One of the biggest challenges that lie ahead of most diabetes patients while monitoring their blood glucose levels is Hypoglycemia. It usually occurs night to early morning. When sugar levels in blood dip below the normal range, it could get quite dangerous and in some cases, it can be fatal as well. But there is the latest technology in place that will help us to detect and monitor blood sugar levels that is much more effective and helpful. It is called Ambulatory Glucose Profile.
Before we get into how this new device works and what are the advantages of using it, we will look into why it’s quite important to monitor the difference in blood glucose levels. Normally our body tries to keep the blood sugar levels between 90 to 140 mgs/dl. But for diabetes patients due to their wrong practices, blood sugar levels will either shoot up or dips down. We call this as glycemic variability. If we do not monitor blood glucose levels continuously we cannot detect these variations properly. Due to this blood glucose levels can shoot up or dip down all of a sudden, this can create many problems.
HBA1C is the most trusted test for diabetes. Using this we can find out the blood sugar levels of a patient in the past three months. The effectiveness of measures taken by diabetes patients to control their sugar levels can be revealed using this test. Usually, there will be differences in sugar levels in blood for diabetes patients within just 24 hours time frame. HBA1C test cannot reveal these variations. Additionally, there will be differences in variations in sugar levels in two patients with same HBA1C values within a day. Finding out this difference has been a pretty hard task in the past.
Diabetes patients with sudden increase or decrease in sugar levels will be advised to undertake blood tests at prescribed time intervals. But injecting needles into veins repeatedly to take out blood and to measure the blood sugar levels has put patients under a lot of stress and suffering. AGP has arrived as an answer to this problems.
Most of us are aware of ECG tests. Our heart rate will be measured during the ECG test, and it will be made into a graph form. In a similar way, AGP test will measure the variations in sugar levels in our blood and it will be made into a graph. The results we get from this test will be very accurate. For this, there will be a little sensor that will be placed in the person’s body. This device will keep measuring blood sugar levels at regular time intervals and store this data in its memory.
How will this device be placed?
The sensor size of this device will be equal to that of a typical coin. It will be placed at the back of the upper arm. It will be in place for around 7 to 14 days time frame. It’s very light in weight and waterproof, so the person has no feeling of its presence. It has a really small needle measuring 5 mm in length and 0.4 mm in thickness, which will penetrate the skin surface. It will detect the blood sugar level for every 15 minute time interval, and send the data to the sensor. It will test the blood sugar level for 1340 times in 14 days time duration. There is a small mobile like device that comes with the kit, which will be used to gather the data from the sensor. The data and test results from this small device will be fed into a computer to get the detailed graph. Further treatment for the patient will be modified based on this data.
Using this, we can detect the blood sugar levels after and before a meal, and two hours after a meal etc. It also helps to detect the times when hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia occur in a patient, and appropriate measures can be taken to prevent it.
Since the introduction of this method, the value of HBA1C tests has been dropping pretty rapidly. Also, AGP helps way better than the previous methods in keeping diabetes under control much more effectively.