sites about 15 years ago when blood glucose meters that require just 1 microliter or less of our blood first became available. These sites have far fewer nerve endings, so any pain from testing there is uncommon. But researchers soon discovered that the alternative test sites we were using, like the forearm, had one serious limitation.

Our fingertips detect a change in our blood sugar level first, and these alternative sites can sometimes lag by more than a quarter of an hour, as I reported in an article, “Lag Time in Alternativeland,” on my website in 2001. While that wouldn’t matter much when our blood sugar is steady, if it were falling into the hypoglycemic range, the consequences could be serious. That’s why some meter manufacturers have generally recommended since then that we don’t use alternative sites if our blood sugar is likely to be falling. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to know if we are going hypo unless we test.

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Painless Lancing for Diabetes

January 2nd, 2015 · 2 Comments

For readers of this post Genteel is offering $20 off through Monday, January 12, 2015, because of some confusion over the expiration date of the previous offer. Please use the promo code ‘MENDOSA20′ on the Order page to get your discount.

The only painless way for us to check our blood sugar level, the Genteel lancing device, is on sale. But it’s only for readers of this article and your friends and family and only through this Friday, December 5.

I wrote about it when it first became available in June in this article: “Gentle Testing for Diabetes.” I use it myself and know that it is painless.

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Three Surprises in a New Survey of Blood Glucose Meter Satisfaction

December 9th, 2014 · No Comments

A survey that came out this morning shows that an overwhelming proportion of people in this country who use blood glucose meters really like the ones that Bayer makes. But the meters that the other three leading manufacturers make aren’t far behind.

These results surprise me. With all the complaints that I get here about the inaccuracy and lack of precision of our meters I didn’t expect the degree of satisfaction that this survey reported. Either they know something that we don’t or ignorance is bliss.

In any case, meters made by Bayer AG, the German pharmaceutical and chemical company, ranked highest in customer satisfaction in a J.D. Power survey of 2,024 people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. “Bayer ranks highest in satisfaction with a score of 843, performing particularly well in meter performance; ease of use; design; features; and cost of test strips,” J.D. Power says.  Since the survey is calculated on a 1,000 point scale, let’s just say that 84 percent of the users that they surveyed are satisfied with Bayer meters.

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How Often Should People with Diabetes Check Their A1C?

November 17th, 2014 · 4 Comments

A new study concludes that people who have diabetes should check their blood glucose level with A1C tests more often than the experts recommend. But even then the study doesn’t go far enough.

The study looked at more than 400,000 tests by about 80,000 people whose doctors prescribed them between 2008 and 2011. It focused on the relationship between the retest interval and the percentage change in A1C level.

The results of this massive analysis just appeared in the current issue of Diabetes Care. The abstract of the study is free online, and an endocrinologist friend of mine kindly gave me a copy of the full text.

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Easy and Accurate Diabetes Monitoring at Home Is Available

October 26th, 2014 · 39 Comments

The A1CNow device is the easiest and most accurate way for those of us who have diabetes to check our key blood glucose level at home. But it still has spotty availability.

Chex Diagnostics, formerly known at Polymer Technology Systems, started shipping it six months ago after the company had purchased the A1CNow business from Bayer Diabetes Care last year. But many pharmacies don’t have it yet.

The good news, however, is that we can get it for less than ever before.

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Diabetes Testing That Is Even More Gentle

October 16th, 2014 · No Comments

Three months ago I reviewed Genteel’s new “gentle lancing instrument” here at “Gentle Testing for Diabetes.” The company claims right on the box that it gives us “blood testing without pain!”

In all my experience with the device this is no exaggeration. It has improved the quality of my life and that of other people with diabetes who test their blood sugar.

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Gentle Testing for Diabetes

July 20th, 2014 · No Comments

Nobody ever dared to claim that drawing a drop of blood to check our blood sugar levels could be gentle. Until now.

A new company named Genteel has just started shipping its “gentle lancing instrument.” The box that it comes in says right on it that it give us “blood testing without pain!”

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For many of us who have diabetes using a blood glucose meter and lancing device is the most painful thing we have to do. And most of us perform this onerous chore several times a day.

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Generic Test Strips for Diabetes

June 2nd, 2014 · 2 Comments

Generic products can help us manage the costly disease known as diabetes. In the past few years we got generic pills, including metformin. Now we have genetic test strips for our blood glucose meters.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved generic test strips that we can use with most of LifeScan’s OneTouch Ultra meters. Now you can buy them now.

LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company, sells more blood glucose meters in the United States than any other meter manufacturer. You are more likely to find their meters on your health plan’s formulary than those made by any other company.

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UniStrip Technologies in Charlotte, North Carolina, offers generic test strips for LifeScan’s four best-selling meters in the Ultra family: the OneTouch Ultra, Ultra2, UltraSmart, and UltraMini. PharmaTech Solutions (owned by Shasta Technologies) in Westlake Village, California, offers generic strips for three of these: the OneTouch Ultra, Ultra2, and UltraMini.

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The Best Way to Check Our Diabetes Control Is Back

May 25th, 2014 · 3 Comments

The A1CNow meter for checking the key level of sugar in our blood is back. Chek Diagnostics, which changed its name from Polymer Technology Systems on March 27, just started shipping this meter that lets us check our A1C level at home.

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I reported here on December 24 in “A Christmas Gift to People with Diabetes with Polymer” that the company had purchased the A1CNow business from Bayer Diabetes Care.

During the transition in ownership the availability of the A1CNow meter became spotty. Fortunately, the new owners didn’t change the device or its name. It is fortunate because they didn’t have to wait for the long approval process that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires for new and revised devices.

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