New way to detect early signs of prediabetes

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Scientists at Klick Labs have designed a new method that can identify early signs of blood sugar problems. This helps to find out if a person could be at risk of prediabetes before the usual signs appear.

The Science Behind the New Method

This new method was shared in a scientific paper published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Digital Health. It introduces a new way to spot a condition called impaired glucose homeostasis (IGH).

This condition happens before prediabetes and means that the body is starting to struggle with controlling blood sugar levels.

Klick Labs used a unique mathematical way to look at data from devices that continuously monitor blood glucose levels (CGMs).

When they used this method, they found out that about 20% of people in the study who were thought to be healthy actually had problems with their blood sugar similar to those with prediabetes.

Glucose Levels are Like Roller-Coasters

“Blood glucose levels in people with diabetes can go up and down a lot, like a wild roller-coaster ride,” said Jaycee Kaufman, a scientist at Klick Labs who led the study.

“We found a similar pattern in patients with IGH. Their blood glucose levels didn’t go up and down as much, but we could still see changes.

This means that we could start treating these people to stop them from getting diabetes.”

A Closer Look at the Study

For the study, 384 people wore a CGM for two weeks. A doctor then looked at the data and said if they were healthy, prediabetic, or diabetic, using the American Diabetes Association’s guidelines.

The Klick Labs scientists then used their mathematical method to divide the patients into two groups. The first group had effective control of their blood sugar, and the second group had impaired control.

The surprising finding was that 20% of the people who were originally found to be healthy actually had impaired control of their blood sugar.

“This shows that our new method can spot problems earlier and more accurately than the usual screening tools for diabetes,” said Yan Fossat, Vice President of Klick Labs.

The Problem of Diabetes and Prediabetes

Diabetes is a big health problem. In the U.S., about 34 million people have diabetes, and one in three Americans has prediabetes or diabetes.

In Canada, there are 11.7 million people living with diabetes or prediabetes. What’s worse is that most people with prediabetes don’t know they have it.

Since it might be possible to stop or slow down diabetes, it’s important to find tools that can identify people who are at risk.

At the moment, doctors use risk factors like age, BMI, and family history, along with blood tests, to diagnose diabetes.

Looking Forward

“Our new method is a big step towards preventing and managing diabetes,” said Fossat.

“Spotting the problem early and starting treatment right away is very important in managing Type 2 diabetes. So, our method could make a big difference in the lives of millions of people all over the world.”

Klick Labs is continuing to work on diabetes research.

They’re collaborating with Lennaert van Veen, a professor of mathematics at Ontario Tech University, who also contributed to a study published in 2020 on how glucose is regulated in the body.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that eating more eggs linked to higher risk of diabetes, and how to reduce heart disease death risk if you have diabetes.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that honey could help control blood sugar, and results showing Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by one third.

The study was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Digital Health.

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