Five reasons to get a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)
CGM's or continuous glucose monitors are at the forefront of treating Type 1 Diabetes. We've compiled a list of things to consider when deciding if a CGM is right for you.
CGMs have a sensor and transmitter (attached to the body) and a receiver to monitor blood sugar levels/trends. Readings are taken every few minutes to provide reliable results. These systems provide a constant view of blood sugar levels and track trends in the rise and fall of blood sugar levels. Alarms can be set to alert you before you start experiencing low or high glucose levels even when you are sleeping since the system checks blood sugar 24 hours a day.
A CGM works this way. A sensor inserted beneath the skin transmits data on your BG levels to the receiver. New systems allow data to be accessed through your smartphone to increase ease of use.
Here are the five reasons to get a CGM.
Reason #1 — Hypoglycemic Unawareness
Dealing with diabetes can be frustrating and sometimes scary. You watch what you eat, count your calories and carbohydrates, inject insulin multiple times each day and still feel somewhat vulnerable. CGM technology gives you better information that makes dealing with diabetes more predictable and less scary.
A CGM provides you with real-time data on your current blood sugar level and its trendline. Often a patient will work with their physician or Certified Diabetes Educator to configure their CGM, particularly alarm levels. Some patients don’t experience symptoms of extremely low sugar levels, and their CGM can be a life-saver.
Reason #2 — Newborn Safety
CGMs are critical for women with gestational diabetes because their blood sugar must remain at healthy levels for the proper development and growth of their baby. Close monitoring of sugar levels with a CGM can help prevent fetal complications from out-of-range blood glucose levels.
Reason #3 — Better Exercise
Diabetes should not prevent you from engaging in activities that you usually enjoy. Exercise is excellent for all of us, but exercise affects our glucose levels — It allows for better utilization of insulin, but adrenaline produced during these activities can increase sugar levels.
Wearing a CGM can help you understand how your workout is changing your glucose levels and enable you to make minor adjustments in diet, exercise and insulin dosage to prevent wide swings in your blood sugar levels and keep you going strong.
Reason #4 — More Comfort
CGMs are, for the most part, pain-free and do not damage your skin. Compared to pricking your fingers many times each day to get optimal awareness of sugar levels, CGM is less painful and provides more information.
The only pain involved with CGM is the one-second sensation involved in inserting and setting up a new sensor.
Reason #5 — Control our Lives
Most people start their CGM journey wearing a Diagnostic CGM obtained from their doctor’s office. This trial usage is to ensure that you are capable of managing a CGM before your insurance company agrees to pay for it.
Compared to strip tests, a CGM provides clarity on the trends of your sugar levels, and consequently, the underlying events responsible for the changes observed. This better knowledge gives you better control of your life, something we all want.