Maintaining good blood glucose control is the most powerful tool in preventing diabetes complications. Many people use a blood glucose meter to check their blood sugar level. Others may chose to use a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGMS) in addition to their glucose meters.
A CGMS tests your blood glucose levels every 5 7 minutes throughout the day. It can be used by people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. There are several different devices on the market today. Most feature a disposable sensor worn on the body. The sensor includes a tiny wire that pokes through the skin and measures glucose levels in the cellular fluid, and can be worn for approximately 72 or more hours before it requires changing. While inserted, the sensor wirelessly transmits blood glucose readings to a receiver about the size of a PDA or to the pump, and the receiver displays the results.
A CGMS will not replace the need for standard blood glucose meters. They need to be calibrated with conventional finger stick testing and the results of a continuous system must be periodically compared against a glucose meter for accuracy. However, a CGMS can help a person with diabetes understand blood glucose trends and can warn people who experience hypoglycemic unawareness when their blood sugar drops too low.
Talk to your doctor about whether or not a CGMS is right for you.
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08
I can't believe it's over two weeks since I've written anything here. Right now, I'm struggling through some serious fatigue, after having spent the last three days in a Passover cleaning frenzy, the previous couple of weeks in a budgeting mess, and most of the past quarter with serious questions about our current lives and our distance from The Other Half's elderly parents. And in between all that, my first two training rides for this year's Tour de Cure. I need to...