ST. LOUIS - The days of painful finger pricks to measure blood sugar levels may be over for many patients with diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic illness, caused when the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulins is a hormone that works in converting sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for life’s daily activity. But doctors at SSM Health DePaul Hospital are helping patients monitor glucose continuously. A new insulin pump linked with a glucose monitor can predict when a person will have a diabetic emergency and automatically adjust insulin levels to prevent it.
“I think the majority of us are really excited our patients are excited because these devices actually control both their insulin delivery and sensing the blood sugars are giving them greater confidence”, says Dr. Christy Richardson, an endocrinologist at DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton.
Patients wear a sensor on their abdomen or upper arm.
“This has allowed us to be more aggressive with our diabetes insulin delivery or diabetes care patients are reaching control that they have not been able to see before," Richardson says. "So it’s really exciting for us because we are able to tighten control with a lesser fear that our patients are going to have hypoglycemia.”
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The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Thursday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.