No more painful pricking, breath test will check sugar level

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Dubai, Sep 30 (UNI) A simple breathtest could replace the painful pricks on the finger for the kids suffering from type 1 diabetes.

In a recent study, the US researchers found when their blood sugar is too high, diabetic children exhale higher levels of a chemical, Thus, a simple breath test can help monitor the sugar level in the body.

A senior consultant endocrinologist at Al Zahra Medical Centre, Dr Zain Gulzar here said a breath test technology would be ''definitely advantageous''to diabetic patients, especially children.

''But I doubt how much of it would be feasible. We have heard of insulin pills, but it never came about,'' the Gulf News quoted Dr Gulzar as saying.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine used a chimical analysis devised for air pollution testing and found that children with type 1 diabetes exhale much higher levels of methyl nitrates when their blood sugar is too high.

Asserting that traditional methods of monitoring the diabetic level are invasive, painful and expensive and affect the children most, diabetes researche at the University, Dr Pietro Galassetti said,''What we are trying to do here is to come up with something completely noninvasive.'' Regarding the Gas readings, Dr Galassetti said it was possible to develop a breath analysis test to monitor blood sugar, His team tested the breath of 10 children with type 1 diabetes.

''We took air samples while blood sugar levels were high and continued to take samples as blood sugar levels fell in respnse to insulin, '' he added.

After examining the samples it was found that methyl nitrate was as much as 10 times higher than normal. On cross-checking the readings with blood tests, a correlation between high blood sugar and high levels of methyl nitrate was obtained.

In the UAE, 23 per cent of population suffers from the debilitating disease and that brings the Gulf nation on the top of the list of the countries having the highest incidence of diabetes in the world.


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