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What is continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)?

Continuous glucose monitoring is wearable technology that makes it easier to track your blood sugar levels over time. Blood sugar is another term for blood glucose.

What does CGM measure?

CGM is a tool for people with diabetes. It measures your glucose levels 24 hours a day when you are wearing the device.

Insulin is a hormone that helps your body regulate blood sugar levels. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce enough (or any) of the hormone insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, your body makes insulin but doesn’t use it effectively.

People with diabetes need to give themselves insulin regularly to keep blood sugar levels steady.

Why do people with diabetes need to track blood sugar levels?

Tracking blood glucose levels tells you how much insulin your body needs and when. Blood sugar levels that go up and down a lot can damage your body in different ways. Very high (hyperglycemia) or low (hypoglycemia) blood sugar levels can be serious, and even life-threatening when not treated quickly.

Many things (like the foods you eat, sports you play and your lifestyle) can affect your blood sugar levels. But diabetes affects everyone differently. How a food or activity affects one person’s glucose levels is often different from how that same thing affects someone else.

Your body can also be unpredictable. Sometimes, your body can have a reaction that even healthcare providers don’t always understand. All of these factors can make managing diabetes challenging, even when you think you’re doing everything right.

Individuals with diabetes must monitor their blood sugar levels as it allows them to determine the amount of insulin required and when to administer it. Unstable blood sugar levels can cause various health problems, making it crucial to track and control them. Hyperglycemia, which is characterized by high blood sugar levels, and hypoglycemia, which is characterized by low blood sugar levels, can be severe and even life-threatening if left untreated. Several factors, including diet, exercise, and lifestyle, can impact blood sugar levels. However, diabetes affects each person differently, and the way that a particular food or activity affects one individual’s blood sugar levels may differ from another’s. Moreover, the body’s response to certain stimuli can be unpredictable, making diabetes management challenging even when following recommended guidelines.

Before use you will need to learn how to:

Insert the sensor properly.
Set device alarms.
Transfer data to a computer (for long-term analysis) or your phone.
Respond to and make changes to your care plan based on the collected data.

What is the minimum age requirement for CGM?
Children with diabetes aged 4 and above can benefit from the use of CGM, as the FreeStyle Libre 3 and FreeStyle Libre 2 systems are cleared for use in this age group. These systems allow parents to monitor their child’s glucose levels in real-time, providing peace of mind and preventing overnight lows.
Can you shower while wearing a CGM?
CGMs are water-resistant, allowing wearers to swim or shower without fear of damaging or losing the device. To keep the sensor in place, individuals may use body adhesive or clear overlay tape.
Is CGM uncomfortable?
CGMs provide blood sugar readings for six to 14 days before requiring replacement. According to Dr. Trachtenbarg, continuous glucose monitoring reduces the need for finger pricks and discomfort is generally mild, limited only to the initial insertion of the sensor.
How long can you wear a CGM?
The lifespan of a continuous glucose monitoring sensor ranges from 7 to 14 days, depending on the device, before requiring replacement.

Do I need CGM to manage diabetes?

Frequent monitoring of blood glucose levels can be achieved by using a blood glucose monitor and performing fingerstick checks. Although this is a popular method, it only measures blood glucose levels at a specific point in time, much like reading one page of a book. To gain a better understanding of how the body is managing glucose levels over time, multiple fingerstick checks are necessary, providing additional snapshots that can offer valuable insights into fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

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