CGM is short for Continuous Glucose Monitoring. In 2006, Dexcom introduced its first real-time CGM system. And in less than 20 years, CGM has revolutionized the way diabetes is managed!
“In 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first ‘professional’ CGM, with which the patient was blinded to glucose data collected for 3 days, and then the information was downloaded in the health care provider’s office for review.”
The benefits of CGM are countless. But most important is the ability to map and see your own glucose data every 5–15 minutes (depending on the system of use). Prior to CGM, you only knew your blood glucose value at the moment you checked it. With CGM one can receive up to 288 readings per day. Some compare CGM to a personal navigation system helping them keep on course throughout a day.
How does CGM Differ from Finger Sticks?
Traditional finger stick meters read capillary blood glucose levels. When you poke your finger you are literally sampling a droplet of blood to see how much sugar is in the capillary. CGM (also known as SG) differs as the sensor that is reading a glucose value does not reach the capillary. It sits just below the skin in your soft tissue and reads glucose values in the interstitial fluid. And because of these differences, a CGM value will rarely match a finger stick (BG) value as fluids are constantly shifting in our body.
What are the pieces to this puzzle?
- Receiver / Reader
How Long Does a Sensor Last?
Depending on the system you choose, you will receive glucose values for anywhere from 10–14 days.
Can I Wear a CGM in the Water?
Yes. These are water resistant.
What Happens if it Falls Off?
Life happens, and some skin types produce more oil than others. If your sensor does not last the full amount of time, call the respective company and they will replace (usually at no cost).
Can I Travel with a CGM?
Yes you can travel and know your CGM will keep you safe! Do reference the individual company websites to read about specific guidance.
Are There Limitations when Wearing a CGM?
- Magnetic imaging
- CT scan
- Diathermy (high frequency electrical heat)
- Scuba diving - check with your respective CGM company for specific specs on water use
Sensor Glucose and Blood Glucose: What's the Difference?