For those with diabetes, it’s important to keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels. This is where a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can help. It measures the body’s glucose (sugar) levels in real-time by sensing the glucose present in tissue fluid (also called interstitial fluid).
When you prick your finger using a blood glucose meter, it provides a measurement of the blood glucose level at a specific time – the second you prick your finger. Think of it as a picture “snapshot” of your blood sugar.
A CGM can provide a new blood glucose level every 5 minutes, about 288 times per day. It helps provide a constant stream of information on your glucose level, blood glucose trends and overnight data when you’re not awake to check your levels.
A CGM can be used for patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This device empowers patients to take control of their diabetes by being more aware of blood sugar readings throughout the day. They may be covered by your insurance.
What supplies are needed?
CGMs require three basic parts:
- Sensor – The sensor is inserted under the skin by the user with a simple applicator. Sensors are generally replaced after 14 days.
- Transmitter – The transmitter sits on top of the sensor and sends glucose information to a receiver or smartphone app.
- Smartphone app or receiver – An app or receiver displays a real-time glucose level, whether glucose is trending up or down and glucose history. If you do not own a smartphone, don’t worry – some brands also offer handheld devices.
If you are interested in trying a CGM, please call the Lake Health Diabetes Education Center at 440-354-1622. Patients can try the CGM and then work with Lake Health physicians to monitor blood sugar readings.