With the size of the diabetic population rapidly increasing in the present fast-paced era, both care providers and patients are looking for an easy, yet effective method of monitoring their glucose levels constantly which will enable accurate diagnosis and precision treatment of diabetes.
A few decades ago, fasting and postprandial blood glucose tests were the only indicators of one’s diabetes control and treatment was provided based on these. Later, a 3-month control test, glycated haemoglobin (or HbA1c) was introduced, however, this test, while being useful to get an ‘average of glucose levels’, does not help to fix the dose of anti-diabetic drugs.
There are many instances where patients go through the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low sugar levels) or Hyperglycemia (high sugar peaks) in between their visits to their doctor and these also affect their quality of life. This results in either ‘over-treatment’ or ‘under treatment’ of their diabetes.
This range is called “Time in Range” (TIR). If a patient has good control of diabetes, the ‘Time in Range’ should be around 70 per cent, which means that 70 per cent of the day, the sugar levels should be within this prescribed range.
With the entry of the latest technology in diabetes, the concept ‘Ambulatory Glucose Profile’ (AGP) has arrived and is here to stay. A very small coin-sized patch is fixed on the patient’s upper arm. This continuously records the sugar levels 24x7, every 10-15 minutes, for 14 days. At the end of the 14 day period, the entire graphs of blood sugars can be captured by the consulting doctor.
The process of using this AGP is as easy as 1-2-3! The captured data can be printed out like an ECG wherein the doctor can read the patients sugar levels ‘hour to hour’. These graphs help the doctor to plan medical advice and write the prescription accordingly. The result is that the patient is benefited with a more accurate diagnosis and will not fall prey to any unforeseen eventualities.
Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialties Centre was the first to introduce the AGP in India. Since then it is available at a very affordable cost to the common man and has definitely become a trendsetter in the field of diabetes.
This articlee courtesy goes to Dr V. MOHAN, Chairman Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, Chennai.