Learn How CGMs Enhance Your Diabetes Care Journey
Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) are a valuable tool for your Diabetes self-management. The system includes a sensor, transmitter, and either a receiver or a cell phone with the appropriate app that allows you to track your blood glucose levels across 8 hours and record every few minutes. While Blood Glucose Meters (BGMs) are the gold standard for calculating blood glucose levels at an exact moment, CGMs are great to use in conjunction because it gives you a wide variety of useful data. One of the best parts about using a CGM? It allows you to track this data without constant fingersticks.
In comparison to BGMs and their usage of fingersticks and test strips, CGMs simply use a monitor and a transmitter that features a sensor. The transmitter is a small and discreet piece that’s placed on your upper arm or belly, with the sensor being inserted into your interstitial fluid. The sensors are typically used for 7-14 days instead of finger-pricking daily when a BGM is your only option. The sensor links to a compatible Insulin Pump Therapy System that allows your insulin pump injections to be adjusted automatically based on your CGM readings. It’s important that you still check your readings on the CGM or with a BGM to ensure that the readings are proper so you’re getting the correct amount of insulin.
CGMs, while not perfect at measuring your blood glucose, are an extremely effective way to measure your levels. There are a few ways to maximize the accuracy of the system, such as calibrating first thing in the morning or right before bed and washing your hands before you test. By taking these small measures, you can get the closest and most accurate link possible between your BGM and CGM. If you find that you aren’t getting a good reading from a certain model of CGM, you can always try a different one. Certain models and brands seem to work better for some people as opposed to others, and finding the CGM that works best for you is a priority.
With modern technology paving the way for efficient and effective CGMs, several features are used now. Most CGMs, such as the Dexcom G6 and the Freestyle Libre 2, are water-resistant. Certain models can be used from toddler through adulthood and some are suited for children that are a little bit older through adulthood. While most brands have different periods between readings, they can now get as low as every 5 minutes, with optional alerts for out-of-range readings. Additionally, some have alerts for dangerously low blood glucose that can’t be turned off!
When it’s time to choose the best product for your needs, it’s best to start with a recommendation from your provider. With tons of knowledge on the pros and cons of each CGM and why one may work better than another, it’s a valuable starting point. Finding a CGM that works for you to group with a BGM, Insulin Pump, and other Diabetes self-management supplies would make your Diabetes-care journey easier!