In this medical health video learn how high-tech glucose monitors and meters that talk to insulin pumps, are new tools attempt to make life easier for people with diabetes.
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Dean Edell: Welcome to Medical Breakthroughs. I am Dr. Dean Edell. Right now more than 23 million of us have diabetes. By tomorrow, that number will increase by 4,400. You do the math. 1.6 million new cases a year and every single case needs a very personal attack plan to battle the effects of diabetes. Lori Fells: Come on baby! Dean Edell: Whether it's Type 1 or Type 2, people with diabetes walk a fine line. To keep blood sugar normal, they must balance the effects of exercise, food, and medication. Lori Fells: Good girl! Dean Edell: One miss-step can throw everything out of whack and create a breathing ground for complications. Lori Fells: I have had three surgeries on my eyes. Dean Edell: Blindness, heart disease, kidney damage, amputation, just to name the worst. Dr. Steven Shoelson: There is no simple formula. It's going to be adapted to each person. Dean Edell: People with Type 1 need insulin to survive. The more common Type 2 diabetes is different. Dr. Steven Shoelson: Most Type 2 diabetics will respond to lifestyle interventions. Thomas O'Connell: People are exercising and dieting appropriately. Maybe they get-away with pills instead of insulin. Dean Edell: Oral drugs, a newer injectable medication for Type 2 diabetes regulate blood sugar. Julie Locklin: Some of those actually tell the pancreas to make more insulin. We have other medications that help the liver decrease the amount of glucose that it makes. Dean Edell: But -- Dr. Steven Shoelson: The biggest problems we have in the current medications is they don't really treat the basic problem. Dean Edell: The answer maybe in an aspirin like drug called Salsalate. Dr. Steven Shoelson: It has been used historically for many decades to treat rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and other rheumatological diseases. Dean Edell: Researchers found a protein that triggers inflammation is turned on in overweight people. That inflammation leads to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Salsalate, which is an anti-inflammatory drug shuts off that protein. Dr. Steven Shoelson: What we have seen in preliminary trials is very positive effects on reducing blood sugar, and lipid levels in patients with diabetes. Dean Edell: A multi-centered clinical trial is now testing results on a larger scale. Daily blood testing is an unpleasant but necessary fact of life for all people with diabetes; Type 1 and Type 2. Julie Locklin: It's what's going to tell you if everything else is working; if your meal plan is working, if the medication is working. John Daniels: We recommend they check the blood sugars a minimum of four times a day. Frequently, patients will check 8, 10, 12 times a day. Dean Edell: Because it hurts to prick your finger that many times, there is always the temptation to just skip it. Kelly Pears: There is times when my fingers will just be callused all over because of the glucose sticks. Dean Edell: But now high-tech tools may change all of that. John Daniels: Continuous glucose monitoring is new technology that allows an individual to basically know his or her blood sugar all the time. Dean Edell: Kelly Pears(ph) has a sensor inserted under his skin. Every five minutes, it takes a reading and sounds an alarm if glucose is too high or too low. Kelly Pears: I can see when my glucoses are trending down. I can see when my glucoses are trending up. Dean Edell: A recent study funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, found people who use continuous glucose monitoring improves control over their blood sugar. Patients still have to do finger sticks but not as often. Kristen Duquaine: It's not actually blood glucose testing, it's testing fluid between the cells. But it gives me a good idea of where I am going so I can take care of problems before they become real problems. Dean Edell: A whole range of devices now offers better monitoring, like ultra-mini monitors to smart models that instantly graph the relationship of food, exercise, diet, and medication to the user's blood su