If you have diabetes, you have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to maintaining your health. You need to be thoughtful about what you eat and drink. You need to ensure that you get regular exercise and that you have a dedicated healthcare team that can help you effectively manage your diabetes. And, critically, you need to vigilantly and accurately monitor your blood sugar levels.
Keeping your blood glucose levels in check can be the key to living a full, healthy life with diabetes. But while no one doubts the importance of blood sugar monitoring, no one particularly enjoys the process. This is especially so for those who keep track of their blood sugar using a glucometer.
Meters, as glucometers are also called, are the most widely available and affordable tools for checking blood sugar. They are used by tens of millions of people every day and provide instant and accurate results. But they have one big downside: they require the user to prick their finger to get a sample of blood, and do so multiple times a day.
Understandably, many folks don’t look forward to regularly causing themselves discomfort. Nor do people with diabetes enjoy breaking up their day or stopping whatever they’re doing to draw blood and put it on a test strip. That is why so many people look for alternatives to meters when it comes to blood sugar monitoring.
The good news is that the demand for alternatives has spurred innovations and new technologies that facilitate easy, convenient, and accurate blood sugar monitoring without the need for finger-pricking.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a proven, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device that provides real-time glucose readings every few minutes through the use of a tiny sensor underneath the skin. This sensor measures your interstitial glucose level and then sends the data to a pager-like monitor or an app on your smartphone. An alarm will sound if your blood sugar becomes too high or too low.
With easy-to-use features that can help each person proactively record and track glucose levels—as well as provide valuable insights on data that helps manage exercise, meals, and daily health status—CGM is a game-changer for individuals with diabetes.
Another innovation in blood sugar monitoring that eliminates the need for finger-pricking is the Abbott FreeStyle Libre, which has dramatically improved the lives of people with diabetes by facilitating CGM.
Abbott introduced the popular tiny white sensor worn on the arm years ago along with a handheld scanner that users need to swipe over the sensor to get readings. In September 2020, Abbott Diabetes obtained international approval of its tiny FreeStyle Libre 3 version outside the United States, with plans to bring it to the U.S. in the near future.
Libre 3 has several advantages over existing models, the biggest being the elimination of the need to scan the sensor. For many people, that continued need to scan before obtaining a result meant the Libre 2 still didn’t provide the ideal level of protection for high and low glucose levels. This is particularly important overnight, when hypoglycemia can be even more dangerous since users are asleep and not actively monitoring or experiencing symptoms.
Additionally, the new sensor is much smaller and thinner than previous versions, with about the same thickness as two pennies.
Whether you’ve been living with diabetes for years or if you’ve recently been on the lookout for the latest trends that can help beneficially impact your health, CGM could be the ideal solution for monitoring your blood sugar levels. Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.