For diabetic patients, the CGM Devices can make the difference between life and death. These important devices are very useful in helping patients manage diabetes and prevent complications. They are also very convenient as the patients don’t need to prick their fingers.
Why is it important to continuously monitor glucose levels?
Regularly testing the level of glucose in the blood provides patients as well as their doctors and caregivers with useful information for diabetes management.
It helps them:
- Monitor the effects of diabetes medication on blood glucose levels
- Identify high or low blood glucose levels
- Track the progress in reaching the overall treatment goals
- Learn how diet and exercise affect blood glucose levels
- Understand how other factors like illness and stress affect blood glucose levels
When is it advisable to check blood glucose levels?
Doctors often advise on how often one is supposed to check his or her blood glucose levels. The frequency of testing is dependent on the type of diabetes the patient has as well as the treatment plan he/she is on.
People with diabetes, particularly type 1 diabetes, mostly use CGM Devices to measure their blood sugar every few minutes. They use a sensor that’s inserted under the skin. These stay there for about one week or two after which they need to be changed. These devices also come with a transmitter that the patient wears on his body. The transmitter sends the readings wirelessly from the sensor to an app on the phone.
Some CGM devices show the blood glucose readings at all times on a receiver, smartphone, or smartwatch. If the blood sugar is going up or down too fast, an alarm goes off. However, there are other models that require the patients to check their blood sugar by running the receiver over the sensor periodically.
Are there any meds that affect the readings on CGM Devices?
There are some medications such as acetaminophen that interfere with the accuracy of the CGM Devices. This was particularly noticed on the older models but with modern designs, the readings don’t seem to be affected by standard doses of the drug.
Patients who take medications that could potentially affect the accuracy of the readings should double-check the results. Other instances when patients need to consult with the doctor about using the CGM Devices include if they’re pregnant, on dialysis, or critically ill. These conditions are highly likely to affect the readings on a CGM.
Blood glucose target range
Several factors affect blood glucose levels. The range varies from one person to another depending on different factors such as age, pregnancy status, type and severity of diabetes, other underlying conditions, and overall health. This means that the end goals should be individualized after putting everything into consideration.
Here are the recommended target blood glucose levels:
- From 80-130 milligrams per decilitre
- Less than 180 milligrams per decilitre two hours after meals
If it’s the first time for patients to use CGM Devices, they’re advised to check the manual to learn how to use it. They also need to consult with the doctor who gave the prescription on how often they need to check their blood glucose levels. Some pros of these devices are that they’re low-profile and can be worn for a couple of days. The cons include the fact that one needs to have a separate receiver to view the data.