"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) for type 2 diabetes: when and for whom are they useful?

Continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs, offer priceless and accurate insight into blood sugar levels, which may also help some individuals with diabetes turn out to be higher informed about medications, food regimen, exercise, and overall diabetes management. Allows decisions to be made. As their popularity increases, it's necessary to know who CGMs are best suited to.

What are continuous glucose monitors (CGMs)?

A CGM is a tool that may constantly monitor blood sugar levels throughout the day and night.

Unlike traditional fingerstick tests, which offer frequent, occasional snapshots of blood sugar levels, CGMs measure glucose levels every five minutes, allowing a diabetic to know in the event that they are Blood sugar is high or low. The devices offer greater convenience, precision, and control for individuals with this condition.

How do continuous glucose monitors work?

CGMs require three parts to operate: a sensor, a transmitter, and a receiver. In older models, the sensor and transmitter are separate devices. But newer models mix the sensor and transmitter into one device.

The sensor is a small catheter that's inserted under the skin and attached to the skin by adhesive. It should be modified every 10 to 14 days. According to Dr. Nathan, the sensor is painless. Most people forget they're wearing one. The recent CGMs are concerning the size of three quarters put together.

The sensor measures glucose levels within the interstitial fluid between your cells each one to 5 minutes. It then relays those levels to a transmitter, which sends glucose readings to a receiver or smartphone app.

Using advanced algorithms, CGMs analyze data to provide users insight into their blood sugar trends and patterns throughout the day and night. “CGMs show you where your blood sugar is and where it's going,” says Dr. Nathan. “It shows you a graph of whether you're on an upslope or a downslope.”

However, users must be aware that there's roughly a 20-minute delay between the CGM display and the blood glucose level.

Benefits of continuous glucose monitoring

With a more detailed picture of glucose levels and patterns, an individual with diabetes could make informed decisions about food regimen, exercise, medications, and overall diabetes management.

CGMs not only offer continuous monitoring, but can even sound an alarm if glucose levels deviate from goal ranges, enabling intervention to forestall dangerous highs or lows. It is significant for an individual with diabetes to take care of blood glucose levels inside the goal range to avoid short-term complications akin to dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and long-term complications akin to heart disease, kidney damage, Nerve damage, and vision problems.

Who can profit from using CGM?

Because continuous glucose monitoring provides a continuous stream of knowledge about glucose levels, it enables patients with fluctuating glucose levels—which suggests type 1 diabetes patients, for probably the most part—to – Either select the precise dose of insulin or for an insulin pump. the precise doses.

“They really improve blood sugar control in type 1 diabetes, and much more safely than we could before. And that's been well demonstrated,” says Dr. Nathan.

The advantage of CGM is less clear in patients with type 2 diabetes, which is more common than type 1 diabetes. of the 38 million people in the United States with diabetes90% to 95% have type 2 diabetes. Among individuals with type 2 diabetes, based on Dr. Nathan, a small fraction require complex insulin regimens that involve multiple insulin injections per day.

“And for them, it's been suggested that CGM can also be helpful because they're also at risk for low blood sugar,” explains Dr. Nathan. “In insulin-treated people with type 2 diabetes, CGM can provide an early warning sign if their blood sugar is getting low.”

“But people with type 2 diabetes, even when treated with insulin, actually have much less frequent, severe hypoglycemia than people with type 1 diabetes,” says Dr. Nathan. “So as a precaution, the majority of people with type 2 diabetes don't really need it. They're not even on medications that cause blood sugar to drop.”

However, limited, initial Evidence indicates that the device can have a job in the long run to assist a wider range of patients, including those with type 2 diabetes not treated with insulin.

Are there any downsides to CGMs?

CGMs are generally protected and never difficult to wear, although they are often worn 24 hours a day and three hundred and sixty five days a 12 months. The sensor must be replaced at the very least every 14 days. A small percentage of individuals may develop an irritation or allergic response to the adhesive that secures it to the skin. Local skin infections are “extremely rare,” says Dr. Nathan. “And there's really no other complication.”

A significant concern for users of CGMs is cost. CGMs can cost hundreds of dollars a 12 months. Medicare covers the devices for eligible patients—those on insulin therapy and checking 4 or more blood sugars each day. Private insurance coverage may vary.

As CGMs have turn out to be more popular, some people have began using them to watch blood sugar, even in the event that they don't have diabetes. “I draw the line for select patients with type 1 diabetes and type 2,” says Dr. Nathan. “For everyone else, there's almost no data to use these devices on a regular basis.”

Dr. Nathan warns that overuse of CGM devices could put pressure on the availability of devices by those that don't need them, making them less available to the individuals with diabetes for whom they're needed. have proved useful.