Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Diabetes mellitus type 1 or 2 requires monitoring of glucose levels regularly. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is a device that automatically tracks blood glucose levels in real-time. It is a wearable device that records glucose variations every minute, and you can observe the trends of changing glucose levels concerning changes in diet, physical activity, and medications.

How to monitor glucose levels regularly?

A CGM helps measure glucose or blood sugar levels round the clock in people having diabetes mellitus. In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. And in Type 2 diabetes, insulin is produced in very low amounts, or the cells do not use insulin efficiently.

This causes a steady increase in blood glucose levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. People with diabetes experience a sudden rise or fall in blood sugar levels. And so they require a CGM tool to monitor blood glucose levels continuously.

A CGM uses a small sensor inserted under the skin (in the belly or arm) that records the glucose levels of blood present between the cells. A wireless transmitter transmits the reading information to a portable monitor. The newly advanced CGMs allow the transmission of glucose measurements directly to a smartphone or laptop.

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

People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes need continuous tracking of blood glucose levels to understand when and how much insulin their body needs. In diabetic patients, the blood sugar levels change suddenly with a rise (hyperglycemia) or fall (hypoglycemia) that affects the body. These sudden blood glucose changes can lead to cellular and tissue damage or even a life-threatening condition.

Many factors, such as,

  • Foods we consume,
  • Physical activities,
  • Medications
  • Lifestyle changes can affect the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.

Managing diabetes with these factors can be challenging. CGM helps monitor glucose levels when changes are made in food habits, activities, and medicines.

Benefits of continuous glucose monitoring

A CGM device can be used long-term, making it easier for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Some of the notable advantages of a CGM include:

  • Provides a comprehensive picture of how diabetes affects the long-term: CGM monitors glucose with measurements taken every few minutes. The data shows how blood sugar levels change from time to time with changes in food, activity, stress, medication intake, and during ailments.
  • Paves the way for personalised treatment and care: CGM provides information as to why there is a sudden rise or downfall in glucose levels, allowing the physician to provide personalised treatment and care.
  • Alerts when the glucose levels spike up and come down too quickly: CGM devices send alert messages whenever there is too much rise or too much downfall in glucose levels. It helps treat the highs and lows in time before the condition worsens.
  • Avoids physical monitoring with strip glucometer: With the help of CGM, one can reduce the use of a stick/ strip glucose checking device (at-home glucometer) that needs to be used three or four times a day.

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