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Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Keeping Blood Sugar In Target


It's important for one to keep their blood sugar levels on target. However, for those with diabetes, this may be a difficult task because of the lack of control over their insulin and glucose levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that assists in blood sugar management, and those who have diabetes have a lack of control of their pancreas when it comes to producing this hormone, thus putting them at risk of hypoglycemia or high blood sugar. Poor maintenance of glucose levels may lead to health conditions such as heart disease, vision impairment, nerve damage and kidney damage, among other things. For those seeking treatment, various types of insulins have been created to help others keep their sugar levels on target. Still, without sufficient knowledge about the person's diabetes, specialists may have to use trial and error to figure out the correct insulin dosages, leading to some unexpected low blood sugars. This is why people with diabetes need an effective way for them to check their blood sugar while also keeping it on track. This is a task that most find to be very difficult.



This is the system of blood sugar levels tracking that the CGM sought out to improve. Finger-pricking is often tedious and easy to forget to do, leading to skewed insulin levels. (personnel today.com)


CGM Devices - What are they?


Continuous Glucose Monitoring, or CGM devices, are a portable alternative to checking one’s glucose levels. This method does not require multiple finger pokes throughout the day, and instead allows for the person to essentially scan for results using a reader provided or by using an app on their phone.  The sensor is put onto the skin using an adhesive and must be replaced. The time in which the sensor must be replaced depends on the type of model. The wire that is used does not enter the bloodstream rather it sits between layers of the epidermis, picking up glucose levels within cellular fluid.  In order to pick up results the user would have to place the reader or whatever device they are using near the sensor, then the data is wirelessly transferred to the monitor. Others may wear their monitor on a belt or keep it in their pocket. People who will benefit from this would include those with type one or type two diabetes, and that require insulin, or pregnant people that may experience gestational diabetes. 




The white circular sticker on the person's skin is the sensor. The sensor is located under the skin and allows the monitor to track blood sugar levels. (mcg.com)


Advantageous Features


Continuous Glucose Monitoring, or CGM devices, are a portable alternative to checking one’s glucose levels. This method does not require multiple finger pokes throughout the day and instead allows the person to essentially scan for results using a reader provided or by using an app on their phone. The sensor is put onto the skin using an adhesive and must be replaced. The time in which the sensor must be replaced depends on the type of model. The wire that is used does not enter the bloodstream; rather, it sits between layers of the epidermis, picking up glucose levels within the cellular fluid. To pick up results, the user would have to place the reader or whatever device they are using near the sensor; then, the data is wirelessly transferred to the monitor. Others may wear their monitor on a belt or keep it in their pocket. People who will benefit from this would include those with type one or type two diabetes (requiring insulin) or pregnant women who may experience gestational diabetes.


For example:

  • May be more expensive than the standard meter 

  • Some glucose level checks might not be reliable, depending on the model the user might want to take a blood test

  • The user must talk to their doctor and receive a blood test, if they are considering making changes to their treatment plan. Although this innovation is a helpful tool, it shouldn’t be the sole reason to change dosages etc. 




Image courtesy of findatopdoc.com


Overall Benefits


The advantages of using CGM devices include not having to worry about misplacing one’s entire blood monitoring devices. With the sensor constantly near the user, all they need is their reader and they can check their glucose levels however many times they want. With results expressed into graphs, users and medical professionals can easily pick up on patterns and adjust their treatment plans. This strategy is also more accessible to those who might experience low blood sugars at night, which can be dangerous. Overall the CGM devices allow for those with diabetes to make more informed decisions towards treating their diabetes.



References


A;, F. (2016). Continuous Glucose Monitoring Sensors: Past, Present and Future Algorithmic

Challenges. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27941663/

Continuous Glucose Monitoring. (2017, June 01). Retrieved October 25, 2020, from

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-

diabetes/continuous-glucose-monitoring

Continuous Glucose Monitoring. (2018). Retrieved October 25, 2020, from

https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/diabetes/diabetes-

technology/continuous-glucose-monitoring

Contributor. (2020, October 12). Life-changing medical innovations that make the impossible

possible (Sponsored). Retrieved October 25, 2020, from

https://www.livescience.com/sandvik-medical-innovations-sponsored.html

Dansinger, M. (2019, December 01). Continuous Glucose Monitoring for Diabetes. Retrieved

October 25, 2020, from

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/continuousglucosemonitoring

Pietrangelo, A. (2020, September 02). The Effects of Diabetes on Your Body. Retrieved October

25, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/effects-on-body

Sheth, S. (2018, June 05). Diabetes Management: Glucose Monitors that Connect to your

Smart Phone. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from https://dlife.com/diabetes-management-

glucose-monitors-that-connect-to-your-smart-phone/


Featured image courtesy of Wix



Article Author: Idil Gure

Article Editors: Maria Giroux, Stephanie Sahadeo



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