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Why You Should Absolutely Have a Continuous Glucose Monitor

Doctor shows glucometer with glucose level

If you have diabetes, you know that testing your blood glucose levels is an important part of managing your disease. The number you get when you test, however, represents your levels only at that moment. What about the rest of the day? That’s where a continuous blood glucose monitor can help provide more precise information. In this blog, Dr. Shawna Purcell of Capital Diabetes & Weight Loss Center in Olympia, WA explains more about a continuous glucose monitor and why you should use one:

What is a continuous blood glucose monitor?    

A continuous glucose monitoring system monitors your glucose (sugar) levels and reports this reading every 5 to 15 minutes, 24 hours a day. A receiver allows you to see your glucose reading, and with some types of receivers, you can even see your results on your cell phone.

Why is it used?

These monitors provide a much more accurate reading of your blood sugar levels. Instead of just checking them once or twice a day, which is common with traditional blood glucose monitors, you’ll learn what your blood sugar level is on a schedule of about every five minutes.

This information will allow you to learn about the effect of activities such as eating particular foods and exercising have on your blood sugar. If you have diabetes, you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t get too high, and if you have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t get too low.

What types of monitors are available?   

These small monitors can be placed under your skin or attached to the back of your arm and can range in size from a penny to a stack of two quarters. They transmit information to a small, wireless monitor that you wear on your belt. To help alert you to a potentially dangerous situation, they can be programmed to sound an alarm when your blood sugar gets too high or too low.

Two different types of continuous glucose monitoring systems are available:

  • Personal continuous glucose monitoring – You wear it constantly and change the monitor every 7 days. You can upload your data to share it with your doctor, or the office staff can do this prior to your doctor’s appointment.
  • Diagnostic continuous glucose monitoring – This type of monitoring system is worn for only three days, and you’ll track your food intake, blood glucose levels, and exercise. After three days, the sensor and transmitter are removed, and the data is uploaded so your doctor will receive a report.

What are the advantages of using a continuous blood glucose monitor?

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, a continuous glucose monitoring system gives you real-time data that will help you clearly understand the impact your activities have on your blood glucose levels. The detailed data it gathers will enable you and your doctor to better control your diabetes.

For example, your doctor may adjust your insulin dosage, as well as any other types and doses of other medications you take. You may also be better able to control your blood glucose levels if you adjust the number of meals and snacks you eat each day as well as the amount of exercise you get.

If you have diabetes and are interested in learning more about getting a continuous glucose monitor, the first step is to consult with a diabetes specialist. Shawna Purcell, MD is home to a team of medical experts with an extensive background in diabetes and weight loss services. With the help of our professional CGM device that is used with patients every six months, we will make the appropriate changes to your nutrition, oral medications and or insulin, as part of your personalized program to optimize your health. Make an appointment today with Dr. Purcell at Capital Diabetes & Weight Loss Center in Olympia, WA by calling 360-596-4614.

You can also join us for our upcoming Advancements in Diabetes Technology Workshop on Thursday, September 20th!

CLICK HERE For More Information on the Workshop

CLICK HERE  To sign up for the event

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