CGMs measure glucose levels every five minutes by using a sensor that is attached to your skin with an adhesive. The sensor sends information to a receiver which is about the size of a cell phone and displays graphical readings on blood sugar levels and trends on its screen.
Diabetes treatment is witnessing a significant shift with traditional glucose meters being relegated to reference checking as more and more people rely on CGM for their medical safety. Traditional glucose monitoring methods can be tedious and thus are often not done as frequently as recommended. This infrequent checking can lead to wide swings in blood glucose levels. The ‘Continuous’ part of CGM ensures that you always have the information to avoid wide swings.
Glucose levels in the interstitial fluid lag 10-15 minutes behind blood glucose levels. Thus CGMs should be combined with occasional traditional meter readings. This calibration will help you use your CGM better.
With a CGM device, glucose levels and trends are visible on handheld devices, including our phones and smartwatches. With a glance, we can get vital information on what’s going on in our body. It is even more incredible that the device gives alerts on when glucose levels are trending dangerously high or low.
A CGM enables me to engage in activities that are difficult to manage with the traditional glucose monitoring methods such as stressful job situations, traveling long distances, and strenuous exercise.
CGM is no cure for diabetes; you still have to count carbs, calculate insulin, and occasionally check your blood sugars manually. However, a CGM informs us so we can better manage our diabetes. It acts as a safety net with alerts when our blood sugars are trending too high or low, which keeps us out of trouble. This confidence helps us participate more fully in life and be productive in all that we do.