When Might I Need To Do A Fingerstick Check When Using A Cgm Device
You may need to do fingerstick checks to calibrate a CGM device. Either way, youll likely still need to do fingerstick checks to look at your blood glucose in certain situations.
For example, a fingerstick check may give you peace of mind if your CGM device shows rising or falling numbers, but you feel OK. It can also provide answers if you dont feel well, but the CGM says your glucose levels are in target.
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How Does A Continuous Glucose Monitor Work
A CGM works through a tiny sensor inserted under your skin, usually on your belly or arm. The sensor measures your interstitial glucose level, which is the glucose found in the fluid between the cells. The sensor tests glucose every few minutes. A transmitter wirelessly sends the information to a monitor.
The monitor may be part of an insulin pump or a separate device, which you might carry in a pocket or purse. Some CGMs send information directly to a smartphone or tablet. Several models are available and are listed in the American Diabetes Associations product guide.
Choosing The Right Cgm For You
Here are some details that might help you determine which CGM is best for you:
If youre looking for long-standing reputation and the authority of market share, Dexcom fits that bill. The longest player in CGM technology, Dexcom generally boasts the most accurate readings, within 9 percent of lab-measured glucose readings. With its G6 model, Dexcom offers high and low alerts, customizable alarms, data sharing, and a water-resistant device. Its not cheap, though.
Medtronics Guardian Connect is the most similar to Dexcoms line, and the costs are on par. The Guardian Connect is reportedly close in accuracy , although many patients claim that Dexcom seems more accurate in real-world settings.
The Guardian Connect offers increased connectivity, with data automatically uploaded into the companys Carelink app. That means your doctors can get your numbers without you having to do a thing. The predictive alerts are an interesting feature as well.
If youre looking for a CGM that tries to predict your bodys future, and minimizes the amount of work you need to do in retrieving your data, the Guardian Connect might be for you. This one isnt cheap either, and the sensors only last 7 days compared to Dexcoms 7-day wear.
Abbotts FreeStyle Libre brings cost effectiveness and streamlined design to the forefront. Its relatively cheap and accurate .
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Your out-of-pocket cost for your CGM will depend on what your Medicare benefit plan looks like. But instead of spending hours on the phone trying to get through to a Medicare representative, another option is to just reach out to US MED. Background: Women with type one diabetes experience poorer obstetric outcomes than normoglycaemic women in pregnancy. Objective: To investigate the cost and clinical effectiveness of continuousglucosemonitoring compared to self-monitoring of blood glucose in improving obstetric outcomes in women with type one diabetes during pregnancy. Blood Glucose Meters Buying Guide. Today’s blood glucose meters are smaller, faster, and more accurate than older models, and come with more features. We tested dozens of models priced between $10.
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In one intriguing study from 2015, researchers in Israel followed 800 adults for a week, using continuousglucose monitors to track their glucose levels. They found that even when people ate. Paying for glucose monitoring devices. Monitoring your blood sugar levels can help you manage your diabetes better and, for many people, it can even prevent life-threatening.
How Does It Work
The CGM device will measure the amount of glucose in the fluid inside of your body, and depending on the brand chosen, most of the devices will use the same method by collecting the information via tiny sensors which are placed beneath the skin or adhered to the back of the arm. Once implanted, the sensor will then send information to a wireless-like pager that you will wear on your belt, where you can check your results in real-time as well as set alarms if your numbers become too high or low. Again, most devices work in a similar manner, but some may have more features than others.
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All About Continuous Glucose Monitors For People With Diabetes
Diabetes is a serious and growing problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, approximately 30.3 million Americans have diabetes, or about one in 10 people. Thats up from about 26 million people in 2010.
Diabetes is a broad term for a group of conditions in which the bodys blood glucose levels to rise higher than normal, known as hyperglycemia. In many cases, it can be effectively managed through diet, exercise, medication, and blood glucose monitoring. As a supplement to the traditional finger-prick technology that people with diabetes have relied upon for many years to check their blood glucose levels, continuous glucose monitors offer a more convenient and less painful way for people to track their blood sugar and make positive lifestyle choices.
What Are CGMs?
