Device Gives People with Diabetes More Control - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Device Gives People with Diabetes More Control

Diabetes sufferers are now able to check their ever-changing blood sugar levels in real time.  The glucose monitor works by inserting a sensor in a patient's body fat.  Readings are taken every five minutes and then sent to a pager-like device. 

"It's made me more relaxed and allowed me to go through my day without having to worry about things," said Bill Etheredge, a diabetes patient. 

Etheredge is among thousands of Americans who are now opting to use the device.  Etheredge has been living with diabetes for 17 years.  He says the new device gives him peace of mind that he will know if his blood sugar is dangerously high or low.

"Because you have so many ups and downs, you don't know often you can eat a meal and go from 60 to 500 just pretty quick," said Etheredge.  The device actually sends an alarm if the levels are out of the ordinary. 

The monitoring device can work with an insulin pump that can be manually adjusted to inject insulin into the body. 

Doctors caution, this technology is not for everyone.  They say the monitor works best for people who are already diligently trying to control their blood sugar level. 

"This works for people who are motivated and are already aggressively treating their blood sugar," said Dr. William Biggs, diabetes specialist. 

The monitoring device is not cheap.  Dr. Biggs says they can range anywhere from $500 to $1000, just for the monitor.  The disposal sensors work for about 3 days, but the federal government has now approved sensors that last for 7 days. The sensors cost about $35 each.  

Some insurance companies are only now beginning to cover these devices.

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