Expert Health Articles

Continuous Glucose Monitoring

CGM stands for Continuous Glucose Monitoring, the newest and best way for people with diabetes to monitor their glucose levels. Simply put, a CGM is a patch that you can wear on your skin that allows the user to see their blood glucose level consistently, in real time. Someone with diabetes would be able to track what is happening to their glucose level continuously throughout the day. Not only do these devices show blood glucose readings, but they also provide predictive trends to show users where their blood glucoses are headed. Unlike the traditional glucometers on the market, you do not have to poke your finger, which is painful and burdensome.  

When people with diabetes are able to watch their blood sugars in real time, it benefits them in several ways. Primarily, they can see the effects of certain foods on their glucose levels. As not all foods are created equal in terms of sugar, it is important to know which foods are more challenging to people than others (pizza, pasta, rice, cereals, breads, potatoes, etc). People are also able to recognize the benefits of physical activity and watch their blood sugars respond positively to physical activity.  When you can see your blood sugar trend down after you go for a walk, it reinforces healthy exercise habits. 

Another added benefit is the availability to watch your glucose respond after taking medications. A CGM can help both patients and their physicians see what happens to their glucose levels when they are taking their medications. People with diabetes feel more confident in taking their medications and improve hesitancy or anxiety around dosing. Continuous glucose monitoring not only benefits patients with diabetes but also allows physicians to adjust or change patient's medication regimens with ease, ensuring patients are on the right regimen.   

Access to this technology has become increasingly easy to get. Previously, this was a technology recommended only for people with Type 1 diabetes, but as the evidence continues to show, people with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes show positive outcomes when they have continuous access to their blood glucose levels.

Overall, CGM has proven to make people with diabetes more confident in treating their diabetes. It helps people to make better dietary choices, as well as see the benefits of more regular physical activity and it helps lower their average glucose levels while preventing lows and highs and helps to improve their hemoglobin A1c. CGM is the future of treating diabetes, and the future is now. 

Thomas Grace, MD
Endocrinology & Diabetes Specialists of Northwest Ohio