Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

New Blood Sugar Monitor Has Warning Alarm

System Designed to Alert Diabetes Patients to High, Low Blood Sugar Levels

WebMD Health News

Feb. 11, 2004 -- The FDA today approved a new continuous blood sugar monitoring device designed to protect diabetes patients by alerting them to potentially dangerous fluctuations in blood sugar levels.


By sounding an alarm when blood sugar levels become too high or too low, the Guardian Continuous Glucose Monitoring System warns patients to take action to bring their blood sugar levels back to normal.


When blood sugar remains high, as in poorly controlled or untreated diabetes, complications such as blindness, kidney failure, amputation, impotence, and heart disease can result. Dangerously low blood sugar levels can occur from treatment, excess exercise, or nutritional problems and can result in loss of consciousness or even death.


"Each year, thousands of children with nighttime [low blood sugar] and adults who are unaware that they have [low blood sugar] are at risk of serious complications and death due to having low blood sugar," says Jeffery A. McCaulley, vice president and general manager of Medtronic's Diabetes business, in a news release. Medtronic is a WebMD sponsor.


Artificial Pancreas?


Medtronic is working on plans to combine the continuous glucose monitoring system with a diabetes insulin pump, with the hopes of one day creating an artificial pancreas, says Scott Ward, senior vice president and president of Medtronic's Neurological and Diabetes business. If all goes as planned, this new system would not only continuously monitor blood sugar levels but would be equipped to respond to these levels with a proper dose of insulin.


The new blood sugar monitoring device is worn outside the body and uses a blood sugar sensor placed under the skin to continuously record blood sugar readings for up to three days. These blood sugar readings are transmitted to the monitor, which is designed to sound an alarm when blood sugar levels reach high or low limits preset by the patient or health care professional. Information from the blood sugar monitor can be downloaded to a computer for record keeping. The system requires a prescription and is calibrated a minimum of twice a day using a discrete blood glucose meter.


The Guardian system can be used for any type 1 or type 2 diabetes patients -- both children and adults -- to help reduce erratic blood sugar fluctuations, according to Medtronic. The system is ideal for parents closely monitoring their children's disease, patients who have lost their ability to detect rapid changes in blood sugar levels, and women with gestational diabetes or patients wishing to become pregnant.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


SOURCE: News release, Medtronic Inc.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Woman holding cake
Slideshow
feet
Slideshow
 
man organizing pills
Slideshow
Close up of eye
Slideshow
 

Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article