Monitoring Blood Glucose

November 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Managing Diabetes

In this space we recently discussed other insulin-delivery options now available for diabetics, including insulin pumps and insulin pens.

Fortunately, there have also been great strides in measuring and tracking blood sugars, and these developments can prove tremendously helpful to Americans managing diabetes.

The traditional way to check blood sugars is known as “blood glucose monitoring.” It is recommended for all diabetics, particularly those who are pregnant, taking insulin, or severe fluctuations in glucose levels.

To test their sugars, diabetics take a test strip, place it into a meter, and touch it with a drop of blood; the level automatically shows up on the meter’s display.

That said, for millions of diabetics, the process is time-consuming and disruptive, particularly if they must test their sugars in a public place. Which brings us to “continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).”

A CGM sensor is placed under the skin, linked to a transmitter, and tracks blood sugar levels every five minutes. Better yet, it automatically stores these readings; traditional monitoring methods require diabetics to manually write their levels down in a book.

 

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