Special Requirements Needed To Use A Cgm
Twice a day, you may need to check the CGM itself. Youll test a drop of blood on a standard glucose meter. The glucose reading should be similar on both devices.
Youll also need to replace the CGM sensor every 3 to 7 days, depending on the model.
For safety its important to take action when a CGM alarm sounds about high or low blood glucose. You should follow your treatment plan to bring your glucose into the target range, or get help.
What Are Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood. Glucose is a sugar that you get from food and drink. Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Cgm To Manage Diabetes
Using a CGM device can make it easier to manage Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Some people use CGM for a week to understand their blood sugar patterns. Most use CGM long-term.
A CGM device can:
- Show you a bigger picture of how diabetes affects you: CGM measures glucose levels every few minutes. That data shows a more complete picture of how your blood sugar levels change over time. This information can help you and your provider better understand how things like food, activity, stress and illness impact your blood sugar levels.
- Lead to more personalized care: CGM doesnt give the whole story of all the ways diabetes affects you. It tells you when glucose goes up or down, not why. But your provider can download CGM data from your device and review it for patterns and trends. They can then personalize your care based on what they learn.
- Alert you to highs and lows: Most CGM devices send an alert when your glucose levels rise or fall a certain amount. With this information, you can make changes quickly. You may be able to treat or prevent highs or lows before they turn into a big problem.
- Reduce how many fingerstick checks you need to do: CGM significantly reduces how many fingerstick tests youll need to do each day.
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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.
Do I Need To Figure Out How To Use A Cgm Device On My Own
It takes time and patience to understand how a CGM device works. But you dont have to do it alone. Your provider will need to prescribe a CGM device .
Once you have a CGM, a qualified professional helps you learn how to use it safely. Your provider may recommend taking a diabetes education class or speaking one-on-one with a certified diabetes educator .
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Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems
There are several models currently available, and each differs in exactly how often and how long the glucose readings can be obtained . The newest model names and features include the following.
Model: The Eversense CGM System
- Features an implantable fluorescence-based sensor and a smart transmitter and mobile app
- Provides real-time blood sugar monitoring every five minutes for 90 days
- Displays glucose levels and alerts on a compatible mobile device
- Provides 90-day continuous wear
- Allows for the transmitter to be removed without removing the sensor
- Features on-body vibration alarms
- Requires that users visit their healthcare provider every 90 days for new sensor placement
- Provides accurate blood glucose monitoring
If you currently have an Eversense implantable sensor and need help locating an available healthcare provider for a new sensor implant, contact the company at 844-SENSE4U or email HCPservices@senseonics.com.
Model: Dexcom CGM System
- Can be used for children and adults
- Transmits glucose levels every five minutes for 10 days
- Alarms for pre-set high and low blood sugar notification
- High level of accuracy
- Integrated with insulin pumps
- Transmits information to a smartphone
- Alerts users when blood glucose levels are predicted to fall to 55 milligrams per deciliter or below within the next 20 minutes
- Compatible with other medical devices and electronic interfaces
- Comes pre-calibrated from the factory
Model: Medtronics Guardian Connect SystemThis model’s features include:
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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Who Can Use The Freestyle Libre
The Freestyle Libre has been approved for people with Type 1 diabetes mellitus, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, pregnant women, and children and young adults. You can consult with our specialists to understand if FreeStyle Libre is right for you.
With the FreeStyle Libre System you can capture data from within 1cm to 4cm of the sensor, also through clothing. The flash glucose monitoring system is an advanced technical solution for people to manage their diabetes with more scientific accuracy. It is a safe and effective monitoring system as per the data on file Abbott Diabetes care.
If You Dont Have Diabetes Should You Monitor Your Blood Sugar
Several companies are working hard to make this sort of ad a reality, as they begin marketing implantable blood sugar measuring devices to people without diabetes. Called continuous glucose monitoring systems, or CGMs, they are often used by people who do have diabetes. These companies could reap enormous profits by convincing healthy people to start monitoring blood sugar. Already, many of us monitor our weight, heart rate, or steps per day.
