Archive for December 5th, 2012
On the other hand (no pun intended), think how much you would learn from 288 blood sugar tests. You would know how your blood sugar changes while you’re asleep, during a long afternoon between meals, or when you’re out running errands. Such information would help you and your doctor make smart decisions. The payoffs are huge: lower A1c, the lab test showing blood sugar control over the past two to three months, better health and reduced risk of the problems that come with uncontrolled diabetes.
Well, here is the good news: you don’t have to stick your fingers 288 times a day to get this information! You just need to wear a CGM, which stands for continuous glucose monitor, also continuous glucose monitoring. Think of a finger stick as a snapshot of your blood sugar. Put 288 of them together, and you have a movie — a true picture of how your blood sugar changes.
CGM involves three pieces of technology working together.
- First of all, a tiny sensor is inserted into what is called the interstitial fluid under your skin. This sensor measures your blood sugar every 5 minutes.
- The sensor communicates with a transmitter attached to the skin.
- The transmitter sends the information to a monitor or an insulin pump. Either device records and displays your blood sugars in real-time and in graphs, over three to 24 hours, however you want to see it.
Who can benefit from CGM: The short answer is just about anyone with diabetes, because studies show wearing a CGM improves the A1c. That said, here are examples of people who would find CGM technology especially valuable:
- People who have frequent episodes of extreme highs and lows. These episodes are termed “excursions,” and often go undetected without CGM. Testing your blood sugar 3-4 times a day can’t capture them.
- People who have hypoglycemic unawareness, meaning they don’t know when they experience a low blood sugar. Seeing when these lows tend to happen will help prevent them. This might be by decreasing insulin or medication or eating a sufficient number of carbohydrates at the previous meal.
- People who are frustrated with poor blood sugar control and their efforts to improve it. Having 288 pieces of information every day makes everyone — patients, physicians and diabetes educators — confident in making changes to treatment.
- Ideally, when someone has an A1c test performed, no one should be surprised by the result; that is, blood sugar readings and averages on the person’s meter should be strong hints what the A1c will be. When it is unexpectedly higher or lower, CGM would help solve the mystery.
How to learn more about CGM: Call DMS at (888)738-7929 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will provide you with information and, if you decide to proceed, get what we need from your doctor. We will also check with your health insurance company to see if CGM is covered and, if so, what your out-of-pocket expenses will be.