All of us today live in times of medical uncertainty. With diseases and calamities proving a challenge to human existence, it’s becoming harder to curb health threats. Thus, checking metabolic parameters is imperative to stay healthy. In addition, blood tests are fairly representative of one’s intrinsic health. For example, HealthifyPRO 2.0 subscription includes a metabolic panel test that assesses your blood sample on more than 80 parameters.
Blood glucose levels are one of the most dynamic parameters in medical testing. Every morsel of food and every sip of water influences your blood glucose levels in varying proportions. Interestingly, an unsteady reading requires medical attention in people with diabetes and healthy individuals. You can miss unprecedented variations even during routine testing. It has led to technology for monitoring glucose levels continuously.
The Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) technology by HealthifyPro 2.0 allows assessing glucose levels in real-time. For a user, the wearable device measures blood glucose levels over a stipulated period. The data gets stored, and the coaches and nutritionists from HealthifyPRO 2.0 team help you to modify your food intake and activity levels to stabilise the spike.
Understanding Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)
CGM is a continuous glucose monitoring unit. It detects blood glucose levels in real-time and helps you assess the impact of food on your blood glucose levels. It is attached to the patient’s body, preferably the abdomen or arm.
The CGM device primarily contains:
- A wearable device that you affix to your arm
- A sensor, attached under the patient’s skin
- A transmitter that supplies the essential information from the patient’s body to a connected device and display screen
Besides real-time readings, the CGM is intelligent enough to display the collected data over the desired period. Moreover, it analyses and depicts various trends in easily comprehensible charts that anyone can read.
Importance of CGM Today
Every individual has distinct metabolic health. Anything that affects one individual might not affect the other in the same way. It holds for glucose levels too. Foods that cause hyperglycemia in some may not necessarily do the same in others. Moreover, CGM finds the exact culprit of metabolic instability better than traditional testing.
The HealthifyMe Note
Tracing the cause of glucose variability is crucial. However, the more popular method is to prick oneself and see the variability in glucose levels. Both approaches have their relative advantages and disadvantages. CGM is suitable for people without diabetes too. Even if you are slightly overweight, in all likelihood, your blood glucose levels go awry when you eat something incorrectly. A CGM works as a preventive method, even before diabetes sets in. As a result, it makes lifestyle and diet modifications smoother for both patients and doctors alike.
Benefits of CGM
Reduces the Hassle of Pricking Fingers
Pricking your finger for glucose levels is both painful and inconvenient. CGM replaces the recurrent pricks and saves your time and effort. It thus prevents missing a reading when pricking isn’t feasible.
More Frequent and Equally Accurate
Readings at frequent intervals offer better reliability, according to research. In addition, it provides real-time data and valuable analysis for reaping health benefits. For example, CGM’s 5 mins readings can do wonders for developing an ideal diet plan.
Several studies have certified CGM accuracy levels based on clinical trials. Another research states that CGM and other glucose monitoring systems bear the same accuracy, utilisation, and effectiveness. Having something simpler with equal potency indeed tends to attract more attention!
No-More Manual Record Keeping
No one likes to do clerical stuff, even for health. However, manual record-keeping for recurrent glucose readings can be cumbersome and demanding. It also bears the risks of committing human errors that can influence the treatment. Sharing this data with doctors may also need assistance. That makes CGM highly appealing as it records, shares and stores without human effort.
Plenty of Advisory Perks
Expert advisory teams back HealthifyPRO 2.0 CGM units. They trace your readings and advise you on a suitable diet and lifestyle plan. As a result, you can reverse blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic issues. All of us have unique relationships with food, and different food reacts differently to our bodies. Therefore a generalised diet plan may work for us to some extent. CGM helps us to identify every food item and its unique relationship with our bodies. As a result, you can plan a diet that is as unique as you are.
Makes you More Aware
Several patients of different ages are unaware of their hypoglycemia, making them more susceptible to fainting attacks. CGM creates an awareness of their metabolic state, improving their condition. The research found that CGM has a better outcome in creating hypoglycemia awareness. That reduces the time spent by patients in a hypoglycemic state.
The feedback that CGM gives acts more at the psychological level motivating the person to make a change. A study reports that CGM demonstrates a powerful psychological influence on adolescents with Type-1 Diabetes. Therefore, it can help develop interventions focused on better diabetes management.
Personal Weight Loss Assistant
Obesity is the leading cause of several illnesses today. Its ill-effects range from Diabetes to Asthma and many musculoskeletal problems too. Keeping track of calorie intake can be a troublesome job.
Besides blood glucose, CGM also displays the calorie profile at a given time. It precisely points out foodstuffs that raise the calorie intake. It also shows the effectiveness of your interventions in terms of calories burnt.
A study suggests that continuous glucose monitoring is a well-tolerated and versatile tool for obesity research in pediatric and adult patients. Another study mentions the motivational effect of CGM on promoting physical activity. The CGM data can help as biological-based feedback for physical activity encouragement. Current research also highlights that CGM is a well-tolerated and versatile tool for research related to obesity disorders in both children as well as adults.
Formulate Real-time Evident Lifestyle
CGM is a piece of comprehensive health equipment providing real-time data. According to a recent study, 90% of CGM users alter their healthier lifestyles as per their assessment through the device.
Combine with Insulin Pumps
CGMs are not limited to just recording and analysing. They can step into interventions as well. For example, it has the provision to attach an insulin pump that administers glucose when necessary. It can be manual or pre-programmed to infuse according to set parameters.
It can revolutionise insulin therapy to a more or less automated version. You can completely circumvent the inconvenience of administering an injection at a given time. It will also allow for the appropriate administering of insulin when needed most.
