Blood Sugar Monitoring For People With Diabetes Offers Undeniable Health Benefits
For people with diabetes, a major goal of therapy is to keep the blood sugar close to the normal range. This helps to prevent symptoms and complications, prolong life, and improve quality of life.
The development of CGM devices that can frequently and easily monitor blood sugar levels without finger sticks has revolutionized care for millions of people with diabetes. Besides providing results of blood sugar levels, some devices have alarm settings that alert the user, or other people, if blood sugar becomes dangerously low or high. And some systems can transmit results directly to the users doctor, if desired.
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Best For A Small Budget: Freestyle Libre 2 System
- Price: $060 a month with insurance
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system automatically measures glucose levels.
The devices features include:
- a 14-day free trial with training
- optional glucose alarms
- sensors that last for up to 14 days at a time
According to the company, the devices app is not compatible with all mobile devices. A person can check online if their phone is compatible with the app.
The website states that a persons insurance may cover up to $60 a month in expenses for the device.
Additionally, people can sign up for a free trial on the companys website.
Cgms Used By The Nhs Or To Buy
The Freestyle Libre 3 is a CGM which is available on the NHS but not yet available to buy.
These are some of the other CGMs available to buy or available on the NHS.
Dexcom G7 licensed for those aged two and over
Dexcom One licensed for those aged two and over
Dexcom G6 licensed for those aged two and over
Dexcom G5 licensed for those aged two and over
Glucomenday licensed for those aged six and over
Guardiam Connect no age restriction
Some CGMs work with insulin pumps – see information on these integrated systems.
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Consumer Reports: Blood Glucose Meter Ratings & Recommendations
Just a reminder to everyone. these rankings change every year. Please refrain from posting opinions based on old information, especially when making suggestions and offering advice about what is the best meter for me to buy? in the threads of new members. This is what Rebecca has said for the past two years after the latest Consumer Reports have released their yearly meter rankings: As far as ALL True meters being bad for cats, well, meters change and it would be helpful if we quit bashing meters for old results. _R Consumer Reports recently listed several meters with true in the name and also a FreeStyle meter as some of the best meters available. Ive posted this before and asked people to keep updated on info they post on this site. Meters change, diabetes care changes, life changes. You will notice that Freestyle and some True meters are ranked highly this year in terms of reliability. Some higher than the most popular meters that we routinely advise people to purchase. If you have experienced recent problems with a specific meter, then feel free to share your experiences. But try not to exclude meters that have been poorly ranked two, three or more years ago. Just like everything else, products can be improved.Continue reading > >
How To Fuel Properly
To determine how to properly fuel your exercise, we need to specify the duration and intensity of your workout. Please keep in mind that we are talking about fueling during competitions for optimal performance. We will dive into the intricacies of fueling for training, health/metabolic goals, reducing fatigue, and building muscle in future blog posts. Additionally, pre and post-exercise are different beasts and will also be discussed in future blog posts. This post is about what you need during your athletic event.
While traditional fueling guidelines provide a range of carbohydrate intake per hour for optimal performance, which is a good starting point, newer tools exist that may help track carbohydrate needs even more. For instance, continuous glucose monitors can report real-time glucose levels in the body during a workout. This technology provides a unique opportunity to personalize and dial in your fueling strategy to ensure that it is most effective and least damaging. These quantitative tools can give a snapshot of how the body is utilizing different sources of energy.
Duration Less Than 45 Min, Low Intensity
E.g., easy bike ride/run/swim, walking the dog, yoga, curling
Fueling insights: No extra fuel is needed, nor will additional fuel enhance performance. These exercises low intensity and short duration indicate that glucose already in circulation and stored fat will be preferentially utilized as fuel.
Duration Less Than 45 Min, Power Sports
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The National Diabetes Services Scheme
This initiative by the Australian Government gives all Australians diagnosed with diabetes access to products like blood glucose testing strips at discounted prices. If you’re eligible you’ll need to register with NDSS. To be eligible for NDSS you need to:
- live in Australia
- be diagnosed as having any type of diabetes or other serious condition requiring regular blood glucose monitoring
- have a Medicare card or Department of Veterans Affairs card
You’re not eligible if you have pre-diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.From 1 July 2016, two major changes were made to NDSS:
- Subsidised products are no longer distributed via Diabetes Australia but rather can be received from NDSS Access Points
- Type 2 diabetics who don’t use insulin can purchase subsidised blood glucose test strips for an initial six months which can be extended for a further six months if they produce a signed Approval form.
For more information check the NDSS website.
