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Fingers Still Crossed - Because We Still Want a Non-Invasive Meter


Jan 18, 2008

Wisconsin resident Maria Beyer, a type 1 diabetic for 36 years, tests her blood sugar levels four times a day via the traditional "finger- stick" method. Photo by George Beyer

"It feels like you accidentally pricked yourself with a pin, only it's not accidental and you have to do it over and over again in the same areas."

That's how Maria Beyer describes blood glucose testing. As if insulin injections weren't enough of a pain, Beyer says the finger-stick glucose monitor that she's used since the mid-1990s causes sore, cracked and callused fingertips.

It seems the recent news of a breath test for checking blood glucose would offer her some comfort. According to a study out of the University of California, Irvine, breath analysis testing may prove to be the first effective, noninvasive way for diabetics to track blood sugar levels.

But when the study made headlines in late September, Beyer was neither comforted nor convinced. To someone who has lived with type 1 diabetes for decades, this kind of news is just the same old story.

"Every few years they say they've found the answer, but I'm still waiting," says Beyer, who was diagnosed in 1972, just a few weeks after her 18th birthday.

Despite all of the advancements toward a less painful technology, a completely noninvasive blood glucose meter - one that offers an accurate reading without piercing the flesh - has yet to hit the market.

Granted, some devices do allow patients to lance alternative sites like toes, forearms, thighs or ear lobes. But the pain still exists, and even more so in a highly sensitive spot like the toe. Moreover, alternative site testing isn't always reliable, as readings from these areas may not reflect rapid changes in blood glucose levels.

Hence, the finger-stick method continues to prevail.

A Catch 22

For the more than 200 million diabetics around the world, keeping blood sugar levels under control is vital to preventing kidney failure, heart disease, loss of vision and other complications. Current studies show that keeping these levels as close to normal as possible can reduce complications by up to 60 percent.

Most self-monitoring plans recommend testing before meals, two hours after meals, at bedtime, and anytime symptoms of high or low blood sugar occur. Yet, due to the trauma this daily regimen can bring, many people with diabetes resist testing their blood as often as doctors suggest.

"If poking your finger sounds like no big deal, try doing it four times a day for 10 or 20 years," says Beyer.

Signs of the daily struggle of people with diabetes are scattered throughout Beyer's home in rural Wisconsin: On the nightstand, antibiotic ointment for sore fingers and chocolate mints for midnight hypoglycemic attacks. On the bookshelf, an assortment of religious, inspirational and self-help books. In the pantry, stacks of note cards with low-fat and low-carb recipes. On the counter, post-it notes with reminders like "Must test blood at bedtime."

One morning in December, Beyer's blood glucose tests at 343 mg/dL - more than 200 points above the normal range. Even though she hasn't eaten anything since 7 p.m. the night before, she blames herself for this unusually high reading.

"I didn't feel like testing my blood last night, and this is what happens," she says. "It's hard to follow the rules all the time, especially when you're tired and just want to go to sleep."

The pain factor is just one of many reasons to avoid frequent testing. Beyer says the social stigma of needles and bloody test strips can be even harder to handle. For the past 20 years, she has worked part-time as a waitress at a chain pizzeria. At least once during her shift, she must test her blood in a public bathroom stall.

"It's the only place that gives me any privacy. I would test in the break room, but it makes my coworkers cringe."

Add up these issues, and it's easy to see why people with diabetes would prefer a method that doesn't involve blood.

Hope Against Hype

A former chief executive officer and chief scientific officer with Fovioptics and LifeScan research companies, respectively, Dr. John L. Smith evaluated more than 100 noninvasive meters before writing about the many complexities surrounding them.

In his book, 'The Pursuit of Noninvasive Glucose: Hunting the Deceitful Turkey' published online in 2006, Smith admits that developing a noninvasive meter is among the greatest technical challenges he has ever faced.

"It is not, perhaps, as difficult or fraught with problems as time travel or the absolute, final cure for cancer, but it is the more tantalizing because it has seemed for decades that the solution was always 'just around the corner.'"

Indeed, one needs only to search "noninvasive blood glucose" via Google to find more than a million results on the grab bag of miracle monitors that have come and gone in recent years.

Be it a futuristic laser beam or a color-shifting contact lens, both the scholarly journals and popular media outlets cover each new technology with the same tone: Diabetics, rejoice! Your finger-sticking days may finally be over.

