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Instant Messaging Aids in Diabetes Control

Instant messaging does not only help connect people throughout the globe, it has also been shown to help people with diabetes get better control of their disease. Korean researchers, whose study was published in the journal Diabetes Care, have shown that an automated instant messaging service could improve diabetes management. Dr. Chulsik Kim and colleagues from Yongdong Severance Hospital in Seoul revealed that patients who used the instant messaging service for 12 weeks lost weight, had better blood sugar control and had lower blood sugar levels both before and after meals.

For 12 weeks, 35 diabetics were asked to use the web-based service, while 36 patients did not.Those who used the service recorded their diet, when and how much they exercised, were given a device to measure their blood sugar and a pedometer linked to their cellular phones which directly transmitted data to their web data sheet.

At the end of the 12-week trial, the 35 diabetics lost an average of 1.9 kilograms, had an average decrease of HbAI c level from 8.06 percent to 7.34 percent and was also noted to have significantly lower blood sugar levels before and after meals. Those in the control group recorded no changes in their weight, HbAlc levels and blood sugar levels.

Researchers believe that those using the web-based service probably did better because they got medical advice more often based on very recent patient information, which could have inspired them to actively modify their lifestyles for better blood sugar control.

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