We recently got an email from a reader who loves his Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and wanted to share why it’s so effective.
I’ve been a Type 1 Diabetic since 2006 (at age 27). I’m on MDI (multiple daily injections) and not on an insulin pump. Apidra and Lantus are the insulins I use. A few years ago, I started using a CGM. It made a massive difference in how I treat my glucose levels.
Advantages of the CGM
- It gives me a reading every 5 minutes
- Given the above, it provides a graph which clearly shows you that you are going high or low
- It provides alarms to alert you about lows and highs – very useful at night.
- It offers useful statistics, you can calculate your average and time in target much better.
- It is helpful to see the dawn phenomenon in action when you wake up, i.e. easily correct your basal rate (long-acting insulin).
- It’s useful when exercising: you don’t have to stop to test your blood sugar, you can just check your graph all the time.
- Glucose values can be automatically uploaded online so that family members can monitor you remotely. This feature is very handy for keeping track of Type 1 diabetic children.
Which brand CGM to choose?
I experienced the FreeStyle Libre (which is more of a flash glucose monitor than a CGM) and I’ve used the Dexcom G4 now. Yes, the sad part is that they are expensive, but some people might be able to afford them. The G4 sensor is suppose to be used for only 7 days, but many people get 3-4 weeks out of them. My first sensor lasted 30 days, which makes them more affordable.
I have a blog where I post CGM related stuff once in a while: www.freestylelibre.co.za
Jaco also sent a link to his Type 1 Diabetes Survival Kit, which is very helpful!