CGMs use tiny sensor wires, or filaments, that pierce the skin to frequently and easily assess blood sugar levels. The filaments remain in place, usually on the upper arm or abdomen, protected by an adhesive patch. Results are displayed on a receiver or transmitted to the users phone.
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Libre Sense: A Biosensor For Sports
Theres been a lot of talk of creating CGM systems aimed at non-diabetics, especially athletes. More companies are moving in this direction and turning to the Libre technology developed by Abbott as a basis for their programs.
One of the most visible moves in that direction is with the Libre Sense from Abbott, launched worldwide in September 2020.
This so-called Glucose Sport Biosensor has the same form-factor of the early Libre sensors , its aimed at athletes and fitness-focused folk who may not necessarily have diabetes but want to monitor glucose levels in the context of their health and activity levels.
For ages 16 and older, its not a prescription product and can be purchased over-the-counter. The sensor lasts up to 14 days just like the other Libre sensors, and wearers automatically receive streaming glucose data via Bluetooth every minute and viewed on a compatible mobile app.
Abbotts Medical Affairs Director Jim McCarter explained the use of glucose sensors in sports to DiabetesMine: When someone is early in a workout and theyre exercising at high intensity theyll actually see a rise in glucose. Thats the body responding to the stress of the event. Later in exercise and especially in endurance exercise as glycogen stores are depleted, glucose will begin to lower. And thats especially important in long-distance endurance events.
Why You Still Need Some Finger Prick Checks
You may need to do a finger prick check, for example, if what youre feeling doesnt match what your blood sugar reading says. Or if youre treating a hypo, you may want to do one to get the most accurate result.
With some CGMs, you may also need the result of a finger prick check every day to reset your device.
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Wearable Tech To Manage Your Diabetes
Scientists and medical device manufacturers are exploring wearable devices to control the complexities of diabetes. The Food and Drug Administration has recently approved several types of revolutionary wearable tech for people with diabetesand newer technology may be on the horizon.
Types Of Wearable Tech For Diabetes
There are several innovative wearable technology models that have been recently approved by the FDA.
Wearable tech for people with diabetes includes devices such as continuous glucose monitoring systems and insulin pumps, which can make it easier and much more efficient for a person with diabetes to manage their blood sugar. Originally developed for people with type 1 diabetes, advancing technology has expanded their use among people with type 2 diabetes.
CGMs allow a person to track glucose levels on an ongoing basis. Insulin pumps deliver a precise amount of insulin at every dosage administration period. When the two systems are combined, the result is tighter blood sugar control than ever before.
A CGM is a compact monitoring and transmitting device with an implantable or a stick-on sensor to detect blood sugarwhich it does in real time, usually every five minutes. A sensor is either implanted in the skin or attached to the skin adhesively. The sensors must be replaced every 10 to 90 days, depending on the CGM model you use. A transmitter is connected to the sensor to transmit blood glucose readings either to a monitoring device or to your smartphone .
Most CGM systems provide blood glucose readings along with additional data, such as alarms, for notification of pre-set high and low blood sugar levels, and more.
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Device Interoperability And Diy Innovation
As the diabetes device industry works toward connected artificial pancreas systems, the FDA has created an entire pathway toward interoperability, or the idea of plug and play that allows various CGMs, insulin pumps, insulin pens, and controlling algorithms to work together in a modular fashion.
The Dexcom G6 was first to obtain the FDAs new iCGM designation , meaning its approved for use with similar devices that have a comparable interoperability designation like Tandems t:slim X2 insulin pump.
Dexcom now works with several devices, from the Tandem pump to the Omnipod tubeless patch pump and InPen smart insulin pen from Companion Medical. The company also has more partnerships with different diabetes data platforms than any of its competitors.
Dexcom has also been a catalyst to the emerging Do-It-Yourself diabetes technology community. It was Dexcoms CGM tech that served as the basis for a surge of grassroots innovation that crystallized at the #WeAreNotWaiting movement in 2013.
