Continuous Glucose Monitors
If you have stepped away from streaming channels and watched regular TV lately, you will likely have seen a commercial for a newer technology called continuous glucose monitoring. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are replacing the old familiar finger pokes for blood sugar management, and can be a great tool for those with Diabetes.
What is a Continuous Glucose Monitor?
A CGM is a device worn on the body with a small filament that sits under your skin. Some are replaced every 2 weeks and others every 10 days. During that time, the CGM transmitter sends a message to a hand held device or your personal cell phone telling you what your blood sugar is every 5 minutes. The technology is amazing!
You no longer have to poke your finger to know what your blood sugar is, and you now can see if your number is going up or down. This allows you to make choices about what to do next. I know that if I see my blood sugar is 75 and showing a down arrow, I should probably grab a snack before my blood sugar goes any lower. Or, maybe I had a big plate of spaghetti, a piece or two or garlic bread and see my blood sugar is 180 with an arrow showing it trending up. My best choice would be to go for a walk before I sit on the couch and catch the next episode of my favorite show.
Make Sure You Utilize the Information From Your CGM
A continuous glucose monitor by itself is nothing more than a fancy tool unless you know how to use the information you are receiving. We spend time in our diabetes education sessions teaching people how to interpret the data. If you are interested in wearing a device instead of using your meter to test, talk to your insurance company to see which is covered. Call or meet with your provider to discuss monitoring and get the device ordered.
Meet With a Diabetes Educator For More Help
If you want help managing your diabetes and understanding the information you are receiving from your CGM, ask your provider for an opportunity to meet with a diabetes educator. Many come up with black or white decisions about food and activity based on what they see. Often, there are many factors that contribute to the blood sugars you see.
Continuous glucose monitors are the wave of the future and can help you manage your diabetes. The technology is easy to master. You can do it!
For more information, reach out to our Diabetes Education team.
Sue Ridder, BSN, RN, CDE has been with CHI Health since 2005 and spent part of her nursing career as a psych RN. Currently Sue works in the primary care clinics to provide diabetes education to patients and their loved ones in their medical home. Her true passion is helping people to identify and use their strengths to set and achieve their wellness goals.