Your Guide to Continuous Glucose Monitoring – Forbes Health

While a CGM can provide a broader picture of your blood sugar trends over a 24-hour period, it’s not a solution for everyone. “It’s extremely important that people know that just because they want CGMs, for convenience, doesn’t make them eligible candidates,” Dr. Kim says. “Sometimes, depending on individual health insurance, CGMs may not be covered and usually have higher fees than standard blood glucose monitoring devices.”

“Another limitation is that CGM glucose values ​​are measurements of interstitial fluid glucose and may be unreliable due to body fluid changes,” she adds. Interstitial fluid (ISF) is located in subcutaneous fatty tissue and serves as a transport medium between glucose and cells, according to a 2017 analysis published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.

With CGM, ISF glucose levels may not always correspond to actual blood sugar levels. This is why it is important to use CGM in addition to, and not as a replacement for, finger prick blood glucose testing. “There may be shifts in glucose values ​​between interstitial (CGM) results and capillary (finger prick) results,” Dr. Kim notes.

Other disadvantages of CGM include:

  • CGM does not eliminate the need for traditional fingertip blood glucose testing. Your blood sugar may need to be checked twice a day using fingerstick methods to ensure accuracy.
  • Depending on the model, most CGM sensors need to be replaced every three to seven days, which can be costly.
  • Using acetaminophen, found in Tylenol, can cause false high readings.
  • False low readings can occur when sleeping on the sensor.
  • CGM devices require technical understanding and the ability to interpret CGM readings and data, which can be difficult for unsophisticated users.
  • Routine maintenance may be required, depending on the model.

“While CGM is an evolving and wonderful technology that adds to diabetes care options, it remains essential that patients adhere to healthy diets, healthy physical, mental and social lifestyles, and ongoing care. with their doctor,” says Dr Kim. “Additionally, learning to use CGM and understanding how to interpret the data in a clinically meaningful way takes time.”

Edward N. Arrington