Bigger Implications For Diabetes And Prediabetes
At this time, 49-52% of the adult US population has either diabetes or prediabetes, many of whom remain undiagnosed. Its estimated that upwards of 70% of people with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
A 2018 analysis of the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data found that only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy. TWELVE PERCENT. .
That means 88% of Americans are NOT metabolically healthy.
I have no doubt that if I continued to eat high-carb meals for my lifetime , pushing my blood sugar levels to prediabetic levels again and again and again gradually resulting in a breakdown of my insulin sensitivity, I would become one of these statistics. Furthermore, eating this way leaves me feeling like garbage. It makes me crazy hungry for all the wrong foods as my poor body attempts to regulate blood sugar between spike after spike.
Fortunately, I dont have to go down that path because this experiment has highlighted just how crucial a lower-carb, real food diet is to maintaining blood sugar balance, even for people like myself, who supposedly have normal glucose tolerance. If you watch the spectacular results of the Virta program or similar diabetes interventions using a lower carbohydrate approach, its just common sense.
The point is that even if youre metabolically healthy, your blood sugar can still spike pretty high if you eat a bunch of naked carbs.
My oatmeal experiment made that crystal clear.
Noninvasive Glucose Monitoring For Diabetes: Where Is It Now
The invention of a noninvasive device that can measure blood glucose for people with diabetes with no need to poke the skin and draw blood has been the dream for decades.
After all, why wouldnt people with diabetes flock to a skin patch that can detect blood sugar levels through sweat, or a wrist band that uses radio frequency technology to continuously beam glucose data directly to an app?
Numerous companies are pushing forward in this noninvasive continuous glucose monitoring space, even in the midst of a pandemic.
To date, its been mostly hype versus hope, as attempts to create those products have fallen flat.
The Diabetes Technology Society published a scientific analysis on this topic in October 2021, noting the amount of interest in seeing the development of an accurate and the amount of hyperbole by companies promising an accurate both far outstrip the amount of publicly available data actually generated by these potential products.
Yet, diabetes technology experts still believe potential exists for noninvasive devices to make it big, and industry analysts are predicting a booming market in the next 5 years.
The Importance Of Using Glucose Monitors
Diabetes is among the most prevalent diseases worldwide, affecting a large population yearly. More than 422 million people suffer from the disease worldwide, and not less than 1 to 6 million deaths occur because of diabetes annually. The figures are concerning, yet there are scarcely enough preventative measures, which is why the rates are so high.
Diabetes is a severe and long-lasting disease. Studies say that diabetes can affect many major organs, including the heart, blood vessels, nerves, eyes, and kidneys, thus resulting in long-term medical complications. The bloodstream is responsible for transporting glucose to different body parts to supply other organs with the required energy to perform several life functions. When this glucose level in the blood goes beyond the suitable level, the pancreas secretes insulin to get it back to normal. However, for a diabetic patient, insulin production may be low, or the body becomes incapable of using it effectively.
Once you get diabetes, your doctor will prescribe you regular medications along with several restrictions on food, behavioural patterns, and lifestyle. Additionally, your situation could worsen if you skip doses of prescribed drugs.
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Who Can Use A Cgm
Most people who use CGMs have type 1 diabetes. Research is underway to learn how CGMs might help people with type 2 diabetes.
CGMs are approved for use by adults and children with a doctors prescription. Some models may be used for children as young as age 2. Your doctor may recommend a CGM if you or your child:
- are on intensive insulin therapy, also called tight blood sugar control
- have hypoglycemia unawareness
- often have high or low blood glucose
Your doctor may suggest using a CGM system all the time or only for a few days to help adjust your diabetes care plan.
Are Continuous Glucose Monitoring Devices Easy To Use
CGM devices are complex little machines. They do require some upfront time to understand their technical aspects.
For example, you will need to learn how to:
- Insert the sensor properly.
- Transfer data to a computer or your phone.
- Respond to and make changes to your care plan based on the collected data.
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Got A Costco Near You Check Their Prices To See If Theyre Better
Sometimes, having a wholesale membership from Costco or Sams Club may save you a little money on the newest CGM technology without insurance. While this is not always the case, its still worth investigating in the cost-savings process!
