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UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Blog

Choosing a Continuous Glucose Monitor

Posted On: jueves, octubre 01, 2020 Posted By: Adam Edelstein Tags: Blood Sugar, CGM, Diabetes Education, Glucose Meters

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Blood Glucose Meter vs. Continuous Glucose Monitor

Checking your blood sugar by fingerstick using a blood glucose meter provides information about your blood sugar level at that specific point in time. However, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) shows the user what their glucose level has been, what it is at that moment, and which way it's heading. Understanding trends in your blood sugar levels allows you to anticipate and prevent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

A CGM requires a small sensor which is inserted under the skin into fatty tissue. That sensor is connected to a transmitter that sends information to a receiver or smartphone. Some CGM sensors even alert the user (and/or family members) when glucose goes too high or too low. The FDA has recently approved some sensors to replace daily blood glucose checks, meaning no more fingerstick calibration.

Are CGM’s More Accurate than Meters?

While they’re not necessarily more accurate, you do receive more data from continuous glucose monitors. This data is helpful for you and your care team to identify patterns that allows you to make adjustments to best manage your diabetes.

Since a CGM checks blood sugar every five minutes, users know whether blood glucose levels are climbing or dropping. Some CGMs also have alarms to let people know if they’re going too low, which helps prevent low blood sugar. Some also alert users when they’re going too high, allowing them to treat it immediately.

Best Candidate for a Continuous Glucose Monitor

Anyone living with type 1 diabetes would benefit from a CGM to replace pricking their finger to check blood sugar eight or more times each day using a meter and test strips.

People living with type 2 diabetes who require multiple daily injections of insulin and check blood sugar throughout the day, would also benefit from using a CGM.

A Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) is a helpful resource to help determine if a CGM is right for you, and if so, which device would best fit your needs.

Which CGM is Best For You?

When deciding which continuous glucose monitor is right for you, consider the following options and discuss them with your diabetes care team:

  • Health insurance coverage
  • Real-time safety alarms that sound when you’re trending high or low
  • Integration with an insulin pump
  • Availability of a smartphone app
  • Wearable on arm or stomach
  • Real time data vs. scanning to obtain data
  • How much data you want to collect

Click here to learn about the latest continuous glucose monitors available on the market (Summer 2020) and other diabetes management technology.