The reality, however, is usually quite different from the advanced press. Take the GlucoWatch G2 Biographer, for example. In the early 21st century, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved this noninvasive device to continuously detect glucose trends in children, adolescents and adults with diabetes.

Manufactured by Cygnus Inc., the GlucoWatch measured blood sugar levels transdermally, using an electric current to extract glucose molecules from the skin. Worn like a wristwatch, the device could provide six measurements per hour for 13 hours.

But the GlucoWatch wasn't perfect. It was never intended as a stand-alone unit. Rather, it was to be used along with the conventional finger-stick method.

Evidently, many journalists overlooked this imperfection. In 2001, leads such as the following appeared in newspapers across America:

"People with diabetes are about to get a science fiction-like way to measure their blood sugar painlessly."

This overstatement made it all the way to Hollywood. 'Panic Room', David Fincher's 2002 thriller, centers on a woman and her diabetic daughter who lock themselves in a secret room while burglars invade their New York mansion. As the two ladies hide, the GlucoWatch alerts the daughter to a dangerous drop in her blood sugar.

In response to the film, several people posted questions online, eager to know more about the mysterious movie prop: "Is the wristwatch real? Does is work? If so, what's the make and model? How much does it cost?"

To their disappointment, the GlucoWatch has since been proven to cause skin reddening, burning and blisters, and has been deemed unreliable to boot.

"The product is no longer manufactured, the company went bankrupt, and its assets were eventually sold to…an insulin pump company that had abandoned its own glucose monitoring system a few years before," Smith explains in his book.

Considering the constant flood of announcements claiming the noninvasive problem has been solved, it's no wonder Beyer is cynical about the breath analysis test.

She's not the only one. In a recent report to one of the world's leading consultants for diabetes-related product investment, Smith points out that the breath test has actually been "discovered" several times in the past few years.

"So far, it has never panned out, but it makes a great story and grabs headlines," he says.

In the University of California study, the research team analyzed exhaled gas profiles of plasma glucose levels in 10 children with type 1 diabetes. While the findings suggest that breath analysis has potential, Smith believes this measurement is not likely to be placed into a home monitoring device in the near future.

"Because the gas is an indirect product of hyperglycemia, it is likely to have a significant delay, possibly even longer than the 30 minutes they reported," Smith writes in the report mentioned above. "The [results] need to be both fast and accurate, so this is not something I would invest in."

Smith says the premature announcements are often made to generate publicity and financial support for fledgling companies. Sadly, they also raise false hope in people who really need the technology.

This isn't to say that scientists aren't trying hard to develop a noninvasive technology that works. As of 2007, the home glucose testing industry represents a $6 billion-plus market worldwide. That figure would most likely increase if testing were less painful and no bloodletting was involved.

"A noninvasive monitor has been regarded as the 'holy grail' of medical device venture capital opportunities for many years," says Smith. For these reasons and more, "hope springs eternal in the hearts of scientists, entrepreneurs, opportunists and charlatans alike."

So, What's the Holdup?

Glucose is tricky, to say the least. First, with a normal glucose level, people have only about a teaspoon of dissolved sugar in their bloodstream. Second, it's colorless in most spectrums, making the molecule virtually impossible to see with both the naked eye and the most advanced, light-detecting technology.

Third, the chemical structure of glucose is very similar to many other compounds within the human body. Because the body consists of many glucose-like molecules, most noninvasive monitoring techniques produce overlapping results.

As Smith illustrates time and again in his book, the many difficulties of the measurement process - from calibration of the instruments to validation of the results - have, so far, kept scientists and research companies from finding a noninvasive solution that works.

Yet another cause for concern, he says, is that many technologies have been explored after others have already proven they won't succeed. "Because there has been no accounting of these multiply-investigated approaches, both investigators and investors have no guideposts to direct them."

Maybe something will come of the University of California study, and millions of people with diabetes will finally enjoy some relief. But for now, at least, Beyer's not holding her breath.


Categories: Beginners, Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Insulin, Insulin Pumps, Meters, Noninvasive Monitors, Professional Issues, Type 1 Issues



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Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2008

While I, too, would love to have a noninvasive glucose monitor someday to save my fingers from their 5x daily pokes, I am very thankful we have home glucose monitors at all! Without my meter, I wouldn't have been able to get my A1c down to 4.9 (without meds) despite my endo saying it was unrealistic and probably impossible to do so.

My wish is for a continuous glucose monitor so I can see exactly what my BGLs are doing at all times and not just hope to catch the peaks. Of course, it would be even more wonderful if that continuous monitor was also painless!

