Advancements in technology are helping patients with diabetes

Family Health
Jan 9, 2024

St. Joseph’s/Candler Endocrinologist Dr. Priti Nath explains glucose monitors, pumps that her patients are using to lower their A1C and better control their diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease, meaning it’s a condition that the 30 million people in the U.S. who’ve been diagnosed with it, will likely live with for the rest of their lives.

If it’s not controlled, diabetes can be debilitating, leading to heart attack, stroke and high-risk mortality.

The good news is that diabetes can be controlled with proper diet, exercise, medication and even technology.

“Diabetes is never going away. We have to see how we are going to treat these patients to reduce the burden of this disease, reduce the complications of it,” says Dr. Priti Nath, endocrinologist with St. Joseph’s/Candler Physician Network – Endocrinology. “Even over the last couple of years it’s been exceptional what’s going on with these larger pharmaceuticals and start-up companies getting into diabetes technology. I love it. I think it’s really interesting.”

Dr. Nath offers diabetes technology to all her patients, but she doesn’t call it technology when talking to them. It’s more about the monitors and pumps that are now available. You’ve probably seen some of the commercials.

Some examples include:

  • Glucose monitors. Instead of the traditional way of checking your glucose with a finger stick, people with diabetes can wear monitors on the arm, belly or lower back above the buttocks. You can read your results either through an app on a smartphone or if you don’t have one or aren’t tech savvy, they come with readers. Glucose monitors have been shown to lower A1C.
  • Insulin pumps. Instead of the traditional way of injecting yourself with insulin via a needle, there are different insulin pump delivery systems available that you can talk to your doctor about. The general idea is that your body gets a measured and continuous dose of insulin or additional insulin with a click of a button on the pump as a boost around mealtime, for example.
  • Insulin pens. If you are looking for a way to get insulin when you need it or on the go and don’t want to wear a pump, there are insulin pens available. Many of these pens also include computers that track the amount of insulin given, which can be helpful information for your healthcare team.

“It’s all really great technology,” Dr. Nath says. “You still have to manage your diabetes. It’s not hands off, but it’s something we can offer to them so they can help treat themselves.”

While Dr. Nath offers these devices to all her patients, they may not work for everyone. Some patients don’t want to wear anything on their bodies. Some are comfortable with the traditional ways of monitoring or getting insulin injections.

If your diabetes is under control, then you may not need to use these devices, but if you have uncontrolled diabetes or are insulin dependent, whether it’s Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, then Dr. Nath does recommend giving them a try.

She encourages you to talk to your primary care physician about your best options or request a referral to see her or fellow endocrinologist Dr. Carolyn Nelson at SJ/C Physician Network – Endocrinology. Dr. Nath and Dr. Nelson work daily with patients who have uncontrolled diabetes and many with complications of the disease, such as retinopathy of the eyes, kidney infections or nerve damage.

To request an appointment, call our office at 912-819-3944 or click here.


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