How Accurate Is It
The standard measurement of CGM performance is known as the mean absolute relative difference . With this measure, the lower the number, the better the accuracy.
Medtronic reports that the Guardan 3 sensor Connect CGM has accuracy in the 9 to 11 percent range . Interestingly, Medtronic says its clinical data shows that accuracy is actually better when the sensor is worn on the arm versus the abdomen.
Medtronic data also shows that without predictive alerts turned on, it has a 90.5 percent hypoglycemia detection rate . With predictive alerts turned on and set at 30 minutes before a low, the Guardian Connect system has a 98.5 percent hypo detection rate when worn on the abdomen.
Continuous Glucose Monitor :
There is nothing wrong in saying that CGM has revolutionized the diabetes diagnosis system. However, blood glucose meter is still prevalent in most diabetic people.
CGM is a sensor-based device that is used to check the blood sugar level in your body. The name Continuous Glucose Monitor is on its feature to continuously monitor glucose levels in real-time.
A small sensor gets attached to your abdomen or arm that needs to be replaced in 10-14 days. Despite constantly streaming the data to an app on your phone, it also sends alerts telling you when your sugar level gets too high or too low.
However, it is not an absolute no-finger-prick device. Most of CGMs require a finger prick to attach and calibrate the machine once a day. Still, it is less painful than a blood glucose test!
Causes Of Low Blood Sugar
There are many reasons why you may have low blood sugar, including:
- Taking too much insulin.
- Not eating enough carbs for how much insulin you take.
- Timing of when you take your insulin.
- The amount and timing of physical activity.
- Drinking alcohol.
- How much fat, protein, and fiber are in your meal.
- Hot and humid weather.
- Unexpected changes in your schedule.
- Spending time at a high altitude.
- Going through puberty.
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What Are Blood Sugar Levels
Your blood sugar levels, also known as blood glucose levels, are a measurement that show how much glucose you have in your blood. Glucose is a sugar that you get from food and drink. Your blood sugar levels go up and down throughout the day and for people living with diabetes these changes are larger and happen more often than in people who don’t have diabetes.
You can check your sugar levels yourself by doing a finger-prick test, by using a flash glucose monitor or with a continuous glucose monitor . You can do this a number of times a day helping you keep an eye on your levels as you go about your life and help you work out what to eat and how much medication to take. Find out your ideal target range.
But not everyone with diabetes needs to check their levels like this. Youll need to if you take certain diabetes medication. Always talk to your healthcare team if youre not sure whether thats you theyll give you advice on whether to check them yourself and how often.
And theres also something called an HbA1c, which measures your average blood sugar level from the previous few months. Everyone with diabetes is entitled to this check.
High blood sugar levels increase your risk of developing serious complications. However you manage your diabetes, stay in the know about your blood sugar levels.
Why Should A Person Get The A1c Test
Testing can help health care professionals
- find prediabetes and counsel you about lifestyle changes to help you delay or prevent type 2 diabetes
- find type 2 diabetes
- work with you to monitor the disease and help make treatment decisions to prevent complications
If you have risk factors for prediabetes or diabetes, talk with your doctor about whether you should be tested.
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Checking Your Blood Glucose Levels Will Help You To:
- Develop confidence in looking after your diabetes.
- Better understand the relationship between your blood glucose levels and the exercise you do, the food you eat and other lifestyle influences such as travel, stress and illness.
- Know how your lifestyle choices and medication, if used, are making a difference.
- Find out immediately if your blood glucose levels are too high or too low , helping you to make important decisions such as eating before exercise, treating a hypo or seeking medical advice if sick.
- Know when to seek the advice of your diabetes health team about adjusting your insulin, tablets, meal or snack planning when blood glucose goals are not being met.
Diabetes Increases The Risk Of Health Complications
Diabetes has the potential to cause numerous debilitating health complications. Most often, complications are the result of an unmanaged or poorly managed diabetes. However, people with appropriate diabetes management are also at risk of developing complications.
Half of the 463 million adults living with diabetes today are unaware that they have the condition, and are therefore at high risk of developing serious diabetes-related complications.
Globally, 11.3% of deaths are due to diabetes. Almost half of these deaths are in people under 60 years of age.
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What Is Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is when a pregnant woman develops high blood glucose levels during pregnancy.
Our bodies take the food we eat and turn it into glucose that enters our bloodstream. In response, insulin is produced by our pancreas to help move that glucose from our blood to our cells where its used as energy. Without adequate insulin, blood sugar levels can build up in our blood, which is a problem.
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When To Seek Medical Care
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What To Look For In A Glucometer
Insurance coverage: Akankasha Goyal, an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health, says the most important consideration when researching glucometers is if it will be covered under your insurance company. It has to be cost effective at the end of the day because people check their blood glucose at least once or twice per day, she says.
You dont just want to select a device that is covered under your health insurance, but you also want the test strips, or a portion of the strips, to be covered as they are the item that really adds up when it comes to price. So when purchasing a meter, pay attention to what specific test strips it requires and how expensive they would be under your health insurance. That should help you narrow down the options available on the market.
Accuracy:The quality of your glucometer and the quality of the testing strips used in your glucometer can dramatically impact the overall accuracy of your blood glucose monitoring tests. Some meters are known for giving readings that show blood glucose levels up to 15 percent higher or lower than they actually are. That variance is accepted by the Food and Drug Administration, but the more accurate readings you can get from your glucometer, the better.
