Teen safety with a CGM

Diabetes can be particularly confusing for a teen where it can be easy to write off initial symptoms of low or high BG levels as fatigue from too much activity or illness-related.

Parents often prefer their teen share every detail about their condition, but that can lead to conflict if the teen feels too controlled.

A CGM may be a big help. Just like Google Maps reduces arguments about getting from place to place, a CGM provides teens and parents with a great source of trusted data.

Although teens tend to be more tech-savvy than most adults, it is essential for parents to understand how the system works and be an active part of using it. Generally, teens need their parents to be copilots in using these devices because there is a lot of information to understand. If both parties view and discus this CGM data they can learn more about diabetes and how to lead healthy lives.

Research conducted in Orlando, Florida tested the accuracy of continuous glucose monitoring in a group of teens with Type 1 diabetes. The system, which included an implantable sensor and compatible mobile app, demonstrated over 80% agreement with reference glucose values over a period of 180 days of continuous wear.

When both teen and parents have access to shared and trusted data about their blood glucose levels and trends, the facts are not in dispute and conversations can be about living better.  The data sharing provided by CGMs can extend to others — both healthcare professionals and friends — to create a broad awareness among your support team.

This team approach helps with life transitions. For instance, some teens are more active during school days than on vacations, and the basal rates that worked at some point may not be sufficient in the summer. There will be times when your teen cannot talk or be honest with you, and it might be useful to let someone else help out. CGM data sharing takes the dishonesty out of the equation as teens sometimes hide highs and lows to protect their parents. Shared data keeps everyone talking.

Many parents help their teens use CGMs to manage their T1D. The device monitors the body’s glucose levels every five minutes 24 hours a day and gives real-time data on current levels and trends. This data can be viewed on smartphones, computers and even wristwatches to provide you and your teen more peace of mind and support a healthy life.  Healthy teens develop the confidence to become more active in their social life (which is essential to healthy adolescent development).

Martin is the Founder of SelfRx Media and editor-in-chief of Insulin Nation. He's a passionate about sharing knowledge with those affected by Diabetes.

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