Future Closed Loop Technology
Abbott has signed multiple development agreements with partners allowing its Libre monitor to work with future closed loop, or Automated Insulin Delivery systems.
In June 2020, the Food and Drug Administration granted the Libre 2 a special iCGM designation, meaning it has the potential to work with other pieces of diabetes technology, although unlike the similar designation granted to the Dexcom G6, Libre 2 is not supposed to be used with insulin delivery systems.
Most believe this is because the Libre 2 doesnt offer real-time continuous data as the G6 does, but requires follow-up scanning for Highs or Lows to get an actual reading for treatment. Most likely, the new Libre 3 will receive the full iCGM designation soon after its launch in the U.S.
Once that door opens, well likely see the Libre 3 paired with technology such as
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Best Smartphone Compatibility: Dexcom G6 Cgm System
- Price: $1,099.99
The Dexcom G6 CGM System provides automatic updates to a connected smart device or app. People with Medicare may need to purchase the connected device monitor, but they can also use their phone or tablet. The app notifies the user if their glucose levels are low or high.
The device comes with transmitters and three sensors that last 90 days and 10 days, respectively, so people need to purchase new components regularly.
The Dexcom G6 CGM System is available at various pharmacies across the United States and in online stores.
Troubleshooting Information For Freestyle Libre2 Users
We know that lots of people have been reporting issues theyâve been having with the Freestyle Libre 2.
We previously collated some of these issues and fed this back to Abbott who have provided us with some âTop Tipsâ for issues with Libre 2 alarms.
If you have any concerns or specific issues with your Freestyle Libre2, please contact Abbott directly via their Libre2 support pages. Or use the Abbott guides weâre sharing below.
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The Importance Of Meter Accuracy
Accurate readings of your blood glucose are obviously very important because you need to know how much insulin you need or if you need to eat a snack before your blood sugar gets too low or too high. But there are other reasons why meter accuracy is so important.
- You gather reliable data that you can trust to manage your diabetes appropriately and compare past and current numbers to make adjustments to your care plan.
- You can better anticipate lab results when you go for your regular checkups and blood work.
- Know what foods affect your blood sugar and how you can combat any adverse changes in glucose levels
- Accurately dose your insulin or other medications based on accurate test results.
How Is Blood Sugar Affected By Someones Individual Response To Foods
On a macro-level, someones carbohydrate tolerance, meaning how comfortably someone can eat a lower or higher carbohydrate diet, is unique to the individual.
Age, activity levels, metabolic health, genetics and insulin resistance play into the amount of carbohydrates someone tolerates. However, research can agree, a moderately lower carb diet made up of real food compared to the Standard American Diet is favorable on blood sugar levels/control.
On a micro-level, blood sugar levels can spike beyond optimal ranges based off gut integrity and immunogenetic response to food. For example, as someone with an auto-immune disease and therefore some form of leaky gut, when I consume a healthy food like spinach, regardless of the low carb content, this vegetable irritates my gut and creates havoc on my blood sugar as shown on my CGM.
Identifying how certain ingredients spike my blood sugar allows me, and can allow anyone using a CGM, to personalize their diet to meet their needs of their physiology.
CGMs help highlight that food is not just calories. Food is information that can help us get by or thrive. When we identify the right ingredients for ourselves, for our gut, for our blood sugar, it is then we feel our best, fight disease and inflammation, and heal our body from the daily stressors we are exposed to and improve our longevity and quality of life.
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Wheres The Health Benefit In This
Is there any evidence of benefit if people without diabetes monitor their blood sugar levels with CGMs? Theres little published research to help answer this question.
The best study I could find found nothing particularly surprising: among 153 people who didnt have diabetes, about 96% of the time blood sugar levels were normal or nearly so. In fact, many of the abnormal levels were considered implausible or a mistake. Another small study looked at sedentary individuals without diabetes who were overweight or obese. Participants completed a counseling session about the effects of physical activity on blood sugar and used a CGM device and an activity tracker for 10 days. Afterward, they reported feeling more motivated to exercise.
But I could find no published study suggesting that monitoring translates into improved health. Well, wait: one maker of a CGM device posted a study on its website reporting better blood sugar results among healthy people using their product. However, the study wasnt published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, it lacked details that would allow critical evaluation, and it examined what seem to be arbitrary ranges of blood sugar values, not actual health outcomes such as heart disease, nerve damage, or hospitalizations.
My Readings Don’t Seem Right
With each drop of blood your meter will give a different reading depending on when you’ve taken the reading. But after a while you’ll start to notice the trends in your blood glucose levels. As long as the difference isn’t big you needn’t be alarmed. Here are some things to check if you’re concerned about your readings:
- Have the test strips expired?
