What Is A Cgm And Is It Right For You
If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, you know how vital it can be to monitor and control your blood glucose. But, even if you dont have either condition, keeping track of your blood glucose levels may still be a smart idea for many people.
Why? Increasing blood sugar and declining metabolic health are associated with a higher risk of multiple diseases, including cancer, heart disease, dementia, and even early death.1
The good news is, using a continuous glucose monitor can help. In the U.S. and some other jurisdictions, youll need to talk to your doctor about getting one of these, since CGMs require prescriptions.2 However others, like Canada, do not require prescriptions. You may need to pay upward of $80 for a monitor, but it may be worth it since CGM data can help you take action toward improving your metabolic health and reducing your risk of chronic diseases.
Heres all you need to know about CGMs and how to use them to improve your metabolic health.
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Make Each Day A Sleep And Stress Test
Food isnt the only variable that affects your blood sugar.
Poor sleep and poorly managed stress can increase blood sugar levels, regardless of how well you eat.11 Exercise and intermittent fasting, on the other hand, can improve your blood sugar levels.12
Kara Collier, RD, co-founder and director of nutrition at Nutrisense.io, says sleep and stress impact blood sugar readings far more than most people think.
In her clinical experience, she sees up to a 25% variation in blood sugar levels depending on variable sleep habits and stress levels. And it isnt just the amount of sleep that has an impact. Not getting enough REM or deep sleep can also impact blood sugar readings the next day.
Colliers number one way to tell if chronic stress is negatively impacting someones blood sugars is if their weekend levels are much better than their weekday levels, despite no change in diet.
For those individuals, who may experience a stressful workweek, mindfulness practice may have a more significant blood sugar impact than different food choices.
It may be difficult to pinpoint one specific variable since you cant always control your sleep, your stress, and all your meals. But the more detailed notes you keep, the more information you have to act upon.
Not a fan of taking notes? Dont get discouraged!
Even without taking notes, you will learn a great deal just by wearing a CGM and paying attention to the trends.
Make Every Meal A Chance To Learn Your Carb Tolerance
You can think of this as your real world glucose tolerance test literally, how does your glucose level respond to the food you eat?6
- First, check your blood sugar before you eat. This is your baseline level.
- Next, eat a regular meal, or you can design specific meals to test.
- Record your blood sugar values at 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes after eating.
- Ideally, you want your peak post-meal blood sugar to be less than 140 mg/dL .
- For people seeking further optimization of their metabolic health, there are a few, small studies using CGM in people without diabetes showing they tend to spend the majority of their time below 120 mg/dL .7
If your blood sugar responds as described, congratulations! You respond well to your chosen meal and can eat it as part of a metabolically healthy diet.
If your blood sugar is higher than desired or consistently takes longer than 2 hours to return to baseline, then try switching up your chosen meal and test again. Consider reducing the number of carbohydrates or add fat and protein to blunt the carbs effect.
For example, eating berries alone will likely cause a greater and faster blood sugar rise than eating berries with whipped cream. And eating spaghetti with meatballs will affect your blood sugar more than will zoodles with Bolognese sauce.
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Can It Help You Lose Weight
Frequent monitoring of blood glucose has been shown to improve overall blood sugar control in individuals with diabetes and in some instances, it can be lifesaving.
However, the research supporting the use of CGMs for weight loss, without the presence of diabetes, is lacking.
That being said, a CGM can be seen as a tool to gather data on yourself and when it comes to our health, knowledge is power. Having blood sugar data available throughout the day may help motivate you to make better choices in an effort to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and ultimately may lead to weight loss.
Additionally, blood sugar control is hugely important for health and weight management. When blood sugars are high, along with other biomarkers, like blood pressure and cholesterol, we see not only huge increases in the risk for developing chronic diseases, but also weight gain.
Overweight and obese individuals, as well as individuals who have high blood sugars, are at an increased risk for developing insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when the body becomes less sensitive to insulin, the hormone responsible for storing glucose in our cells, and ultimately both insulin and glucose become chronically high in the body.
This drastically increases the risk of developing diabetes and other chronic conditions, and to make matters worse, high levels of insulin and glucose in the body can ALSO lead to weight gain.
Its a vicious cycle.
How Do You Use a CGM to Lose Weight?
Significance Of This Study
What is already known about this subject?