In 1991, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved the first continuous glucose monitoring system for home use by adults with diabetes. This technology offers an alternative to taking blood from the fingertips, where the sample is taken from tiny blood vessels called capillaries. According to Alison Wharton, MPH, RDN, CDE, LD, a diabetes and nutrition education specialist with UAB Medicine, CGMs track blood sugar levels 24 hours per day by measuring the amount of glucose in interstitial fluid, which is the fluid that surrounds blood vessels.
How CGMs Work
Where to Buy CGMs and Differences among Models
Cost and Insurance Coverage
Difference Between A Flash Glucose Monitor And A Cgm
With a CGM your latest sugar levels show up on device or mobile automatically, transmitted by Bluetooth. With a flash glucose monitor, its only when you wave your device over your sensor that you get your blood sugar readings.
Some people prefer to use Flash over CGM. Reasons can include not liking the alarms. But unlike Flash, a CGM can talk to an insulin pump, if you want to use a closed loop system.
Your diabetes healthcare team should be able to support you to make the decision on which device will be best for you.
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What To Look For
If youve used a traditional glucose monitor in the past and are looking for a less painful, more portable option, then a CGM may be a better choice. You may consider the Libre, G6, Guardian Connect, or Eversense based on their features, as well the accuracy and duration of sensor wear.
While insurance and Medicare do cover CGMs, these monitors are more expensive overall. Depending on your insurance, they may offer coverage for one type of CGM but not another. Its important to check these details with your provider ahead of time.
If you dont have insurance, you can check with your doctor or pharmacist for discounts on your CGM and accessories. Its also possible to get coupons directly from the manufacturer to help offset the costs.
Cost Of Buying A Freestyle Libre
The cost of Freestyle Libre or Freestyle Libre 2 sensors are around £50 every 2 weeks. If you have a compatible smartphone you can just and use your phone to scan the sensor to see the readings. But if you dont, you can buy a small device called a reader, for around £50 and this is a one-off purchase. Speak to your healthcare professional about where you can buy a reader from they can be available direct from the manufacturer , from a pharmacy or online but this can change.
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Benefits And Downsides Of A Continuous Glucose Monitor
Continuous glucose monitors, as well as any other type of medical device, has its upsides and downsides.
Upside: Increased peace of mind
Those who have worn this device have said the best thing about CGMs is the freedom and peace of mind they feel.
A continuous glucose monitor can alarm when sugar levels are trending in the wrong direction. For active people, a CGM can give them a full picture of their blood glucose without stopping to prick their fingers.
Upside: Increased visibility and control
Because a continuous glucose monitor is constantly monitoring blood sugar levels, the data that is collected is extremely useful to both the person wearing it and their physician.
While a glucometer gives a momentary snapshot of the current blood sugar level, a CGM can offer the full story offering data that shares trends that can associate with activities or food.
Upside: CGM may help avoid complications
Those who deal with hypoglycemia unawareness could benefit from continuous monitor to help avoid hypoglycemic complications. Using a continuous glucose monitor during sleep could help those who would not have a reading otherwise.
This also offers peace of mind of not having to set a 3 am alarm to check blood sugar levels.
Downside: Continuous glucose monitoring cost
This compounded with the fact that youd still need to purchase insulin, insulin delivery systems and glucometer test strips could be a deal-breaker for those on a budget.
How Cgms Change Life With Diabetes
The idea here is empowerment, as these devices provide some serious medical and lifestyle benefits.
First off, you can literally see in real time the effects of food and exercise on your blood glucose levels, and catch cases of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as they happen, avoiding the potentially dangerous consequences. This is a huge advantage over historic static blood glucose monitoring, which only provides a single glucose reading at a time.
Theres also the convenience factor. CGMs can essentially eliminate the need for regular fingerstick tests, the long-standing only way to check blood sugar levels. Though fingersticks are sometimes needed to calibrate CGM systems and can still serve as a backup data source, they are no longer a constant, nagging, unpleasant to-do.
Furthermore, studies (
here ) show that CGMs can help increase the users time-in-range , the overall percentage of time spent in a healthy glucose range. TIR is quickly becoming the new gold standard measure of positive diabetes outcomes.
CGMs can be especially beneficial for active children , for ensuring safety during physical activity and during nighttime glucose fluctuations.
