So what exactly is a Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)? It is a system that allows people to get real-time information about their Diabetes and can detect patterns in their glucose levels. Instead of using blood like a traditional finger-stick blood glucose meter; a CGM system uses interstitial fluid (the clear fluid that surrounds the cells in your body) to determine a glucose value. It does this via a tiny implant that typically goes in the arm or belly & connects to an app on a smart phone to give you updates and provide trend tracking. This tool has proven to be extraordinarily beneficial to people living with Diabetes in many studies.
Benefits of a CGM system
A CGM system senses and records your glucose levels approximately every 5 minutes, which means it can show real-time patterns (rising or falling). In contrast, blood glucose meters provide you with only a snapshot of your blood glucose levels that particular moment. So, with blood glucose meters, you can take corrective action only after you learn of a high or low reading.
CGM systems provide the ease of checking glucose levels throughout the day and can help prevent these highs and lows, without the burdensome fingerstick testing that’s associated with traditional blood glucose meters. It also offers better control over blood glucose levels because CGM systems can alert you if you’re getting close to a pre-set high or low, so that you can take action before it happens.
Perhaps most importantly, CGM systems can help identify long-term trends in your glucose levels. Most of the time, these trends remain undetected in people who use traditional blood glucose meters – noting things like changes in levels while you’re sleeping, between meals, and during and after physical activities. The immediate feedback and long-term trends that you are able to see and record using CGM are key to understanding your individual response to exercise and food intake. Having this information can greatly improve your quality of life with Diabetes.
How can CGM help in my day-to-day life?
It’s common for people with diabetes to experience low blood glucose levels during and after exercise. That’s because, as your muscles do their work, they get energy from glucose stored in your muscle cells. When supplies run low, glucose from the bloodstream is used as an energy source. After exercise, the body replenishes those glucose stores, which further lowers your levels.
If you exercise frequently, and experience lows, a CGM system can help you figure out when exactly the lows begin, and how long they last. This way, you can adjust your insulin injections, or snack before, after or during exercise sessions to compensate for the drop in glucose levels.
Similarly, a CGM system can help you figure out exactly how high your glucose level rises after eating. Checking your CGM data after meals, can show you both the timing and the severity of post-meal glucose spikes. This can help you figure out which foods make your glucose levels rise the most and allow you to adjust your diet accordingly. That may mean, for example, lowering the amount of carb heavy foods; or, if you take insulin, adjusting your bolus dose accordingly.
Studies have shown that people who use CGM systems have better control of their Diabetes and are generally able to live healthier lives.
Green Mountain Research Institute is working with incredible teams to bring forth an even better CGM system. Sign up now to find out more information and see if you can participate. Or give us a call at (802) 855-8368.
To qualify you must:
Have Type I or Type II Diabetes
Have a Smart Phone
Have not used a CGM within the last year
If you qualify, you may receive:
A CGM system for free during the study
Care from A Board Certified Physician & an expert team
Compensation for your time and travel at each clinic visit.
Green Mountain Research Institute 2023