Tear drop tests as effective as blood for diabetes testing, study finds

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There is new hope for diabetics who dread frequent finger pricks and blood draws used to monitor their blood glucose levels. Scientists say they are developing a device that can test blood sugar levels via teardrops instead of blood.

In laboratory tests conducted on rabbits, scientists found that levels of glucose in tears track the amounts of glucose in the blood. This finding indicates it could be possible “to monitor blood glucose changes without the potential pain from the repeated invasive blood-drawing method,” said researchers, who were led by Mark Meyerhoff, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan.

Meyerhoff explained that because of the rapidly growing number of people with diabetes worldwide — currently there are 350 million diabetics — there is a need to develop more pain-free and accurate methods of checking glucose levels. Devices that offer an alternative to the hand-held meters could increase testing compliance, experts believe.

The study appears in the American Chemical Society's journal Analytical Chemistry.
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