Diabetes Management

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a very common disease -- affecting about 2% of the general population. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not properly control the amount of sugar in the blood. It occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or does not use it properly. It can also result from decreased sensitivity to insulin. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood is too high.

Types of Diabetes:

Type 1: Occurs when insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (called beta cells) are destroyed by the immune system. People with type 1 diabetes produce no insulin and must use insulin injections to control their blood glucose.

Type 2: This is more commonly than Type 1. People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin. However, the insulin their pancreas secretes is either not enough or the body is unable to recognize the insulin and use it properly. When there isn't enough insulin or the insulin is not used, as it should be, glucose can't get into the body's cells.

Gestational: Triggered by pregnancy. Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect insulin's ability to work properly. Usually, blood glucose levels return to normal within six weeks of childbirth. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.


There are many different ways those with diabetes may manage the symptoms and problems associated with this disorder.

Managing diabetes involves getting a good primary physician, certified diabetes educator, dietitian, ophthalmologist, dentist, and podiatrist. With the help of these health care providers, you can educate yourself with the expectations of diabetes and how to manage any issues concerning diabetes.

Diabetic patients need to research to find out information about diabetes and organize their new daily routines to include insulin injections, oral medication, and written documentation of glucose levels.


There are many ways to monitor your glucose levels including urine glucose, blood glucose monitors, insulin pumps, cell-phone based technology, and PHRs.

· Urine Glucose tests the amount of glucose in urine. Sample of urine will be submitted to a lab or healthcare facility. Urine glucose is usually measured as a "spot test" with a dipstick containing a color-sensitive pad. This pad is saturated with specific chemicals that react with glucose. The resulting color indicates the glucose concentration. Today, urine glucose testing is not as efficient as modern testing instruments. Most patients use self mointoring of blood glucose.

· Blood Glucose Monitors allow users to test the ratio of glucose to blood so that a user may adjust his or her food intake accordingly. This is vital in the treatment and control of diabetes and associated symptoms. Some monitors are easier to use than others. Some require more blood than others.
Monitors, such as MediSense Precision Glucose, now allow for accurate results for those who take multiple medications and also allow for alternate site testing so that users do not necessarily have to go through the pain of testing the same site every time he or she needs to test his or her blood-glucose level.

(Picture of MediSense Precision Glucose Monitor)

New blood-glucose monitors have the ability to connect directly with your computer to track blood-glucose averages. For example, MCT-Diabetes allows diabetic patients to share and monitor their glucose levels across the Internet with health care providers or family members. Reports can be generated from the measurements to provide analysis on the effects of exercise and diet on a patient’s health. You can access these reports from any location. This system can be painful, awkward and expensive for some patients.

· **Insulin Pumps/Monitors** administer the proper amount of insulin to a user when necessary. Often these settings are changed or set by a doctor or users depending on the needs of that user. Insulin was previously administered through syringe, but has moved to less painful and user-friendlier options such as insulin pens and pumps.
Insulin pumps now provide users with the ability to program insulin injections according to specific user needs, such as foods or degree of severity. Insulin pumps now contain thousands of foods ranging from famous restaurants to T.V. dinners. These pumps are attached generally to the abdomen and administer insulin slowly or in spikes as needed for the user.

(Picture of Insulin Pump)

· The “Confident System” is a new interactive cell phone–based biometric system for real-time health coaching. This technology appears to be feasible and efficacious in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. It uses Bluetooth technology to instantly transmit biomedical measures such as HbA1c, blood pressure, weight, etc to a patient’s cell phone, and immediately to a computer server. It also sends back rapid profiles of recent measures and offers educational health messages while sending the results to the patient’s health physician.

· RFID technology can also help manage diabetic patients. VeriChip has just patented the new embedded biosensor system chip. The chip can be injected into the patients by a syringe and read by a wireless scanner to measure blood glucose levels. This type of technology is ideal for patients who dislike the process of drawing bloods from the fingertip or arm or paying for the maintenance on these monitors such as the strips. The new RFID chip includes a passive transponder, a glucose sensor, and integrated circuitry. The wireless scanner signal powers the microchip. This new technology will eliminate the need for patients to write down any readings and the possibility of human transcription errors. It will allow physicians to administer the glucose levels by accessing the system.

(Picture of VeriChip RFID chip)

Related Terminology:

Insulin Pump
Blood Glucose Monitors
MediSense Precision Glucose
Type 1
Type 2

Web Resources: