“There are many factors that go into how high someone’s blood sugar goes after a meal,” said Kumar. “The most simple factor is how much sugar and what kind of sugar a person ate. But people also have different abilities to make the hormone insulin, which controls blood sugar levels. Muscle mass is also a factor, which further explains why two people who eat the exact same thing may not have the same response.”
A growing health issue in America
Around 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year, according to the American Diabetes Association. However, the organization also estimates that there are around 7.2 million undiagnosed cases of diabetes, according to a report from 2017.
Fitting people with continuous glucose monitoring devices could help spot early signs of diabetes that might otherwise go unnoticed. However, a medical kit with the machine and supplies can cost up to $1,000, said Kumar, which isn’t affordable for most patients.
“If we could get this continuous glucose monitoring technology good enough and affordable enough, that would help us identify prediabetes,” said Kumar. “It would be great to prescribe it to at-risk patients, such as those who are overweight or have family members with diabetes, for a period of time.”