Self-monitoring of blood glucose is helpful in providing biofeedback to assess real-time effects of lifestyle changes.
The optimal frequency of SMBG in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity has been debated.
What are the new findings?
Increased SMBG frequency in patients with T2D and obesity during intensive weight management is associated with significantly better weight loss and A1C improvement
How might these results change the focus of research or clinical practice?
Increasing SMBG frequency in patients with T2D and obesity during intensive weight management should be considered in future recommendations.
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How Samyak Turned Data Into Discipline
Like many entrepreneurs in demanding work environments, Samyak often found himself at odds with his health. He was used to committing the bulk of his brainpower to work, and food was merely a means of keeping the engine running regardless of efficiency.
I noticed that when Ive had very demanding days, like 12 to 16 hour workdays, my desire to eat sugar is very high, says Samyak. Having something like Levels that just keeps me disciplined to not eat something that would make me spike has helped me avoid those cravings.
There are certain nutrition things we generally accept as true, like sugar or processed carb-heavy foods will make your glucose levels spike, but seeing it visualized in Levels really helps solidify that correlation.
What Do Glucose Levels Reveal About Your Metabolism
The main job of your metabolism is to convert foods and drinks you consume into energy. High glucose levels can affect your metabolic function, which causes various metabolic dysfunction. If you eat food with a high glycemic index, it will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. Eating high glycemic index foods affects your glucose levels. It disrupts your metabolic functions, making it difficult for your metabolism to convert food into energy. And if your food does not convert into energy, it means youre eating more calories than youre burning.
These excess calories convert into fats and are stored in your body, causing weight gain. Therefore, your glucose levels have to be adequately maintained for your metabolism to work effectively.
HealthifyPro metabolic panel becomes the basis for tracking your nutritional requirements. The 80 parameters show the exact condition of your metabolic health. In addition, the coaches help you give suggestions whenever there is a wrong food intake.
The coaches get to know the difference in the glucose level with every food intake on a real-time basis. Then, taking an empirical average, they will provide immediate solutions based on real-time interventions. For example, coaches can tell you to consume mangoes with chia seeds or whole-grain pasta with lean protein to ensure your food combinations are helping you the right way and your metabolism is working correctly.
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Wait No Counting Calories
When I tell my patients they dont have to count calories to lose weight, they look at me like Im crazy. But, Dr. Muenzer, they say, every diet Ive tried includes counting calories.
Yes, I respond, and if those calorie-counting programs worked, you wouldnt be asking me for help now.
This is a light bulb moment for my patients. While calorie intake is an important component of healthy weight maintenance, weve learned that its the types of food you eat to get those calories that is most important. Refined sugars and white flours make you hungrier and cause you to eat more calories.
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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Questions We Discussed Today:
- Explain what a Continuous Glucose Monitor is and why its important for womens health
- What can the data show midlife women?
- What goals can you set by using a CGM?
- What are some of the biggest aha moments or surprises for those who wear it?
- Can you give an example of clients who had a blood sugar spike from certain food and a solution you were able to provide so that food something they didnt want to eliminate was still something they could enjoy?
Device Serves Up Potentially Negligblebenefits For People Without Diabetes
byEd Susman, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today November 6, 2021
Continuous glucose monitoring offered little useful information for dietary choices among patients without diabetes, a researcher reported.
In a 23-person study of those who were non-diabetic obese or did not have obesity, wearing the CGM device for about a week produced no more useful clinical information than standard-of-care fasting glucose levels and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance scores, according to Mitchell Roslin, MD, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
“Our results were extremely interesting. We saw no statistical difference between the obese and non-obese, non-diabetic groups in mean glucose, standard deviation, and MAGE ,” Roslin said at a poster presentation at the ObesityWeek virtual meeting.
MAGE is the “gold standard” for calculating the glycemic variability, while “HOMA and fasting insulin were significantly different and much higher among the ,” Roslin said.
He explained that people with obesity frequently have rising insulin levels, and a small rise in fasting glucose levels that bumps up the HOMA score, but they are basically able to maintain normal glycemia until very late in the disease process, so “there was no discernable pattern” between the people with obesity and those without.
The authors reported the following for non-diabetic, non-obese participants and participants with obesity, respectively:
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Make Every Day A Chance To Improve Your Average Glucose Levels
CGMs calculate your average glucose levels every day, which is more immediate than what a HbA1c test represents .
