Living with diabetes is no easy task. You must be constantly aware of everything that you put into your body and how it affects your blood sugar levels. Your days become intersected by glucose monitor tests and finger pricks. For many, the constant pricking and habitual monitoring can be painful and tedious; it also can be easy to forget, for example, to stop for a pre-breakfast glucose check when you’re rushing out the door for work. Why not simplify your testing by supplementing your current glucose reader with a continuous glucose monitor?
Continuous glucose monitoring devices, also known as CGMs, are ideal for people looking for a useful addition to more basic finger-pricking readers. If you’re someone who hates the constant, painful process of drawing blood or are simply looking for a more efficient and user-friendly reader, CGMs can offer more frequent, up-to-date readings of your body’s blood sugar levels.
If you’re still not sure if a continuous glucose monitoring reader is right for you or if you’re unclear just how you will benefit from CGM use as a patient, here are three things to consider:
- You will get the big picture: One of the biggest perks when switching to continuous readers is the scope of information you will receive. Old-school readers, which rely on the user to draw blood to be read by a digital strip and machine, can only offer patients a snapshot of their blood sugar levels. In contrast, CGMs keep track of your body’s glucose levels nonstop, and can help you better track what most affects your blood sugar levels and when. Why is this information important? With this data, your doctor will be able to better assess your diabetes needs and offer you more effective solutions in order to combat the illness.
- You will receive alerts: Because continuous glucose monitors keep a constant tally on fluctuations in your glucose levels, whenever you are experiencing significant drops or rises in your blood sugar, the monitor can alert you to these changes. Again, being able to see at what point of day and which things – be it certain foods, medications or exercise – affect your blood sugar, will better assist your healthcare provider in treating your diabetes. Additionally, you can use your monitor to set alerts to remind you when to, for example, take insulin. That way, you’re always on top of your diabetes management.
- You won’t need to worry about constant pricking: CGMs do not work like traditional finger-pricking readers, but instead function similar to a pager. A small glucose monitoring strip is placed under the skin and sends information to an external, handheld device. If you’re wary of an under-the-skin reader, don’t be; monitoring strips are quickly and painlessly inserted and are extracted three days to a week later.
A CGM, like a finger-pricking blood glucose monitor, is often covered by most insurance providers. There are also plenty of resources available to learn more about these devices – but your doctor is likely your best bet if you have more detailed questions.
Andy has been living with type 2 diabetes for several years. He has tried lots of different means of controlling symptoms and helping to take his care into his own hands, but his treatment has been transformed by the use of a CGM. He is happy to share his knowledge and experience with others who might be able to benefit from such a device.