Ever wonder what is happening with your blood glucose between finger sticks? Or, are you getting good readings, only to find your A1C is high?  Now there is a way to follow your blood glucose continuously.
A new device, a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), provides real time measurements of your blood glucose (every five minutes) for up to a week. Now you and your doctor can down load the data on the computer and track patterns and detect trends in your diabetes control. You can see what really happens to your blood glucose throughout the night, or after meals, or the effect of exercise on your numbers. You can enter information about your medication, and see the real time effect. You and your doctor can then make changes in your diabetes treatment to obtain better control.
How does it work? The CGM is meant to be used for a selected period of time (up to seven days) to collect real time information. You still need to fingerstick four times a day to calibrate. A sensor is placed under the skin that transmits the blood glucose measurements of the interstitial fluid by radio waves to the wireless monitor on your belt. An alarm can be set that alerts you to pre-set high and low blood glucose levels. As an added feature for pump users, the blood glucose information can be transmitted to the insulin delivery system and influence doses.
A number of companies now have FDA approval of their CGM. Insurance and Medicare cover the use for a defined period of time with a request from your physician .
Technology is moving closer and closer to the possibility of an artificial pancreas. Read the latest developments on the artifical pancreas here.
Learn more about available Continuous Glucose Monitors in the DiabetesCare.net Product Directory, or in the Diabetes Forecast 2013 Consumer Guide
Reviewed by Clara Schneider MS, RD, RN, CDE, LDN - 05/13