Additionally, interpretation of a HbA1c test result is based on the assumption that red blood cells live 120 days but this is actually just a rough estimate. Red blood cell lifespan may vary from person to person, which can affect the A1c result. In addition, there are several factors other than blood sugar that can raise or lower the A1c, making CGM a useful complementary tool.8
A normal average daily glucose level is less than 114mg/dL , which correlates with an A1c of 5.6% .9
However, numerous studies show higher HbA1c levels correlate with an increased risk of poor health outcomes. Although it is not well studied, it is possible that it is even better to average below 100 mg/dL , which correlates to an A1c of 5.0% .10
How Glucose Tracking Can Effectively Manage Your Weight
May 14, 2021
If you only remember one point from this article, let it be this: being a healthy weight helps us live longer, happier lives. Losing extra weight is proven to reduce cancer and heart disease risk. It increases focus and energy. Though we often take up weight loss for surface reasons itâs long-term wellness that keeps us going. Being a healthy weight feels good. Thankfully, we now have a tool to help cut through the confusion built-in to various weight loss plans. Better than even calorie counting, a Continuous Glucose Monitor draws us a roadmap so we can choose the best path to weight loss.
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How Hormones Affect Weight Loss
In order to understand how metabolic health plays into weight gain and weight loss, you have to grasp the critical role that the hormone insulin plays. When sugar enters our bloodstream after we eat, insulin is needed to move that sugar into our cells where it can be converted into energy. When our bodies dont require so much that energy , the excess sugar is first stored in the liver and the muscles as a substance called glycogen. If those stores reach full capacity, glucose finds its next home in our fat cells, as triglycerides.
Between meals and snacks, your insulin levels subside because they arent needed to shuttle bursts of blood sugar into cells. But your body still needs a steady source of fuel to power basic functioning so when it senses low insulin, it taps into glycogen. When glycogen is all used up, your body uses fat stores as a source of energy next. Bingo! You see weight loss.
In other words, if we dont get our insulin levels in check, our bodies are chronically in fat-storage mode instead of fat-burning mode. The key to getting back on track and losing weight: Make sure our blood sugar levels are stable and our insulin production never goes into overdrive.
Weight Loss Is More Than Just Cutting Down On Calories
Losing weight is a complex process. Many factors play an essential role in weight loss. The most significant ones are your food choices. However, another critical factor is different food combinations. Weight loss might seem straightforward, but many factors control weight gain. Eating some common weight loss foods or following a typical weight loss diet is not the ultimate solution you should rely on for weight loss. Everyone is different hence you need a customised solution. Therefore, following a custom diet that does not affect your daily routine is essential.
Sometimes the calorie deficit diet model is not flawed. Its just not enough by itself and fails to provide sufficient minerals and vitamins essential to keep you healthy during your weight loss journey. Your body needs fuel to work correctly, and foods provide that fuel.
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Weight Loss Is Greater Than Simply Slicing Down On Energy
Shedding pounds is a fancy course of. Many components play an important position in weight reduction. Essentially the most important ones are your meals decisions. Nevertheless, one other crucial issue is completely different meals mixtures. Weight reduction might sound easy, however many components management weight acquire. Consuming some frequent weight reduction meals or following a typical weight reduction weight loss plan will not be the final word answer you need to depend on for weight reduction. Everyone seems to be completely different therefore you want a customized answer. Subsequently, following a customized weight loss plan that doesnt have an effect on your day by day routine is crucial.
Generally the calorie deficit weight loss plan mannequin will not be flawed. Its simply not sufficient by itself and fails to supply adequate minerals and nutritional vitamins important to maintain you wholesome throughout your weight reduction journey. Your physique wants gasoline to work accurately, and meals present that gasoline.
How We Chose Glucose Monitors And Meters
Above all, we included glucose monitors that are reportedly the most accurate. Since home meters are designed to help you monitor your glucose in between laboratory work from your doctors visits, its important that your device provides the most accurate results possible.
While no home test will be as accurate as a lab version, getting as close as possible to the quality of such tests can help provide peace of mind as well as better diabetes management.
Other items we looked at include:
We included glucose meters across a variety of features and price points. The cost of CGMs and blood glucose meters can vary widely based on their features, your insurance coverage, and location. Cost is also subject to change over time based on the type of insurance you have, so be sure to check with your carrier for the most accurate price.
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