Diabetes is a chronic and enervative metabolic condition that demands a lot from the person affected. It impacts around 34.2 million adults in the US. Diabetes affects the ability of your body to convert food into energy. The two most common treatment options for Diabetes are oral medications and insulin. The issue with managing the condition lies in the limited and too-old options available that are painful and a hassle to work with. However, recently, a new glucose monitoring device was introduced, called Continuous Glucose Monitoring. Various Research Organizations are trying to find a potential diagnostic and management options for Diabetes. This blog will be focused on discussing the condition along with the advancements made in managing Diabetes with CGM device.
What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring?
Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) is a glucose monitoring device that is not only handy but also a user-friendly tool. Blood sugar levels are automatically observed by continuous glucose monitoring both throughout the day and at night. Your blood sugar level is always visible at a glance. It allows you to spot trends, and observe how your glucose levels fluctuate over a few hours or days. Your ability to balance your diet, physical activity, and medications throughout the day will improve if you can monitor your glucose levels in real-time.
How Does It Work?
A CGM works with the help of a small sensor that is attached to the arm or belly, under the skin. This sensor detects the interstitial glucose levels, that are present in the fluid between the cells. This device measures glucose levels after regular intervals and sends this information to the monitor attached. This monitor can be a part of an insulin pump or a separate device.
Characteristics of a CGM
It has the following features:
- An alarm sound rings when the blood glucose level is too high or too low
- You can keep an eye on the effect of your diet, physical activity, and medicines through a CGM device
- To more readily see your glucose level trends, you can transfer data to a computer or smart device
Some versions allow you to instantly communicate information to a parent, partner, or caregiver’s smartphone. For instance, the CGM may be programmed to alert a parent in the next room if a child’s blood sugar levels fall dangerously low overnight.
Requirements of Using a CGM Device
You should monitor the CGM itself twice a day. An ordinary glucose meter will be used to test a drop of your blood. On both devices, the glucose reading ought to be comparable.
Depending on the model, you’ll also need to change the CGM sensor every 3 to 7 days.
It’s crucial to act when a CGM warning concerning high or low blood glucose sounds for safety.
Who Can Use CGM?
The majority of CGM users have type 1 diabetes. To find out how CGMs might benefit those with type 2 diabetes, research is in process.
With a prescription from a doctor, CGMs can be used by both adults and children. Some of the models can be applied to toddlers. A CGM may be advised by your doctor if you or your child:
- are frequently affected by high or low blood sugar
- are receiving intense insulin therapy, also known as tight blood sugar control
- have hypoglycemic unawareness
To assist in the modification of your diabetes treatment plan, your doctor might advise using a CGM device constantly or just sometimes for a few days.
Benefits of CGM
Using a CGM device instead of a conventional blood glucose meter can help you in the following ways
- To better control your daily blood sugar levels, fewer low blood sugar situations, and fewer finger sticks
- In order to help you decide the optimal path to achieving your ideal blood glucose level, a visual on the CGM screen displays whether and how quickly your glucose is rising or falling.
Over time, proper glucose control significantly aids people with diabetes in maintaining their health and avoiding disease complications. Those that use a CGM device daily or nearly daily are the ones who benefit the most from it.
What are a CGM’s limitations?
Researchers are working to improve the use and accuracy of CGM devices. But to compare the precision of your CGM to a conventional blood glucose meter, you still need to perform a finger-stick glucose test twice a day.
You still can’t make treatment decisions solely based on the CGM for the majority of CGM models. For instance, you need to confirm a CGM reading with a finger-stick glucose test before adjusting your insulin dosage. The cost of a CGM system is greater than that of a conventional glucose meter.
Why Do You Check Blood Sugar?
A crucial aspect of everyday diabetic care is checking your child’s blood sugar because it reveals the amount of glucose (glucose level) present in their blood. You will always be aware of whether your child’s blood sugar is within or outside the safe range established by the diabetes care team.
Regular blood sugar checks can benefit both you and your child by:
- Having better control of diabetes
- Learning how blood sugar is impacted by food, exercise, and diabetes medications
- Knowing when to adjust your diet, exercise routine, or diabetic medications
- Controlling sick days
- Preventing potential health issues before they arise
When Should I Check the Blood Sugar of My Child?
Most children and teenagers must test:
- After every meal,
- Before going to bed,
- Before, during, and after exercise, and
- Even while they are sleeping.
Barriers To Wearing A CGM Device
According to a recent review, barriers to CGM use among type 1 Diabetes patients include:
- Pain from CGM insertion and wear,
- Clinical inertia,
- Information overload,
- Body image issues, and
- Concerns about accuracy.
Advantages and Disadvantages of A CGM
Removing the need for fingerstick tests and offering high- and low-glucose warnings and alarms. You can identify trends with a continuous data stream. Users also claim that they gain knowledge about their diabetes and how it affects their body.
- You’ll still have to deal with having a device attached to your body even without wires.
- If you’re particularly concerned about real-time safety alerts, you might want to avoid its use because of the constant data stream, which can be a downside for some users and creates a sense of pressure to constantly react to the number you see on the screen.
- Many people have serious concerns about costs.
For those who have diabetes, CGM technology has completely changed the game because it provides a vastly improved way to continuously monitor glucose levels. CGM systems offer a more comprehensive picture of how a person’s blood sugars are trending both in the present and over time, in contrast to traditional fingerstick meters that only provide a snapshot of blood sugars at the moment. Prime Revival Research Institute is conducting CGM Clinical Trials to test the effectiveness of the device and its compliance.