Big news for people with diabetes: soon you will be able to manage your blood glucose level without drawing any blood at all. That’s right: the answers and insights you need to keep your diabetes in check will still be at the tip of your fingers, but no finger prick required. A recent press release states from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deemed FreeStyle Libre approved for use by adult patients as a part of effective diabetes treatment. First, a little background information on diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. A normal, healthy adult, digests food and then releases those byproducts (sugar) into the bloodstream, and then your body uses those sugars as energy and fuel for other bodily functions. With diabetics, the levels of insulin in your body is either too high or too low, which then impacts how your body processes the sugar in your blood. Too much sugar in your bloodstream can then lead to serious medical complications such as kidney disease or heart disease.
Diabetes sounds scary, and it certainly can be, but it’s also really common. The World Health Organization states that over 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, and that number is on the rise. In the U.S. alone more than 30 million people are dealing with this illness, and many diabetics (1 in 4 people) are unaware of their condition. The good news about diabetes is that it is a manageable disease.
When treated effectively, patients can live long, healthy, happy lives. A key part of most treatment plans revolves around monitoring and controlling your blood glucose level. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t drive with your windshield covered up, and you can’t jump over a hurdle that you don’t see. Monitoring your blood sugar regularly helps you better manage what you eat, how you exercise and how you live based on the levels of sugar and insulin in your blood.
In the past, such monitoring meant regularly checking your blood — aka frequent finger pricks at home. As you can imagine, constantly drawing blood can be unpleasant and challenging.
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