Thursday, March 22, 2007
Medical Reports: Complete Control
The newest breakthrough in diabetes has arrived. No more painful finger sticks to check blood sugar levels. Instead, there's a little device that monitors your levels 24-7. 7's Christine Cruz shows us how this is giving diabetics Complete Control.
WSVN -- Kidney failure, vision loss, amputations.
When Kelly Pearce was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 14 years ago, he didn't realize the dangerous complications that can come with the disease.
Kelly Pearce: "At the time, I knew absolutely nothing about diabetes."
But he quickly learned what could happen.
Kelly Pearce: "The complications sort of drove me to find different things that would help me control it."
Kelly became one of the first people in the nation to use a new continuous glucose monitoring system.
Until now, patients had to rely on finger sticks to check blood sugar levels, but those don't tell the whole story.
Dr. John Daniels: "You don't know whether your blood sugar is going up or whether it's going down and what it was for the previous three or four hours."
With this new system, patients wear a sensor that's inserted under their skin.
Every five minutes the sensor takes a blood sugar reading and sends it to an insulin pump.
Patients then adjust insulin levels to keep their blood sugar in check.
Dr. John Daniels: "It monitors the blood sugar continuously so that one knows at any point in time during the day or night what one's blood sugar is."
Another big advantage is that an alarm will go off when blood sugar levels are too high or too low.
And, in a recent study, patients' blood sugars improved so much they had a 35 pecent lower risk of diabetes-related complications.
Kelly's blood sugar is better than ever.
Kelly Pearce: "He's about five months old there."
And he's looking forward to a long life with his wife and soon-to-be adopted son.
Kelly Pearce: "The continuous glucose monitor is just one piece of that puzzle to help make sure I'm as healthy as I can be as he is starting to grow up."
Right now, insurance companies are not covering the monitoring system -- it costs about $1,000.
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