Here is the 2022 cost breakdown of popular CGMs like the Freestyle Libre 2 and Dexcom G6 on Costcos website.*:
*This is just one example of popular CGM device pricing on a specific date in time. Exact costs may vary depending on patient circumstances, at what point in the future you fill your prescription and the location. Always contact your local Costco, Sams Club, or other pharmacies for exact prices on CGM supplies you want to fill without running insurance in your area.
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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Diabetes can be managed through oral medications. In addition to insulin, metformin, which is a sugar-reducing agent, is also a common treatment for diabetes. It is considered a first-line therapy for diabetes treatment and is often added to insulin. It is important to know the risks of taking diabetes medications. Some drugs can be addictive, so you must consult your doctor before taking any medication. Your physician can prescribe you an appropriate treatment plan based on your medical history.
Your doctor will prescribe medication and check your blood glucose levels on a regular basis. Your A1c level will be checked every six months and your cholesterol levels will be tested regularly. Your doctor will also look for any signs of retinopathy, which is damage to the nerves in the eye caused by diabetes. You will also be examined for any foot problems. It is important to see a foot specialist regularly. Your feet should be thoroughly inspected for damage to the nerves.
While the first two types of insulin are the most common treatments, diabetes can be treated in a variety of ways. Your doctor may prescribe medications to control high blood pressure, which can protect the kidneys. Other types of medication include aspirin and other types of anti-platelet drugs. If your doctor is concerned about your blood sugar level, you may need to try a different medication. Some medications can cause side effects. Your treatment will depend on what type of insulin you need.
Troubleshooting Information For Freestyle Libre2 Users
We know that lots of people have been reporting issues they’ve 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 ‘Top Tips’ 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 we’re sharing below.
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Lily What Did You Learn About Your Blood Sugar From Wearing A Cgm
This is obviously the reason youre here. This is the reason I did the whole CGM experiment in the first place.
In some ways, my results were surprising and in other ways, exactly as I would expect. My goal was to test my regular diet and see how my blood sugar fared with my usual low-ish carb, real food, mindful eating approach. There were a few unusual meals, including Thanksgiving dinner and the morning I intentionally ate oatmeal otherwise, I was just eating as I always do.
My average blood sugar over the 10 days was on the low end: 79 mg/dl. No, I did not have symptomatic hypoglycemia. The lower average was due to my blood sugar running primarily in the 60s and 70s at night . During the day, my blood sugar mostly hung out in the 80s-90s with occasional peaks depending on the carbohydrate content of my meals.
My lower carb real food meals rarely spiked me above 100-110. I had a few higher spikes from meals that included a small to moderate amount of carbs, such as: a slice of real sourdough, rice, potatoes/sweet potato, or hidden sugar .
For example, we had some Thai food from a local Thai restaurant and Im pretty sure the curry and sauces have sugar in them . I was surprised after eating a big bowl of curry with chicken and vegetables and the tiniest serving of white rice , to see my blood sugar spike to the 130s.
Sorry, everyone whos #teamwhiterice. It doesnt work for me.
Blood Sugar Patterns In Non
Another interesting dataset I came across was an analysis of CGM data from morbidly obese participants with and without prediabetes found significantly higher glycemic variability and overall higher glucose levels when compared to CGM data from non-diabetic, non-overweight adults.
Specifically, prediabetic Biggest Loser applicants had 17.6% of blood sugar readings above 140 mg/dl while non-diabetic Biggest Loser applicants had 11.8%. Meanwhile, non-diabetic adults who are not morbidly obese only experienced 0.3-4.1% of readings above 140 mg/dl.
This data highlights the role that excess body weight plays in blood sugar regulation, even if you pass diabetic/prediabetic screenings by conventional standards.
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Easier To Clean And Use
Everyone loves a good product that will last longer without breaking or needing maintenance to keep it running smoothly! We all have busy lives, so its best to buy something that will save you time on daily tasks instead of wasting hours weekly.
This best continuous glucose monitor for non diabetics is easy to maintain because of its simple design, making it very easy to clean! You can wash your best item in about 10 seconds or less! And best of all, if you do run into any trouble with your product, you can take advantage of the products warranty and get it replaced for free.
Ire From The Diabetes Community
Around the diabetes online community, Ramseys piece drew widespread criticism.