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2008

What a thoughtful exploration of an all-too pervasive problem. For those of us with diabetes, the cycle of hopes raised then dashed is almost as routine as the inconvenient and still painful daily monitoring. We need more articles like this that dig beneath the surface.

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2008

I, like Ms. Beyer, was diagnosed back in the 70s, so I experienced the "dark ages" of inaccurate urine test strips done once or twice a day, and the "dawn of enlightenment" of glucose meters in the 80s (but again with testing only a few times a day). I can honestly say that pricking my fingers has never bothered me. Even with a meter that allows testing from other so-called "minimally painful" sites, I've always opted to test from fingertips, if for no other reason than that there's less of a chance of bloodstains on my clothing than from other areas.

Over the last 10 years however, when it became the norm to test before and after every meal and at bedtime (at least), the thing that has grown to bug me is the sheer nuisance of it all. Having to go thru all the rigaramole of getting out my meter & supplies, wiping my fingertip, lancing it, squeezing it, applying the blood, wiping the blood off my finger, inserting the strip, recording the result both in the meter's database and in writing (because my diabetes educator insists I write it down) then if necessary taking a corrective dose of insulin (thank heavens my pump makes this easier now), then putting everything back in the supply bag I must carry around with me 24/7. My pump vibrates 2 hours after each meal to remind me to test (good thing, or I would always forget), and it always seems like the 2 hours flew by, and it's invariably at an inconvenient moment when I'm in the middle of something else (ironically, it just vibrated and I had to stop typing to do my test). It's a pain (no pun intended) in the neck!!!

What I am looking forward to is the day when a continuous glucose monitoring system is developed that is easy, accurate and can be relied upon in lieu of using a separate meter test. My pump offers an optional cont. monitoring system that I tried out last year and ultimately gave up on because it just didn't seem to work well for me, despite all the glowing reviews from others who had used it. Besides all that, what was irritating was that the instructions were clear that you shouldn't rely on its readout and should continue to test with a meter (true of all such systems). Well then, what's the point of having such a system? It's just another tube sticking in my gut that may or may not be telling the truth about my glucose level, and which doesn't eliminate the constant hassle of having to drop everything to test. If they could just come up with something that really works and is reliable, I wouldn't mind putting up with a little pain to insert it. Then ultimately, it could be tied to a pump so that the pump would automatically adjust and administer insulin dosages based on one's glucose level at any given moment, i.e., an artificial pancreas.

Total convenience and ease of use, that's what I'M looking forward to. Who cares about a little pain from a lancet?

Posted by Anonymous on 18 January 2008

just what to let people known that they do have a machine that does and is stripless but they do not what to release it because companys will lose billions and FCC will not release it to the public

Posted by Ladybird on 18 January 2008

To Poster no 1: We are all envious. I wish you'd share how you got to an A1c of 4.9. What do you eat basically and how much do you exercise a day? You are not on meds, you've told us, but are you on any herbs? The lowest I've got to is 5.9 and that's on no meds also.

I think, besides me all the readers would love to know. That's quite an achievement!!

I do test myself regularly, without it, it's, ofcourse, impossible to survive! But all the pinpricking is worth it to be able to keep "safe" as possible.

Posted by LKP-RPH on 19 January 2008

I agree 100% with Ladybird !!!!! Perhaps Ms. Beyer's co-workers need some empathy training !!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 19 January 2008

Dexcom and Mini-Med both have had continuous glucose monitors on the market for over a year. They're not exactly non-invasive -- both involve wearing a small sensor with a very fine wire that is inserted into your body. The sensor tests blood sugar every 5 minutes or so and transmits the results to a hand-held device that displays one, three, and nine hour graphs. The result is that you can see if your blood sugar is going up or down, where it was overnight, and approximately where it is at any time without a fingerstick. You still need to calibrate the meters with twice a day fingersticks and they don't reccomend acting on the the devices numbers without taking a fingerstick for confirmation. While far from ideal, these are the first real steps towards having the kind of information necessary to really manage Type 1 diabetes (or, I imagine, very serious Type 2 diabetes). We have just received our Dexcom and are trying out our first sensor (they last for a week). We have high hopes but are fully prepared for the usual technilogical gotchas that one always finds.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 January 2008

With all of the pain involved in frequent testing, it would be nice to have readings that are reliable and accurate. When you get a BS of 100, it could be 85 to 115 according to current standards. It is very difficult to deal with these variations. I would rather see a meter that I know is correct before one that is painless but just as innaccurate.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 January 2008

Maybe I'm on the outside here, but I really have never seen what the big deal is with pricking my finger. Especially with modern meters that need very little blood and modern lancet devices that, really, cause a very small puncture. I would rather be alive for a long time with my diabetes and deal with this minor discomfort than die or have serious complications (as in the days of old with diabetes - kids diagnosed with DM before insulin was developed died very quickly!). We all need to realize what amazing progress diabetes treatment has made in less than a hundred years and stop whining about life-saving finger pricks.

