Monday, May 26, 2008
Medical Reports: Diabetes
Millions of people suffer from diabetes, but they often don't know it until they get severe complications like blindness or kidney disease. Now a quick, painless test could push more patients to get tested sooner. Seven's Richard Lemus with this story on this new Diabetes Detector.
WSVN -- Shirley Loo has two siblings with diabetes, so she thinks before she eats. She knows eating the wrong foods can kill you.
Shirley Loo: "You can lose a limb. You can die of diabetes. You can go blind with it."
She avoids sweets, reads labels and is taking part in a study looking at a new painless, bloodless diabetes test.
Shirley Loo: "I want to keep enjoying life and just have a great life and you need well-being for that."
The traditional diabetes testing method of fasting, drinking a sweet glucose solution and taking a blood test often takes hours.
Shirley Loo: "It did take a couple of hours while I was here for the whole test."
But a new test called the Vera Light Scout System has patients in and out in a flash. The test uses fluorescent light to measure the effects of high glucose levels in the forearm's connective tissue. No needle sticks needed.
Dr. Robert Ratner, VP for Scientific Affairs: "We've been able to identify those biochemical changes that may reflect diabetes without the need of sticking the patient or drawing blood or sending samples off to a certified laboratory."
The machine shines a light onto the skin's surface and the layers of tissue immediately below. It measures how much light bounces back in very specific wavelengths.
Dr. Robert Ratner: "We then compare the Scout Measure and the overnight fasting with glucose and found that the Scout Measure is as accurate, if not better."
Some doctors believe the test will be the future of diabetes detection. Shirley hopes the pain-free device will get others to get tested sooner.
Shirley Loo: "I wanted it to help to make a difference."
Richard Lemus: "The Scout is only for initial diabetes detection, not daily blood glucose testing. Scout measurements can be made any time of the day because fasting is not required."