There are a lot of choices but fundamentally they all work. The choices come down to cost, your personal desire for the features, etc.”Matt Petersen, vice president of medical information and professional engagement at the American Diabetes Association
Inconsistent Highs & Lows
Sometimes you may get a lower or higher blood glucose reading than usual and you may not be able to figure out the reason. When you are sick with a virus or flu, your blood glucose levels will nearly always go up and you may need to contact your doctor. There are a number of other common causes for blood glucose levels to increase or decrease. These include:
- Food time eaten, type and amount of carbohydrate for example: bread, pasta, cereals, vegetables, fruit and milk
- Exercise or physical activity
- Other medications
- Blood glucose checking techniques.
Contact your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator if you notice that your blood glucose patters change or are consistently higher or lower than usual.
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Severe Low Blood Sugar
As your low blood sugar gets worse, you may experience more serious symptoms, including:
- Feeling weak.
- Having difficulty walking or seeing clearly.
- Acting strange or feeling confused.
- Having seizures.
Severe low blood sugar is below 54 mg/dL. Blood sugar this low may make you faint . Often, youll need someone to help you treat severe low blood sugar.
People with diabetes may experience low blood sugar as often as once or twice a week, even when managing their blood sugar closely. Knowing how to identify and treat it is important for your health. Learn how to treat low blood sugar.
Why You Should Check Your Blood Sugar
Testing blood glucose can help you manage diabetes by showing you:
- How well your diabetes treatment plan is working
- How exercise and food affect your blood sugar levels
- How things like stress and illness affect your levels
- How well your diabetes medication is working
- When your blood sugar levels are too high or too low
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How Can You Test Your Blood Sugar Without A Meter
40 plus years ago when I was ten or so I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus. For several weeks I recall seeing hazy yet clear lines in the toilet whenever I urinated. That was sugar spilling from my blood into my kidneys to be gotten ridden of.. Back then we used a chemical reaction which took place in a test tube after putting 30 drops of water along with 5 drops of urine,shake then adding a pill or tablet called CLINITEST which began this chemical reaction. After a few seconds the bubbling subsides and depending on the amount of glucose in the urine would turn anywhere from a bright blue color to a bright orange and four shades in between . I hope this helps.Continue reading > >
Diabetes Testing And Monitoring
If you have diabetes, blood glucose monitoring can help you keep your glucose levels within a target range by balancing food, exercise and insulin, reducing your chances of diabetes complications. A range of testing and monitoring equipment is available to help people manage their diabetes. Your doctor or diabetes nurse or educator can advise you on the most appropriate equipment for you and your situation.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends that if you have type 2 diabetes and take oral medication only, you should talk to your doctor or specialist about the need to test your blood sugar levels at home, as most people in this situation do not need to do this type of monitoring. For further information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
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Weighing Your Risk Factors
Times To Check More Often
There will be times when you need to check more often, however you should first discuss this with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. Example of these times include when you are:
- Being more physically active or less physically active
- Sick or stressed
- Experiencing changes in routine or eating habits, e.g. travelling
- Changing or adjusting your insulin or medication
- Experiencing symptoms of hypoglycaemia
- Experiencing night sweats or morning headaches
- A female planning pregnancy or are pregnant.
- Pre/post minor surgical day procedures
- Post dental procedures
Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you work out self-monitoring approach especially for you.
When Should You Test Your Blood Sugar
It depends on which type of diabetes you have:
- Type 1 diabetes. Itâs up to your doctor. They could suggest you test anywhere between four and 10 times a day. For example, you could test before meals and snacks, before and after exercise, before bed, and even during the night. You may also need to check more often if youâre sick, making changes to your daily routine, or starting a new medication.
- Type 2 diabetes. It depends on what you take to treat your diabetes:
- Insulin. The doctor may tell you to test a few times a day, depending on the type and amount of insulin you use. Youâll probably test before meals and at bedtime if you’re taking multiple daily injections. You may need to test only twice daily, before breakfast and dinner, if you only use a long-acting insulin.
- Medications. If you use drugs to manage diabetes, your doctor will tell you how often to check your blood sugar.
- Lifestyle changes. If youâre relying on diet and exercise, you may not need to test your blood sugar daily.
When Should I Test My Blood Sugar
You may need to check your blood sugar several times a day, such as before meals or exercise, at bedtime, before driving, and when you think your blood sugar levels are low.
Everyone is different, so ask your doctor when and how often you should check your blood sugar. If you’re sick, you’ll probably need to test your blood sugar more often.
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What If The Blood Glucose Check Result Doesnt Sound Right
If youre not convinced that a result is correct, heres a suggested check list:
- Have the strips expired?
- Is the meter too hot or too cold?
- Is the calibration code correct?
- Is the battery low or flat?
All meters will give a different result with a different drop of blood. As long as there is not a big difference there is not usually cause for concern.
The accuracy of all meters can be checked with meter-specific liquid drops called control solutions. If you are concerned, you can arrange to have your meter checked with a control solution. Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator or pharmacist can help you with this.
Fasting Blood Sugar Test:
In this fasting glucose test, the blood sample from a patient is taken post overnight fasting. A reading below 100mg/dl is termed normal. Now, a level between 100 and 125mg/dl suggests that you are pre-diabetic. If the blood sugar level even after fasting is 126mg/dl and high, you are confirmed as diabetic.
If after all these tests, you have been noted to be at the early stage of diabetes, you need to opt for holistic treatment options.
YES, diabetes at the early stage is treatable only if you take proper care of yourself. Now, there have been no scientific reports proving that diabetes once detected can be treated. However, many patients have shown significant improvement at the pre-diabetes stage especially when they take care of themselves.
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