Research suggests the use of CGM with Insulin pumps on preset algorithms. It helps prevent hypoglycemic episodes too. It also works well to circumvent hypoglycemia in patients with multiple daily insulin shots. This combination can be a significant step toward automated programming of Insulin therapy.
A Life-saving Boon for the Critically Ill
Patients in the ICU need continuous monitoring of several parameters like respiration, pulse, blood pressure, etc. Monitoring blood glucose is a valuable adjunct that can potentially minimise mortality. It was not feasible so far at this rate in all setups. But CGMs have made it possible and convenient to monitor glucose levels closely. It can be a boon to the ICU setup and is life-saving for the critically ill.
A preliminary analysis of CGM during critical illness demonstrates early feasibility, considerable accuracy, and meaningful reduction in the frequency of Point-Of-Care glucose testing.
Researchers state that CGM prevents severe hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia in critically ill patients. CGM can contribute to safe, effective glucose management. In addition, CGM combined with an insulin pump provides a cost-effective means of monitoring and infusing insulin.
The HealthifyMe Note
Automated data reporting, advisory backup services, and drug replacement potential make CGM stand out. It revolutionises metabolic health management much better, more straightforward, and hassle-free. However, metabolic health irregularities can lead to several long-term diseases like diabetes, PCOS, Alzheimers, cancer, etc. Therefore, if you are overweight, simply feeling a lack of energy, or stressed or having sleepless nights, have poor lifestyle habits, and lead a sedentary life, you must take control of your metabolic health.
Shortcomings of CGM
Although CGM reached the same accuracy level as other testing methods, it might involve some inaccuracy. The exact parameter for its preciseness is not known. In addition, it measures the interstitial fluid glucose levels instead of blood glucose. While there are attempts to assess the accuracy, they are not 100% reliable.
The Short Life Span of Attachments
The parts of CGM units have a short lifespan. For example, sensor replacement is necessary every 14 days. The transmitter replacement is essential every 90 days -120 days. The main unit body has a life of a year or two.
Being a part of advanced health technology, CGMs are pretty expensive. It can range anywhere from Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 8,000/month. Some units, though, are more costly at about the $5,500 range. Moreover, the attachments, having a short lifespan, need to be replaced frequently. So it makes the recurrent costs even more.
As it records the reading from interstitial fluid, there can be a time lag of 5 to 25 minutes. So, exact moment readings are unavailable, but you can easily correlate them to the recent input.
Need for Calibration
The CGM needs calibration using glucometer readings at least twice daily to maintain accuracy. One major drawback is that it dents its attribute of replacing finger pricks completely.
Who Can Benefit from CGM?
- Type-1 diabetes patients are the best fit for CGMs, according to research. As it is incurable, glucose level testing is needed repeatedly to decide the dosage. As a result, they can benefit by leaps and bounds in their medical management.
- Critically ill patients in the ICU can also benefit. The CGM minimises the risk of hypoglycemic episodes or hyperglycemic spikes, preserving the internal organs’ state. In addition, it can be a vital automated assistant to the resident doctor when combined with an infusion pump.
- Type-2 diabetes patients are also increasingly involved in continuous monitoring. Lifestyle modification is one essential part of type-2 diabetes treatment. Such patients reap significant benefits from the regular feedback that alerts them to lifestyle modifications.
- Patients with high variability of glucose levels are more prone to severe health disturbances. The glucose level ranges from hypoglycemia to hyperglycemia invariably in a short time. It is challenging for them to balance the medications. CGM provides the crucial information necessary to manage the condition. It makes them more self-reliant and confident. Wearing the device, they can quickly look at addressing their health issues.
- Obese individuals planning for a weight loss program can get a good advantage. Calorie monitoring and metabolic assessments are highly essential for weight loss planning. In addition, one loves real-time analysis and enjoys changing their lifestyle.
- Normal health-conscious individuals can gain essential insights into their health. As a result, they can start planning a health-boosting program to increase their productivity. They can also aim for a preventive health regime that prepares them for future challenges.
CGM as a Substitute for Antiglycemic Drugs
Throughout medical evolution, several loopholes in drug therapy have stained the image. As a result, the whole world is marching towards drug-free lifestyles. More herbal and organic products are gaining importance, while exercise and yoga are the talks of the town. In addition, you can manage hyperglycemia, prediabetes, or even a preventive regime through lifestyle changes.
More and more research is ongoing to analyse the use of CGM as a drug alternative.
It can happen in two ways:
Combining CGM with insulin pumps
This method of management is underway in several locations and countries. Intensive research in this direction is repeatedly yielding affirmative results. However, managing patients during the pandemic was also better managed with CGM usage.
Modifying lifestyle based on CGM readings
According to studies, attaching a CGM to patients’ bodies for a few days shows better outcomes than traditional treatments. It shows the impact of just regular monitoring and essential feedback on human health.
Is CGM Good to Use for Diabetics?
Referring to the attributes listed above, anyone can easily infer the benefits of CGM use. CGM offers unique options for people with diabetes. People with type-1 and type-2 diabetes can essentially benefit from its use. It gives better feedback and analysis that motivates patients to change for the better. Something that still hurts is the cost factor making it an option for the higher strata. Further sophistication and cost-effective options can make CGM a lot more universal.
CGMs have been worked upon in their testing phases to yield better units. While it is still not in the spotlight, it has overcome significant challenges regarding accuracy levels, ease of administration, and exhaustive bio-informative profiling.
Versatile benefits for diabetic patients, health-conscious individuals, the obese, and the critically ill, are the mainstay of CGM recommendation. But unfortunately, these tend to override the loopholes like time lag, calibration needs, and attachment lifespan, which might improve with technical advancements.
The price factor, however, can hold it back a bit. Renting the unit’s main body with buyable attachments can be a feasible option in the future. It is an overall game-changer for diabetics, and its increased practical usage is awaited!