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ISTOCK.COM


DISCOVERY


modifies neuron activity, thereby better regulat- ing blood glucose levels. The study was recently published in the journal Molecular Metabolism. A second study, pub- lished in the New England Journal of Medicine in Sep- tember, found that gastric bypass surgery, used to re- duce weight in those who are severely obese, was effective at reversing and preventing type 2 diabetes over a 12-year period. Pre- vious research has shown that this type of surgery helps to reverse diabetes even before weight loss occurs.


MONITORING BLOOD GLUCOSE WITHOUT PAINFUL FINGER STICKS


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first continu- ous blood glucose monitor that can be used without the twice-daily finger-stick tests needed to calibrate other such devices. Approved in September, the monitoring system allows patients to wave a reader device over a small under-the-skin sensor at- tached to the upper arm to determine current blood glucose levels, as well as any changes in levels over the past eight hours. It does have some


limitations. For example, it does not contain an alarm system that would auto- matically alert users when blood glucose levels rise or fall, which can occur dur- ing sleep.


The FDA has approved the device for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The device can be worn for up to ten days.


takechargemag.com About 345,000 Americans


currently use continuous glucose monitoring devices. “The FDA is always interested in new technolo- gies that can help make the care of people living with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, easier and more manageable,” says Donald St. Pierre, acting director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health and deputy director of new product evaluation in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “This system allows people with diabetes to avoid the additional step of finger-stick calibration, which can sometimes be painful, but still provides necessary information for treating their diabetes — with a wave of the mobile reader.”


EVEN-FASTER-ACTING INSULIN IS APPROVED There’s fast-acting insulin, and then there’s even- faster-acting insulin. Re- cently, the FDA approved the fastest-acting insulin yet — one that takes effect within two-and- a-half minutes and is used before or within 20 minutes of the start of a meal.


Doctors often recom- mend that people with diabetes who take insulin do so at meal times, to prevent the spikes in blood glucose levels that can occur after eating. Fast- acting insulin most closely mimics the body’s natural release of insulin after eating.


When taken at meal times, along with long- acting insulin, fast-acting insulins have been shown to lower A1C levels.


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