Posted by Xerelda on 19 January 2008

I absolutely hate pricking my fingers and I never do it. I'm a musician on top of it and I don't need sore finger tips playing the piano and I'm a writer, so I type a lot. Having sore finger tips is out for me. I use a Vaculance on my abdomen to get most of my blood sugars. It's still inconvenient. I won't do it in public. It's reliable though--even with hypoglycemia. I've tried it on my arms and it leaves tiny bruises and marks, so I do it on the abdomen to hide the marks it leaves. In a pinch, I use the palms of my hands on the little finger side. I've tried getting blood from my arm without the Vaculance and forget it! It just won't bleed enough. The Vaculance sucks or vaccuums a small amount of blood up, and on my abdomen it's nearly pain free. I will still rejoice the day they make non-invasive blood testing.

Posted by Anonymous on 20 January 2008

To poster #9 and others (i.e. "Maybe I'm on the outside here, but..."): Hoping for a better blood sugar testing technology is not the same as "whining," and while some people don't mind the finger pricks, millions of people find them painful and inconvenient. I'm sure the majority of people with diabetes, including Ms. Beyer, are thankful for the home units that are available today, and with the evolution thus far, but there's nothing wrong with hoping for something better and voicing one's frustration with the perennial false claims that a noninvasive unit is "on the horizon."

Posted by Anonymous on 20 January 2008

Hi, Ladybird! I'm poster #1.

I got my A1c to 4.9 by eating low carb and testing 2 hours after each meal. If my BGL goes over 100, I don't eat that item again.

I experiment with very low carb foods to find things that are filling, yet don't affect my BGLs and weight. I have found shirataki noodles made into a casserole with meat, eggs, and cheese, and glucomannan powder made into a pudding with Hood Dairy Beverage to be of great help. I also make sure my veggies are nonstarchy and very low carb.

I basically follow Dr. Bernstein's guidelines with some tweaks to make my own body happy. I eat 4 meals (instead of 3) and space them 4 hours apart. I eat around 20g net carbs per day.

I have arthritis, so I'm not able to do much exercising during cold weather. During the summer, I walk daily, but my BGLs and weight do just as well when I'm not exercising.

I don't take herbs, but I take a multivitamin and a couple of supplements as recommended by the Drs. Eades in "The Protein Power Lifeplan."

To Xerelda: Don't poke your fingertips; poke on the sides of your fingers. It doesn't hurt as much and won't bother you when you use your fingertips for other things.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 January 2008

Poster #1 is absolutely correct about avoiding poking your fingertips. The fingertips have more nerve endings than the sides of fingers.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 January 2008

Uh, why don't you all go buy monitors that allow you to test on your forearm or thigh. in the picture Mrs. Beyer is using the FreeStyle which was the first alternate site testing glucose meter.

Also, if John Smith can admit his failures then I guess anything is possible.

Posted by Anonymous on 22 January 2008

Uh, guess what ??? I, too, have a freestyle meter that suggests forearms or things can be used, but, on my body, anyway, IT STILL HURTS, AND> my forearm doesn't bleed unless I squeeze it "TILL IT HURTS !!
thanks for the one up

Posted by Anonymous on 22 January 2008

"posted Jan. 22
supposed to read "suggests forearms and THIGHS, (not things) " :>

Posted by Anonymous on 22 January 2008

I test more than 10 times and find the author of this article to be a complete whiner. First off, what is the gauge of the lancets that s/he usese - have they tried the BD ultra fine 30 gauge lancet as well as trying the FreeStyle. Stop complaining and be proactive in taking care of yourself as there are devices and needles, etc. on the market that are less painful!!!!

Posted by Ladybird on 22 January 2008

Poster #1, thank you so much for sharing how you do it. It's only by being constantly on the watch, yes, can we do it.