A small group of enterprising DIYers figured out a way to set up open-source data platforms to bypass the Dexcom limitations at the time. In doing so, they created the data-sharing platform known as Nightscout and an entire online community of DIY data-sharers eventually, that evolved into an open-source closed loop system, as well.
While the previous G4 and G5 versions were officially discontinued in June 2020, youll still likely find users out there holding onto these older models.
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.
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Pros And Cons Of Using A Flash Glucose Monitor Or Cgm
Diabetes technology is a wonderful thing, but it certainly isnt for everyone.
Some people feel uneasy about getting lots of data, and for some people it gives them more confidence. Weve got more information to help you work through these different feelings about using diabetes tech. And you can always call our helpline to ask questions or just to talk it through.
Advantages of Flash and CGM
Disadvantages of Flash and CGM
You dont need to do so many finger-prick checks and you can set alarms if your blood sugar goes too low or too high .
Its not always as accurate as doing a finger prick check and it can take a while to get used to using the technology
You can see trends, like when your sugar levels are starting to rise or drop, so you can take action earlier.
You can get overloaded with data, which can confuse or worry some people.
You can get your sugar levels in your target range more often as you have more information about when youre high and low.
You may find wearing the sensor irritating, you might not like the look of it, or showing people that you have diabetes.
You can see what your levels are like at times when you dont normally test, like during the night .
Your glucose levels can be shared with your diabetes team, so they can review and adjust your diabetes management. It also means that the information can be shared easily during virtual appointments.
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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Who Are They Useful For
CGMs can help people with diabetes monitor and maintain their blood glucose levels. While they do not involve finger pricking, they may be useful for calibrating the device.
Earlobe, breath, and other noninvasive devices may be beneficial for monitoring blood glucose levels, especially in children with the same condition and those who have cystic fibrosis. However, they are not FDA-approved, and some may need further testing to determine their safety and accuracy.
To learn more about diabetes and how to monitor and manage the condition, visit our dedicated hub.
MNT chooses at-home tests that meet the following criteria:
- Budget: MNT chooses products that suit a wide range of budgets.
- FDA approval: MNT chooses products that have been cleared or approved by the FDA.
- Smartphone compatibility:MNT selects products that are easily connected to smart devices and provide regular readings via an app.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Below are four blood sugar monitors that do not require finger pricks.
Meter Use For Hypoglycemia
Although the apparent value of immediate measurement of blood glucose might seem to be higher for hypoglycemia than hyperglycemia, meters have been less useful. The primary problems are precision and ratio of false positive and negative results. An imprecision of ±15% is less of a problem for high glucose levels than low. There is little difference in the management of a glucose of 200 mg/dL compared with 260 , but a ±15% error margin at a low glucose concentration brings greater ambiguity with regards to glucose management.
The imprecision is compounded by the relative likelihoods of false positives and negatives in populations with diabetes and those without. People with type 1 diabetes usually have a wider range of glucose levels, and glucose peaks above normal, often ranging from 40 to 500 mg/dL , and when a meter reading of 50 or 70 is accompanied by their usual hypoglycemic symptoms, there is little uncertainty about the reading representing a “true positive” and little harm done if it is a “false positive.” However, the incidence of hypoglycemia unawareness, hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure and faulty counterregulatory response to hypoglycemia make the need for greater reliability at low levels particularly urgent in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, while this is seldom an issue in the more common form of the disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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Tips To Make Glucose Monitoring Easier
Whether youre using a traditional finger-prick monitor or a CGM for your diabetes management, here are some tips to make checking your glucose easier:
- Always wash your hands with soap and water before checking your glucose for a more accurate result. Do not use hand sanitizer before doing finger sticks.
- If inserting a sensor into your skin for a CGM, be sure to wash the area of skin with soap and water and allow it to dry first.
- Change any sensors by the recommended manufacturer time for example, every 14 days for the FreeStyle Libre and every 10 days for the Dexcom G6.
- If using finger strips, you may experience less pain by using the side of your fingertip closer to your fingernail.
- Even if youre using a CGM, you may consider having a traditional meter on hand to double-check your glucose readings. This is in case you experience symptoms of high or low blood sugar despite a normal reading.