- Are you using the right strips for your blood glucose meter?
- Have you put enough blood on the strip?
- Have you inserted the test strip correctly?
- Have you stored the test strips correctly?
- Did you wash your hands before doing the test?
- Is the blood glucose meter clean?
- Is the blood glucose meter too hot or cold?
- Is the battery low or flat?
Alternatively, each manufacturer has control solutions for their meters. You can contact the manufacturer for a control solution. This solution will give you a range in which the meter should be giving a reading.
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Survey Recruitment & Administration
We recruited participants in collaboration with several practice-based research networks across the United States: the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network, Meta-network Learning and Research Center, State Networks of Colorado Ambulatory Practices and Partners, and Wyoming Community and Practice-Based Research Network. Recruitment channels were selected for maximum variation in geographic representation, practice setting, and medical specialty. Primary care physicians , including residents, and advanced practice clinicians practicing at the time of survey were eligible to participate. Each network utilized an anonymous, network-specific distribution link to conduct survey recruitment via e-mail. A maximum of 3 contacts were made, including survey invitations and follow-up reminders. Eligible respondents were offered a $50 gift card upon survey completion. Surveys were collected from February through November 2020 using Qualtrics web-based software .
Was It Uncomfortable To Wear A Cgm
Not really. For the Freestyle Libre, the sensor is worn on the back of the upper arm . The part of the sensor thats external is a little larger than the size of a quarter. The internal sensor is ~ a quarter inch long and aside from the very mild ache I had the day after placement, it didnt bother me.
I was worried the adhesive on the sensor would irritate my skin, as Im very sensitive to the adhesive on bandages/tape, but this was surprisingly a non-issue for me.
After a few days, I became less aware of something being stuck on my arm. Id accidentally bump it every once in a while or catch it on a shirt as I was getting dressed or notice it as I rolled over in bed, but it otherwise it wasnt bothersome.
I will say, Im extremely grateful that I dont have to wear one at all times. I can only imagine what my friends/clients with type 1 diabetes have to put up with having a CGM and often an insulin pump constantly attached to their body. Just one more thing to always have on the back of your mind.
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If Knowledge Is Power Why Not Monitor Your Blood Sugar
So, why would a person who doesnt have diabetes want to monitor their blood sugar? Possible reasons include
- Detecting prediabetes. In prediabetes blood sugar is slightly high, but not high enough to meet the definition of diabetes. For healthy people, blood sugar testing is typically recommended every three years or so if prediabetes is diagnosed, repeat testing is recommended more often, at least yearly. CGM might allow earlier diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes. This could be particularly helpful for people at higher risk for diabetes due to family history or other factors, and people taking medicines that can raise blood sugar.
- The notion of âoptimizingâ blood sugar for peak mental or physical performance. Not surprisingly, some CGM makers suggest knowing your blood sugar can help you make changes to keep it in an âideal rangeâ that will help you perform your best, prevent diabetes, or improve health in some other way. For example, you might change what or when you eat. None of these marketing notions has been proven, or even well studied. And guess what even the ideal blood sugar range for a person who isnt diabetic is uncertain.
- The illusion of control. Having more information about your body may provide you with a sense of control over your health, even if you take no immediate action.
- Curiosity. Lets face it, its tempting to gather information about our bodies that might be interesting .
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Flash Sensors And Cgm Sensors
With a flash glucose monitor, sensors should be worn on the arms only. And we recommend that they arent placed over areas with tattoos as this could impact your results. With a CGM, you can wear the sensor on different parts of the body, such as your abdomen.
The sensors dont normally need to be taken off. You can usually wear them in the bath, shower and during sports. But some people do have problems with them falling off. There are adhesives you can buy to keep them in place.
You cannot remove a sensor for a while once it has come off you need to replace it with a new one.
How often you have to change the sensor will depend on the type of model youre using and the manufacturers instructions. Youll usually need to change it at least once every 14 days.
Its quick and painless to put on a sensor. You insert them just under the skin using an applicator.
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How To Choose Consumer Reports Glucose Meter: The Buying Guide
How do you choose the consumer reports glucose meter? You must consider many things, such as the brand name, price, and product quality. In addition, you should also consider whether it is suitable for your needs or not.
So how do you choose the right consumer reports glucose meter? Here are some tips that you can use to help you find a good product:
What you Should Keep in Mind When Buying consumer reports glucose meter
When shopping for a consumer reports glucose meter, there are several things to consider. You need to think about the quality of the product, the price, and even how much it will benefit your life. However, you also need to keep these factors in mind:
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