*A handheld tool that provides diabetics with automated feedback — from average blood sugar levels to early signs of a treatment’s side effects — may help certain patients better manage the disease, hints a new study.
Researchers from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, concluded that the biofeedback system could make it easier to walk the fine line between controlling blood sugar levels in order to minimize the condition’s chronic complications and risking those levels falling too low, a state called hypoglycemia.
Although such episodes can be quickly fixed by eating or drinking a sugar-rich food, failing to treat them may lead to confusion, seizures, or even death, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
“We’re undergoing a transition from just monitoring a patient to giving that person feedback to improve their diabetes symptoms,” lead researcher and inventor of the device, Boris Kovatchev, told Reuters Health.
However, one other expert is not yet convinced that the device – which is not yet FDA-approved nor available for sale — will benefit diabetics any more than tools already on the market.
It is easy to reduce average blood sugar levels simply by using more insulin, but this is “almost inevitably accompanied by an increased risk for hypoglycemia,” he added.
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