Diabetes is a group of metabolic
diseases in which a person has
high blood sugar; © University
Some diabetic patients receive no warning before they pass out from low blood sugar. A modern sweat meter could alert patients in time. Biathletes and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) patients might also benefit from the sweat meter.
25,000 Norwegians have type 1 diabetes. 175,000 have type 2 diabetes. Add to this the large number of people who are unaware that they are diabetic. When the concentration of sugar in the blood drops, most patients have a hypo (a hypoglycaemic attack). Symptoms may include palpitations, sweating, a tingling feeling in your face, altered sensory experiences and intense hunger.
After many years with diabetes some patients lose warning symptoms of low blood sugar. It's a very scary condition because they can then lose consciousness or die. Today there are no good instruments that can measure this without the patient pricking themselves with a needle.
In a few years diabetes patients may get help with avoiding dangerously low blood sugar.
It is known that diabetic patients change their sweat pattern when their blood sugar levels are too low. A sweat meter developed at the University of Oslo and the National Hospital can send a discreet alert - via a mobile phone - before a patient suffers an attack due to low blood sugar.
"The advantage of the sweat meter is that the patient doesn't have to prick themselves. All you need to do is paste an electrode on your skin," says Professor Ørjan G. Martinsen, Department of Physics at the University of Oslo.
"We envisage that the device will be able to measure sweat activity continuously, providing an indication of whether the patient is about to experience low blood sugar. It can communicate directly or via a smartphone. The warning system will then not be very bothersome for the patient," says Christian Tronstad, a medical technology researcher at Oslo University Hospital.
REHACARE.de; Source: University of Oslo