New and Affordable Way of Testing Blood Sugar

One of the most important ways of managing diabetes is checking blood sugar multiple times a day. Blood sugar is very easily affected. Food, exercise, mood, not being active, dehydration, change in hormone levels, alcohol, as well as illness are all factors that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose meters and testing strips can get quite expensive for those suffering from diabetes. A typical Type 1 diabetic can spend up to $4,000 a year just on glucose test strips. Medications, visits to doctors, annual tests, and even healthy food that is imperative to managing diabetes can get very pricey and expense can grow even higher to those without insurance. Doctors are also quick to prescribe newer medications for managing diabetes such as Levemir, Humalog, and Apidra that are incredibly expensive.

A new way of testing blood sugar could ease the cost for many diabetics in the very near future. A copper based sensor could soon be available to test glucose levels from body fluids other than blood, such as sweat and tears. This new copper sensor would be a cheaper and simpler alternative for monitoring blood sugar. Those that grew up pricking their finger to check blood sugar are now seeing new methods of testing such as the popular medical device that can be inserted under the skin. This technology however, remains expensive since it uses precious metals such as platinum and gold.

Copper mixed with polystyrene used in a sensor could easily detect glucose in salt-based fluids. Professor Yamauchi of Japan’s National Institute of Materials Science said, “Copper based glucose sensors have been intensely studied as copper is low cost, superior in performance, and very conductive.” The sensor has been built by researchers at University of Wollongong’s Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials and can quickly and accurately detect blood glucose. Hopefully in the near future a copper based sensor will be a cheaper and more effective method for testing blood sugar in diabetics.

Health Tips for People with Diabetes

It has been predicted that the number of people with diabetes by the year 2050 would amount to 48 million. The prediction is solely based on the number of people suffering from the disease at the present moment. However, the good news is that with the right care and treatment, diabetic patients can live a regular life. But if proper care is not taken, diabetes can further lead to various other medical conditions; with blindness and kidney failure just two of the dangerous consequences.

So, if you are a diabetic patient, take charge of your health and create a lifestyle that will allow you to live a long and healthy life. Here are some suggestions to do just that*

Daily Blood Sugar Test

A person with diabetes has fluctuations in their blood sugar level. So in order to maintain it, they should keep a regular check. Thanks to technology and medical advances, we now have devices that allow us to check our blood sugar level within seconds. Anytime you find your sugar level to be out of proportion, better take measures immediately.

Watch What You Eat

Diabetic patients cannot be as careless with their diet as other people. Their weight plays a huge part in helping them maintain their health. Obesity is a diabetic’s worst enemy, and it could lead to some bad consequences. In fact, losing some weight can have such a positive effect on the body that a patient can even go without insulin for a long time.

Working Out Could Be Your Savior

The healthier you try to stay, the more at bay you’re diabetics will stay. Eating healthy and following an exercise plan will help you stay fit and healthy. Physical activities, like walking or jogging, help in stabilizing the sugar level in the blood. Therefore, daily exercises could lead to even better results.

Consume Fiber

Eating food with fiber will not only help you with keeping your blood sugar level stabilized, but will also lower the risk of heart diseases and help you with losing weight. So, it’s a win-win situation at all costs. Make sure to increase your fiber intake by consuming fiber-rich vegetables, beans, whole grains and nuts.

Ditch The Sugar

This one might be the most challenging of all measures, especially for those diabetic patients who are a little too fond of sugary delights. You’ll have to skip on all the desserts and drinks containing sugar. However, drinking water, coffee, and tea are okay, as long as neither of them contains sugar.

See Your Doctor Regularly

If you keep taking these measures, then you’ll realize you are actually getting along with your diabetes. However, don’t make the mistake of ignoring your doctor’s appointment. A regular checkup will help you learn how good you are doing. Also, a doctor will be able to tell you more preventive measures in accordance with your medical history.

We understand how being diagnosed with a disease like this can affect your physical and mental condition but, there are only ways to deal with it. Either you let the disease control your health or you let your health control the disease. The choice is yours.

*Note: The suggestions on this page are for information purposes only and should not be followed prior to consultation with an experienced medical professional.

Five Common Symptoms of Diabetes

Do you know that approximately 24 million people in the United States are a victim of diabetes? It is a serious and lifelong condition that can take some people towards certain death. Given that diabetes is a very dangerous disease, many people may not be aware of the symptoms; therefore, we are providing some symptoms that are commonly associated with diabetic patients.

Strong Hunger

When you are suffering from diabetes, your cells do not get energy. Due to this, insulin is not at all present in your body or it is not in its proper working condition. Since your body is drained of energy, your body reacts to finding more energy, generally in form of food. Ultimately, it causes intense hunger. This is the reason why we see so many diabetic patients getting hungry and eating promptly.


This point is associated with the previous one. When you eat too much, it causes weight gain and a person becomes obese. In addition to that, obesity is mostly found among people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes. This is commonly seen in them because patients having type 2 diabetes suffer from insulin resistance. So, if such patients want to control obesity, exercising would be one consideration.