Your sharing how you do it, shows us how different all our bodies our and react to glucose, to food all together.

I also test often, usually now from once to thrice a day (but sometimes more), having come down to a quite safe A1c...at the moment, a 6.3, had come down to 5.9 and may have got overconfident, that I was only going to go lower. Was diagnosed as a Type 2 almost three years ago.

I'm basically a vegetarian, also avoiding the starchy veggies but do take low fat dairy products and whole grain products. I eat fruits also, but not whole, say just a quarter of whatever and save the rest for later. Having a bit of rice sometimes I see does bring up my glucose levels, naturally, since it's high carbs.

You're very lucky being able to keep your glucose levels without exercise. I do find I need to exercise regularly, that my weight is tied to my glucose. So again very different kind of bodies.

I'm working now to get back to a 5.9 and then lower than that.

Thanks for sharing, again and good luck to you! Sharing amongst each other is the best way to help ourselves as well others.

Posted by Ladybird on 24 January 2008

I did want also to repeat what one poster has written about: the wish to have more accurate meters. Ofcourse, our meters are very precious to us with the information they give us, but it is unfortunately, only approximate, as we all know when we go for our three/four monthly A1c tests and get an A1c often higher than what we have been expecting.

Some of us may be using older versions of the meter. It's important to remind our doctors to update our meters which come with finer lancets which are just a pinprick and do not really hurt.

Posted by nurse2 on 27 January 2008

I remember when the glucometer came to be in the 1960's there were no such thing as lancets. My mom pricked herself with an insulin needle!! When I started using the glucometer in 1990 I was happy to have lancets available!!

Posted by Anonymous on 27 January 2008

Whoever your physician is, unless they have done a lot of reading and research, do not always know all of the easier ways to test glucose, especially if you do not see an endocrinologist.
There are lancets on the market that have a sharper gauge, thus making testing somewhat less painful, but, in many cases, we diabetics have to do the ground work.(oh well) They will usually be glad to write us a new prescription.

Posted by ricklude on 1 February 2008

I fully understand this persons plight and I too await a non-invasive AND precise method/proceedure for testing.

What I don't understand is, how, in this time of improving all kinds and forms of electronics for everything else, WHY isn't there a device, cheep enough for the masses, in full production and available as of yet!?

When my old BG meter I paid for "bit the dust", my endo GAVE ME A NEW ONE SANS ANY COST TO ME! The makers get the bucks by selling the strips that must be used.

IMHO, I guess like the oil companys NOT wanting other forms of cheeper energy researched and used, the meter companys don't want to lose out on a good thing either!

Posted by Anonymous on 7 February 2008

Oh yeah, and how the heck come after being on the market for over twenty-five years NO-ONE has come out with some generic strips that don't cost close to $1.00 each. It's insane. They probably cost about 1 cent per strip to make. Any diabetic research scientists who want to make a fortune? Come up with a system that uses strips that are sold at a reasonable cost! The information on the technology has to be out there to make it possible.

Posted by Anonymous on 7 February 2008

My husband has diabetes and he is also High Functioning Autistic. He can't stand the blood testing my less remembering it. I have to remind him a lot. I tell him I don't want to bug him but I praise him for doing it. The strangest thing I've noticed is when his arms and hands are warm his sugar level is high. When they are cold his levels are pretty normal for him. When his sugar is high I can also smell the sugar on his skin. At those times I ask him did he take his medicine and he always says no. Perhaps they can come up with a device that can detect high sugar they way I can feel and smell it. Then later they can work on the exact reading of blood sugar.

Posted by Anonymous on 8 February 2008

This would be great as my two year olds fingers are getting quite sore. But as others have said, I am not holding my breath.

Posted by Florian on 10 February 2008

I've had a noninvasive talking glucose monitor for several years now. She's good at detecting Hypos but she doesn't give me numbers.

My wife can look at me and say, "your blood sugar is low go test and have something to eat or drink." I didn't believe her at first when she started but when I tested and came up with a blood sugar in the 20 to 40 range I learned two things. One,she was right and two,I have hypoglycemia unawareness.

I started using a pump and the hypos are less and in the 40 to 60 range. Also the Hypo symptoms are starting to come back. She can still tell when I'm low. I test a lot but a good CGMS is what I am hoping for and hopefully a CURE in my lifetime.

