Continuous glucose monitoring automatically tracks your blood glucose levels throughout the day and night. You can see your sugar level anytime at a glance. You can review how your glucose spikes over hours and days to help you make more informed decisions about how to balance your food, physical activity and medicines.
How does a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) work?
A CGM works through a tiny sensor inserted under your skin, usually on your belly or arm. The sensor measures your interstitial glucose level, which is the glucose found in the fluid between the cells. The sensor tests glucose every few minutes. A transmitter wirelessly sends the information to a monitor.
The monitor may be part of an insulin pump or a separate device which you might carry in a pocket or purse. Some CGMs send information directly to your smartphone.
Special Features of a CGM
CGMs are always on and recording glucose levels—whether you’re showering, working, exercising, or sleeping. Many CGMs have special features that work with information from your glucose readings:
- An alarm can sound when your glucose level goes too low or too high.
- You can note your meals, physical activity, and medicines in a CGM device, too, alongside your glucose levels.
- You can download data to a computer or smart device to more easily see your glucose trends.
Some models can send information right away to a second person’s smartphone; perhaps a parent, partner, or caregiver. For example, if a child’s sugar level drops or spikes dangerously overnight, the CGM could be set to wake a parent in the next room.
You may need to check the CGM itself by testing a drop of blood on a standard glucose meter, the glucose reading should be similar on both devices. You’ll also need to replace the CGM sensor every 3 to 7 days depending on the model.
You should follow your treatment plan to bring your glucose into the target range, or get help.
Who can use a CGM?
Most people who use CGMs have type 1 diabetes. CGMs are approved for use by adults and children under a doctor’s prescription. Some models may be used for children as young as age 2. Your doctor may recommend a CGM if you or your child:
- are on intensive insulin therapy, also called tight blood sugar control
- have hypoglycemia unawareness
- often have high or low blood glucose
Your doctor may suggest using a CGM system all the time or only for a few days to help adjust your diabetes care plan.
What are the benefits of a CGM?
Compared with a standard blood glucose meter, using a CGM system can help you:
- better manage your glucose levels every day
- have fewer low blood glucose emergencies
- need fewer finger sticks
Over time, good management of glucose greatly helps people with diabetes stay healthy and prevent complications of the disease. People who gain the largest benefit from a CGM are those who use it every day or nearly every day.
What are the limits of a CGM?
Researchers are working to make CGMs more accurate and easier to use but you still need a finger-stick glucose test a day to check the accuracy of your CGM against a standard blood glucose meter.
With most CGM models, you can’t yet rely on the CGM alone to make treatment decisions. A CGM system is more expensive than using a standard glucose meter.
The Spike App along side with the CGM is a perfect combination because
Spike has a mobile application that makes sure your guardians and loved ones get notified when you intake medications! Further more, a monthly report will be sent to the your doctor to track your health status.