Frequent Urination

If you feel that you go to the bathroom more often than you should, consider consulting your doctor. Going to the bathroom frequently is not a normal condition. When your body has an excessive amount of glucose in your body, then you urinate more often. Additionally, when you urinate abnormally, you will also have to compensate for that lost liquid. For that, you will surely require drinking more water to keep yourself hydrated.

Dry Mouth

Your body would be using more than the normal amount of fluids causing the frequent urination mentioned above, so you must work to keep yourself hydrated. If you don’t or even if you do, you could get dehydrated (not a good thing) and your mouth will feel dry. Dry mouth also leads to faster tooth decay and possibly bad breath.

Unclear Vision

When you suffer from diabetes, blurry or unclear vision is also one of the common symptoms that you might face. Research predicts that retinal disorders are normal in case of diabetes. This is normally caused because the tissue is being pulled out from your eye lenses, thus affecting your ability to focus. If you take actions beforehand, then it can be treated properly and can save you from prolonged vision issues.    

Bruises Take Time to Heal

When a person is free from diseases, their bruises and cuts cure timely. However, the injuries of those suffering from diabetes usually take longer to heal and cure than that of other healthy humans. This again happens because of the excessive amount of glucose in your body which undermines the ability to cure the marks.

If you are facing any or all of these issues, it is time to visit your doctor. Normally, diabetes is detected by carrying out a urine test followed by a blood test to see whether or not excess glucose is present in your body. Most people live normal lifespans with the proper treatment and medication. If you feel you might be contracting this disease, you should go for a checkup so you can be properly diagnosed and if the results are positive, you can get the appropriate treatment.

Plant-Based Diet Could Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Everyone knows the key to good health is a healthy diet. A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston has showed that a plant-based diet may significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study contained information from over 200,000 Americans that completed a series of questionnaires about their diet, lifestyle, medical history and current health. This information was collected over a period of 20 years. “This study highlights that even moderate dietary changes in the direction of a healthful plant-based diet can play a significant role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes,” said lead author of the study Ambika Satija, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School.

The study presents clear evidence that current dietary recommendations are supported by the findings. The results are clear, the healthier the diet, the lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. Those that followed a plant-based diet low in animal-based foods had a 20 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t. A plant-based diet is one that contains plenty of healthy vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Those in the study that followed a less healthy plant-based diet had a 16 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes. This less healthy diet includes vegetables, fruits and whole grains but also included refined grains, potatoes and sugar-sweetened beverages. This shows that a healthy diet needs to contain less sugar and less simple carbohydrates in order to be effective.

The study also showed that a healthy version of the plant-based diet that included whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes lowered the risk for type 2 diabetes by 34 percent. “A shift to a dietary parent higher in healthful plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods, especially red and processed meats, can confer substantial health benefits in reducing risk of type 2 diabetes,” said the study’s senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard. This study was published this Tuesday, June 14th, in the journal PLoS Medicine and funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Artificial Pancreas For Diabetics

The pancreas is an organ that is responsible for producing important hormones such as insulin. Insulin is needed to keep blood sugar levels within normal range. Those suffering from diabetes know that a lack of insulin can lead to high blood sugar. Those suffering from type 1 diabetes know that insulin injections are critical for survival.

Medical technology is currently developing a completely new option for those suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus and it involves the so-called “artificial pancreas”. Type 1 diabetes, also called diabetes mellitus type 1 is a form of diabetes that occurs when the autoimmune system destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

The artificial pancreas is a concept that started 20 years ago with the goal of automating the delivery of insulin for type 1 diabetics to normalize their blood sugar levels. The idea is that this is not a solution for diabetes but is meant to improve quality of life for diabetics. The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is the engineering core in this project responsible for the algorithm and design being tested in clinical trials.

This artificial pancreas is not a replica of the pancreas organ; instead it is an automated insulin delivery system designed to mimic a healthy person’s glucose function. This closed-loop system consists of an insulin pump, a glucose monitor placed under the skin, and advanced control algorithm software in a smartphone that provides the brains of the system. The pump will deliver the needed insulin based on a series of variables such as stress, sleep, meals consumed, physical activity, and metabolism.

The first of two trials planned as part of the new $12.7 million National Institutes of Health funded study will test the safety and effectiveness of the artificial pancreas in 240 patients with type 1 for six months. The second trial will follow 180 patients that completed the first study for an extra six months to test the advanced adaptive control algorithm developed by the Harvard team led by dean Francis J. Doyle III and Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard Elizabeth S. Armstrong.

Also involved in the study is the University of Virginia School of Medicine Center for Diabetes Technology, that is also developing the artificial pancreas system. The institutions that make up the International Diabetes Closed Loop Consortium that will be participating in the clinical trials include Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, Stanford University, the Mayo Clinic, University hospitals in France, Amsterdam, and Italy among others. With clinical trials already underway, there is finally hope for an optimal and easier way to deliver insulin that will soon be accessible to anyone with type 1 diabetes.