Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Fantasy Diabetes Device

Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary.  Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be?  Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc.  The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

There are not a lot of devices in my life with diabetes.  I have a glucose meter, period.  That makes it difficult to dream of a fancy machine that will help me with my diabetes.  However, this phrase in Karen's prompt description caught my eye: magic carb counter.

One of the most difficult things for PWD, all types, is to accurately calculate the amount of carbs in a meal.  To those who use insulin it is of utmost importance.  To those of us who are just trying to limit food’s effect on our glucose it’s equally important.  Carbs are not the only thing that affects blood glucose.  The amount of protein and fat in a meal can change how quickly or slowly your glucose rises.  With all that in mind, here is a description of my fantasy D device.

My device is called the “Blood Glucose Effect Meter”.  It will have to be small enough to carry around without being a pain since I’ll want to use it wherever I eat.  To use, you simply point the meter at whatever you’re about to eat.  It will not only tell you how many carbs you are about to consume but it will calculate the expected rise in glucose you will experience and the timing of said rise.  You can tell it if you expect to exercise in the next 2 hours and how strenuous that exercise will be.  Sweet!  This would be handy when eating in a restaurant or at a party, even at home.  We all know how difficult it is to calculate nutrition information for our favorite foods.  Casseroles can be a nightmare!  For those who have insulin pumps, the device can then be connected to your pump and it will automatically tell your pump the correct bolus (this is beginning to sound like a pancreas).

Think about the freedom this device would give us!  No more guessing or math; no more fretting.  I know that my device is very far-fetched, but hey I can dream!  Think of all the things we used to see in the Jetsons cartoons and some of them have come to pass!  It’s possible, but probably not in my lifetime.

Since this device is most likely decades away from being a reality, I have some other ideas that could be put into place right now.  How about if restaurants included nutrition information for all their food?  This nutrition information should be based on the portion size that they serve.  “This Cheeseburger contains 26g of fat, 40g of carbs and 510 calories” (hmmmm…I’m beginning to see why they don’t tell us this stuff.)  We have the technology for code scanning right now!  You know those funny little squares you see on magazines and products?  You can use your smart phone to scan the code and it will take you to a web page or something.  (My phone is not smart so I’ve never actually done this.)  Therefore, why can’t restaurants put those things on their menus and let us scan them for the nutrition information?  It can’t be that difficult.

In a perfect world.  Our world is far from perfect but I don’t see why we can’t improve it in this one little area.  This would benefit so many people and help us to make healthier choices.  Get on this, scientific-techy people!

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