Your main energy source through which the body performs different activities is blood-glucose, which comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps absorb glucose into cells to use as energy. However, sometimes your body fails to produce enough or any insulin or fails to use it properly.
In that case, glucose remains in your circulation and does not reach the body cells. Such a condition is called Diabetes. It is a chronic disease that occurs when your body is not producing insulin in sufficient amounts of insulin, and as a result, your blood sugar level is way too high.
Having too much glucose in your blood might lead to health issues over time. Although there is no cure for Diabetes, you may take efforts to manage it and remain healthy.
What are continuous glucose monitoring devices?
People with diabetes must keep their blood glucose levels within a healthy range by measuring them with the best glucose meter or glucometer. They may, however, require continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to obtain a more detailed picture of their glucose levels. A continuous glucose monitor, which is FDA-approved, helps you keep track of glucose levels at all times.
Continuous glucose monitoring, also known as blood sugar monitoring, tracks blood glucose levels daily and at night. At a glimpse, you may see your glucose level at any moment. You can also look at how your glucose levels change over a few hours or days to see if patterns emerge.
Individuals can evaluate insights in real-time and track fluctuations in glucose level over a few hours or even days with the help of a device known as a Continuous glucose measuring device. When glucose levels are too high or too low, the device sends out an alert.
How does continuous glucose monitoring work?
The CGM is connected to a small sensor implanted under the skin, generally on the abdomen or arm. Every 10 seconds, the sensor monitors the amount of glucose in the interstitial fluid (fluid surrounding the cell) and converts it to an electrical signal. The amount of sugar in the blood is represented by the signal.
The sensor is attached to the glucose tiny transmitter. It signals an insulin pump or a pager-sized gadget known as a “monitor” that you wear on your belt or around your waist.
It works on three main components:-
👉Sensor: The sensor is a very tiny wire or filament that is put under your skin with the help of a needle. Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations, a sensor is usually placed on your belly, back of your arm, or other body parts.
👉Transmitter: Between the sensor and the receiver, the transmitter serves as a go-between. It is attached to the top of the sensor’s insertion region. It can then wirelessly transmit information to the receiver through radio waves. Some transmitters can be recharged, while others do not need to be recharged and must be changed every few months.
👉Monitor: The Monitor’s job is to receive and display the sensor’s information. It contains a screen that displays your current glucose levels as well as previous readings. The Monitor can also send you alerts if your glucose levels are too high or low, provide you status updates, and show you trend data to help you understand how much your glucose level is rising or falling over time.
How is it different from an ordinary glucose meter?
A continuous glucose meter is different from an ordinary blood glucose meter. CGM (Continuous glucose meter) measures the glucose levels in the interstitial fluid (IF) – the fluid between the body cells.
A continuous glucose measuring device gives you real-time blood sugar level info that can be monitored at any time and downloaded. However, there is also an option of retrospective CGM. In a retrospective CGM, glucose levels are not visible in real-time, and the data must be downloaded and analyzed.
Here’s how using a CGM device to monitor blood sugar levels can give you an upper edge over an ordinary glucose meter
Even if you’re bathing, commuting, exercising, or napping, your CGM is always on and recording your glucose levels. Many CGMs offer capabilities that work with data from your glucose levels, such as when your glucose level falls too low or rises too high, an alert will sound. Along with your glucose levels, you can record your meals, physical activity, and medications in a CGM device. For seeing your glucose patterns more easily, you can download data to a computer or smart device.
Here are some other special features that you get while using a CGM device for monitoring your blood sugar level.
✅Glucose levels can be monitored at any time of day or night.
✅Glucose levels can be measured at any time of the day. However, they are usually not tested at night.
✅The rise or fall in glucose levels may be tracked, allowing people with diabetes to take action sooner.
✅CGM assists in the assessment and measurement of the impact of diet and exercise on blood sugar levels.
✅It assists in determining the treatment plan’s efficacy on a more detailed level.
✅It aids patients in reducing Hypoglycemia (low glucose) occurrences by allowing them to detect a declining trend before their sugar levels plummet.
✅CGM aids in the reduction of finger-prick testing.
✅CGM can assist lower HbA1c levels by allowing the insulin dose to be more precisely tailored.
CGM data aids in the development of better diabetes management strategies. Because CGM devices continuously monitor glucose levels, they can provide information on how quickly and in what direction glucose levels change. Unlike a traditional glucose meter, which requires intentional glucose monitoring, CGM can be used while sleeping. Continuous glucose monitoring aids in making the best diabetes treatment option. They’ve also been shown to lower HbA1c levels and the occurrence of hypoglycemic stages.
However, it is always recommended that one consult a doctor before getting a CGM device and only use it after getting specific approval from the doctor.