Posted by Anonymous on 10 February 2008

Oh how id love to talk to so many of these people, BG of 4.9 is virtually unobtainable unless with regular hypos - I have insulin dependent diabetes for 45 of my 48 years and I know a bg of 5.7 or so means a lot of the time going low and a lot of highs (but maybe ignorance is bliss)(before I got the Dexcom and it is brilliant)diabetes is terrible - ive seen the blindness, kidney failure ets with my brother, ive had all the gadgets eg Glucowatch, Sleep sentry, Guardian RT and now the Dexcom seven and still wish for something that is 100%, 100% of the time. Dont get me wrong im not making litle of all the advances which have been made but feel with diabetes false security is DANGEROUS as fingerstricks etc only give the picture at that minute and CGMs (although are a great improvement)have lag times, calibration times etc and are not 100% which is what all diabetics pray for and (I feel if someone works hard to look after themselves)deserve - its terrible to think what someone (annonmyous) said earlier that there is a system available but we cant have it????????

Posted by Anonymous on 17 February 2008

what about the free style navigator?have anybody known about its acuracy because if it show you BG once per minute it is eliminate the lag time and maybe it s better than other devices?

Posted by Anonymous on 4 April 2008

the goverment spends billions, to kill people
with sofisticated equipment.thy can fly to mars,but no one can produse a non invasif gluco tester. in don't belive it ! rubo

Posted by Anonymous on 27 June 2008

WHY ISN'T THE CGM PERFECTED YET????????????????????????????
AND AFFORDABLE, (THIS IS A SERIOUS MATTER)
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL US WHEN ?????????????????????????
WE ARE TIRED OF EMPTY PROMISES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous on 9 January 2009

I get tired of many saying to me...
You can get meters free... why go to Walmart and buy one.

Think about it... the strips.

Many of the free monitors are nice but the strips are obscenely expensive.

Over time, I find I can buy a decent monitor for $8 and get the strips for 1/10 to 1/3 of the price of any strips available for the 'free' monitors.

Its the strips that get you.

As far as the lanclet (need pricker) it doesnt have to be the same band.

I buy a lanclet that is even cheaper than the one made for the $8 one above.

If I could get both the meter & the strips free then I would love it.

Being unemployed is making it difficult to do whats needed.

If I could get a non-strip monitor it would be worth the $$ because It would stay in the family forever.

Posted by Anonymous on 9 January 2009

I have yet to use my fingertips to take blood..

I live by my typing, and am highly proficent computer person... I cant afford to have even a few seconds of a finger with even a light amt of blood.


As long as I can do alternative locations I always will..

My wife has being using her forarm for years, and no problem.

Those who say you must do fingertips are wrong. While the readings are better on the finger....the whole point is range and consistancy.

In my own case, I am so borderline that its irrelevant because I will likely be off the stuff (per doctor) in 1-2 years or sooner.
Ie; Ive lost 80 pds so far and have 100 to go. Ive been skinny, recent obesity has to do with family stress of parents dieing or being sick.

Posted by Anonymous on 20 January 2009

Finger sticks for frequent blood glucose readings are a pain. But the real problem is that even someone who tests very frequently doesn't have enough information to adjust their insulin well enough to maintain really really good control. This is especially true at night since unless you're willing to wake up two or three times a night to test (which is bad for your health in and of itself) you don't know what's happening at night. Therefore you don't know if the high in the morning is because it was low in the night (and if so when) and is being driven up, because of the dawn phenomenon, whether it went gradually low over the course of the night or whether it spiked and then dropped. Without that kind of information it's really hard to make the right adjustments. We have the Dexcom and the biggest surprise has been finally figuring out what is going on at night. We can't afford (thanks insurance co.) to use the sensors all the time and they're kind of a pain in their own right, but the few times we've used them has yielded a great deal of useful information.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 April 2009

my wife & I have been using nonfinger locations since we started and never once have it been a issue.

In all cases we have been nearly the same as the doctor readings.

Thats with every single meter we have tried (all free or near free) with strips usually cheap or assisted on..

We never bother with meters that have high cost strips (we have insurance but only generic).

Technology constantly improves so it would be a matter of time before a glucowatch type of deal actually comes out for real.

Given time, most things will be inventeded.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 August 2012

This never happen because these companies would lose lots of because the most costly part of checking your sugar is the strip. Here in Canada, I could a the device for $5 and up. I seen several device between $5 and $10. Lancer are $10 for 100 one time use. Swab are about $3 for 100 swabs. Strip runs about $70+ for only 100. I glad I don't have to pay for them.


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