Its also a potentially life-saving tool for people with diabetes who experience hypoglycemia unawareness, alerting them to impending low blood sugars when their own bodies fail to recognize the warning signs.
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Modeled Number Of Complications And Deaths
presents the general trends of no complications, minor complications , major complications , and death. After 20 years, if the entire Canadian population uses CGM, 7,400 more people are living without complications compared with use of SMBG . Similarly, the number of deaths is reduced by 11,500 . In comparison with SMBG, isCGM keeps 3,400 more Canadians living without any complications of T1D and prevents approximately 4,600 deaths . must be interpreted cautiously, as we predict a larger number of individuals living with minor complications with CGM and isCGM as individuals remain alive and live with fewer severe complications throughout the study period. Additional figures presenting the number of people in each individual complication state can be found in Appendix C.
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.
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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.
Learning To Use Your Cgm Or Freestyle Libre
Your diabetes healthcare team will set you up with your CGM or Freestyle Libre if its free on the NHS and show you how to use it. Sometimes manufacturers will help you set up the technology this is fine and can help your healthcare team get more people on to the technology more quickly.
Abbott, which supply the FreeStyle Libre, also provide free online learning for people with diabetes using the technology to help them get the most from it.
You may also benefit from going on a diabetes education course if you use Flash or CGM. Ask your GP or other diabetes healthcare professional to refer you.
If you want to share your experiences about using tech or find out information by asking others using it, go to our forum.
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Pros Of A Glucose Monitoring System
Check your levels throughout the day: As the name indicates, you can read your current glucose values throughout the day as long as the device is calibrated correctly and no finger sticks will be necessary to receive your results.
Follow trends: Almost all monitors available on the market have whats known as a trend arrow, which tells you if your levels are rising or lowering faster than it should. Depending on the features of your monitor, many have alarms that will sound when high or low numbers are met, a great option for insulin users to keep a tighter control.
Identify fluctuations: This WebMD article noted that continuous glucose monitoring systems can often identify fluctuations and trends that sometimes go unnoticed with the standard fingerstick HbA1c tests.
Help understand the situation: With real-time results, it can help you understand what may be causing your blood sugar levels to rise or lower throughout the day. In some cases, some patients have found they were able to change the timing of their insulin to help manage their diabetes more effectively, for example.
How Do Continuous Glucose Monitoring Devices Work
You can choose among a handful of CGM devices available today. Each works pretty much the same way. The main differences are in a devices look, feel and features.
In general, heres how CGM works:
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Buying A Cgm Or Flash Glucose Monitor
If you dont qualify for a flash glucose monitor or CGM, your main option is to self-fund a device. Its expensive so if its something youre thinking of doing, its worth speaking to your healthcare team first to see if they think its something that would suit you.
There is only one flash glucose monitor manufactured at the moment. This is called the Freestyle Libre (the Freestyle Libre2, The newest model has alarms for predicted high or low blood sugar levels. But when the alarm does sound you still have you scan your arm to check your blood sugar level.
Both a CGM And a flash glucose monitor are offered on the NHS to people who qualify and are also available to buy.
Dexcom G5 Cgm Specifications
F.D.A. approved the CGM Dexcom G5 Mobile system to help you manage your diabetes as well as possible, to avoid the times when you have to make a decision based only on a figure displayed on the traditional glucometer.
Studies have confirmed that using a CGM system can reduce hemoglobin A1C levels and reduce the risk of episodes of hypoglycemia if you are on insulin injection therapy or an insulin pump.
The recommended insertion area for the sensor placement is on the abdomen, but consider the manufacturers specifications and your doctors recommendations. The sensor should be placed at least 2,36 inches away from the insulin pump insertion area and away from scars, tattoos, moles, or contact with clothing belts, where there is a risk of easy detachment.
The Dexcom CGM system can be helpful for patients who:
- Suffer from Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes
- are not aware when hypoglycemia occurs
- tend to have episodes of hyperglycemia from fear of hypoglycemia
- have a lot of off-target glycemic episodes during the night
- want a tighter blood sugar control before and after serving meals
- want information about blood sugar during and after physical activity
- are interested in details about the glycemic trend.
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