Many people are asking the question, how does a continuous glucose monitor work? These devices are getting more popular and easier to get access to. Checking blood sugar with a regular glucometer is cumbersome and painful. It involves cleaning and prepping the finger, using a sharp lancing device to prick the finger and then using a drop of blood on a glucose test strip. Carrying all of these materials around is inconvenient. Oftentimes people do not feel comfortable going through the process of checking blood sugar in this way in public.
Checking blood sugar is important to diabetes management. Finding solutions that are simple and convenient helps people living with diabetes get better control over their blood sugar. More, it helps them feel engaged and empowered when it comes to their blood sugar.
Continuous glucose monitoring systems are convenient because they enable people living with diabetes to check their sugar painlessly and easily.
Continuous glucose monitors work by checking the sugar level in the interstitial fluid that exists between the cells of the body. Interstitial sugar correlates fairly well with blood glucose, although blood glucose is a more accurate measure. Direct blood glucose measurements can be taken from a fingerstick with a glucometer at home or it can be measured in the serum on a regular blood draw in a lab.
Continuous glucose monitoring devices are less accurate at low and very high sugars. If the continuous glucose monitor reads low or very high, the user should check a blood sugar to verify the accuracy.
The two most commonly used continuous glucose monitors are Dexcom and Freestyle Libre.
Check out Dr. Thangudu’s live on CGM here!