An article published last week in Diabetolgia has demonstrated a new non-invasive technique which can reveal your risk of getting diabetes. The test works by detecting the reflectiveness of your skin, in particular the way fluorescent light is reflected.
Glucose is really sticky and adheres to proteins in the skin which creates glycated proteins which affects the structure of the skin. This is what then alters the reflective ability of the skin itself. This ‘sticky’ nature of glucose is how the blood test HbA1C works. The glucose adheres to red blood cells and over their lifespan you can measure how glycated they are, and therefore how controlled a persons blood glucose is.
The test isn’t quite ready for the mainstream just yet, it needs to go through further reliability and specificity trials to make sure it doesn’t misdiagnose healthy people. If it does get that far and is proven reliable it offers a much needed way of monitoring diabetes in developing countries which cannot afford or do not have tests such as HbA1C readily available.