- Australian D-advocate and blogger Renza Scibilia describes this phenom as playing pretend on diabetes and criticizes those HCPs, in particular who do this. Shes written about that before in a post titled Why do diabetes when you dont have diabetes? and a followup post where she revisited that question.
- Longtime T1 PWD and advocate Kerri Sparling shared this about Ramseys writeup: This article makes me really mad. People with diabetes struggle to access CGMs .
- T2D advocate Mila Clarke Buckley says, This would have been better if she would have juxtaposed it with why theyre beneficial for someone with diabetes, and how it helps our daily decisions. It just seems frivolous, and kinda misses the point of what a CGM can do for someones quality of life.
- Fellow type 1 Mike Parise adds this, It just bothers me that the writer of the article was able to get her hands on one when so many diabetics dont have the opportunity to have it . It just came across as Oh, look at this cool thing and I dont need it but let me see what a bagel and marathon does to my perfect blood sugar. And then, Im so sad to lose it. I know that an article like that is good publicity for an awesome tool for us. But as I mention, something really bothered me about it.
Not all saw red, though.
From England, two DOCers shared different perspectives:
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What Are The Benefits Of Using A Cgm For Non
- Personalized nutrition, meaning someone can identify how they body handles a certain food shortly after eating it and for the following hours.
- Identifies blood glucose patterns that relate to mealtime and lifestyle.
- CGM information can help people who are at risk of diabetes or heart disease.
- Improvements in blood sugar can be a key player for athletes looking to maximize their energy for a workout and performance.
- https://blog.mymetabolicmeals.com/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=postDieters can hack hunger by maintaining steadier blood sugar levels throughout the day.
- CGMs offer a way of tracking your metabolism in real-time.
Why Individual Treatment Matters
Rather than one supremely important glucose metric, itâs most beneficial to keep an eye on multiple glucose metrics at once. This is why individualized treatment is crucial. The more data you can gather about your health, the more your physician can use to evaluate what needs to be done to protect it. No matter what, one of the most crucial aspects of monitoring your glucose is making sure that your treatment plan is individualized. The most important glucose metric to track for one person may be different for another.
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Beyond Our Diabetes Bubble
While Ramseys mainstream CGM review may raise some hackles in the diabetes community, we have to remember thats not who this article was written for. Business Insiders intended audience is a much broader swath of people who follow the expanding market for a variety of medical sensors to help consumers track their overall health.
And when reading our communitys visceral responses, we couldnt help but reflect on the fuzzy lines that exist between the good, bad, and ugly of diabetes: Do we PWDs wish to be seen as sick or not? On the one hand, there are so many inspirational stories of Olympic athletes with diabetes and those who can do anything. But on the other hand, many PWDs suffer debilitating complications, and want to be recognized for their struggles. How is the general public supposed to reconcile those two faces of diabetes?
Its a tricky balancing act, for sure.
Ramsey wraps up her article by noting: Ill be curious if theres a world in which glucose monitoring becomes more popular among people without diabetes.
It definitely seems like thats where were headed. We have to believe that as CGM becomes more mainstream, it will become more accessible and affordable to the masses, including many more PWDs.
And that seems like something we can all get behind despite the emotions we may have about non-diabetes folk being privileged and superficial, or not using a particular device in the same life-critical way that we do.
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 “optimizing” 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 “ideal range” 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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Special Features Of A Cgm
CGMs are always on and recording glucose levelswhether youre showering, working, exercising, or sleeping. Many CGMs have special features that work with information from your glucose readings:
- An alarm can sound when your glucose level goes too low or too high.
- You can note your meals, physical activity, and medicines in a CGM device, too, alongside your glucose levels.
- You can download data to a computer or smart device to more easily see your glucose trends.
Some models can send information right away to a second persons smartphoneperhaps a parent, partner, or caregiver. For example, if a childs glucose drops dangerously low overnight, the CGM could be set to wake a parent in the next room.
Currently, one CGM model is approved for treatment decisions, the Dexcom G5 Mobile. That means you can make changes to your diabetes care plan based on CGM results alone. With other models, you must first confirm a CGM reading with a finger-stick blood glucose test before you take insulin or treat hypoglycemia.