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Best Continuous Glucose Monitor For Non Diabetics

Continuous Blood Glucose Monitors For Non

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems for Diabetes: What You Need to Know | Walgreens

21st July, 2022

If you dont have diabetes, should you even consider a blood glucose monitor? Well, here is the science behind this new tiktok trend and why these Continuous Blood Glucose Monitors are here to stay and what we know about them.

The device

First, the device a continuous blood glucose monitor is a device that you place on your body and it measures the blood glucose level and reports that data typically to an application on your phone. The first blood glucose monitors were used to help patients with type 1 diabetes regulate their blood sugar. They were revolutionary, but expensive, not covered by many insurance companies, and cumbersome. As the technology has improved, the price has decreased, the comfort level has improved, and the accuracy of the monitoring has improved. As with most technology, blood glucose monitors are now less expensive, better, and widely available.

You can read more about the history of the blood glucose monitor here.

Most diabetics use a fingerstick to see what their blood glucose is, and use that information to determine the medicine they need to help regulate their blood glucose. The CGM allows real-time data which can be checked against food logs to allow a person to see impact of their diet on their regulation of food. As the epidemic of diabetes grows, about 55 million predicted with diabetes by 2030, we know that the less variability in glucose, the better long-term outcome and here.

What is best?

Economies of Scale

Special Features Of A Cgm

CGMs are always on and recording glucose levelswhether youre showering, working, exercising, or sleeping. Many CGMs have special features that work with information from your glucose readings:

  • An alarm can sound when your glucose level goes too low or too high.
  • You can note your meals, physical activity, and medicines in a CGM device, too, alongside your glucose levels.
  • You can download data to a computer or smart device to more easily see your glucose trends.

Some models can send information right away to a second persons smartphoneperhaps a parent, partner, or caregiver. For example, if a childs glucose drops dangerously low overnight, the CGM could be set to wake a parent in the next room.

Currently, one CGM model is approved for treatment decisions, the Dexcom G5 Mobile. That means you can make changes to your diabetes care plan based on CGM results alone. With other models, you must first confirm a CGM reading with a finger-stick blood glucose test before you take insulin or treat hypoglycemia.

What To Look For

If youve used a traditional glucose monitor in the past and are looking for a less painful, more portable option, then a CGM may be a better choice. You may consider the Libre, G6, Guardian Connect, or Eversense based on their features, as well the accuracy and duration of sensor wear.

While insurance and Medicare do cover CGMs, these monitors are more expensive overall. Depending on your insurance, they may offer coverage for one type of CGM but not another. Its important to check these details with your provider ahead of time.

If you dont have insurance, you can check with your doctor or pharmacist for discounts on your CGM and accessories. Its also possible to get coupons directly from the manufacturer to help offset the costs.

Also Check: A1c Blood Glucose Conversion Chart

My Cgm Experiment: What I Learned As A Non

I wasnt sure Id write much about it, but when I asked folks on my email list if theyd be interested in hearing about this CGM experiment , the response was HUGE.

I even polled my followers in my stories and 99% said yes, tell me more about what you learned from wearing a continuous glucose monitor.

I also received A LOT of specific questions about this:

  • Why did you choose to wear a CGM?
  • Which CGM did you choose?
  • What was your average blood sugar?
  • How did you get a CGM?
  • How much does a CGM cost?
  • How bad does it hurt to put in the CGM sensor?

And on and on and on. I received over 60 questions, so I obviously cant answer them all here, but Ill at least cover the biggest and most common questions.

Per usual, what I had envisioned as a short n sweet write up turned into a bit of a research beast. I should know myself by now, ha!

How Does A Continuous Glucose Monitor Work

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A CGM works through a tiny sensor inserted under your skin, usually on your belly or arm. The sensor measures your interstitial glucose level, which is the glucose found in the fluid between the cells. The sensor tests glucose every few minutes. A transmitter wirelessly sends the information to a monitor.

The monitor may be part of an insulin pump or a separate device, which you might carry in a pocket or purse. Some CGMs send information directly to a smartphone or tablet. Several models are available and are listed in the American Diabetes Associations product guide.

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Seasons Of Me Program

As for the January Seasons of Me program, I thought it was ok. There wasnt as much guidance as I would have liked. You couldnt alter the days of your experiments, and the reporting/insights were not that terrific.

Hopefully they will make improvements to the program over time. But, right now, Id rate it as pretty basic and not particularly useful. If there were a way to get a CGM without the program, I would recommend forgoing the program.

My biggest complaint was how it calculated my calories. I work out for around two hours each day . Im in my late 30s so while my metabolism has slowed down some, its not completely shot.

That said, Januarys program frequently told me to consume 1300-1400 calories a day. If I ate this little, I would be starving all the time. I usually consume around 1800-1900 calories per day, for which I was scolded with a red bar and didnt get as many points in the app. Again, not a big deal, but a bit frustrating.

I look forward to the future when a lot more data is available about glucose levels so better guidance can be given.

For example, it would be interesting to learn if I should let my blood sugars return to a certain level before eating or see data on how my glucose levels and curves compare to others.

Update: Since the initial writing of this post I used the Levels CGM. If you want to learn more, read my Levels Health Review and 20 Things I learned by wearing a CGM.

Different Continuous Glucose Monitor Systems

Each device below has its own accompanying app. If youre a data geek, looking for a challenge, and live in a country where CGMs dont require a prescription, you can buy any of the below for much cheaper. Then youll have to do all the overlays yourself.

The other selling point of the all-in-one services is the well-polished apps and user experience that make your data useful.

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Average Blood Glucose Levels & Glycated Hemoglobin Tests

If you have abnormal fasting glucose levels, your physician may order aglycated hemoglobin test, one of the most indicative benchmark tools physicians currently use to understand, track, and manage blood glucose health. The HbA1c test is sometimes referred to as A1c.

The hemoglobin A1c< sup> 2< /sup> test measures a personâs blood glucose levels over the past three months. Through the results of this test, physicians may be able to determine your average blood glucose levels.

A1C is not recommended< sup> 3< /sup> in clinical situations which may interfere with the metabolism of hemoglobin, such as in hemolytic, secondary or iron deficiency anemia, hemoglobinopathies, pregnancy, and uremia. The glycated albumin is a test that reflects short-term glycemia and is not influenced by situations that falsely alter A1C levels.

What About Health Insurance Coverage

Continuous Glucose Monitoring Q& A

Its helpful to know that the Dexcom G6, Abbott FreeStyle Libre 2, and Eversense implantable CGM are all covered by most private and public health insurance plans, including Medicare . Medtronics Guardian Connect, however, was not covered by Medicare as of December 2021.

Historically, people with type 1 diabetes have had a much easier time qualifying for a CGM through insurance than those with type 2 diabetes because it was easier to establish medical necessity.

Still, if you have T2D and your doctor can make a case for medical necessity, you may qualify. But your insurance company may still want to confirm whether you actually need a CGM.

If you can prove youre experiencing both high blood sugars and low blood sugars regularly, you will likely qualify. This can be proven by providing blood glucose logs uploaded from your fingerstick meter. Generally, hyperglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level of 250 mg/dL or over, while hypoglycemia is a blood sugar 70 mg/dL or below.

If your insurance company denies your coverage for a CGM, talk with your doctors office about peer-to-peer reviews and appeals. Pushing your doctor to fight for you matters.

Manufacturers can have your back here, too. Dexcom, for instance, has an easy-to-complete patient information form you can submit along with your insurance information. The company will then contact your insurer to work on getting your device authorized and covered. Medtronic offers a similar service.

Also Check: What Is Insulin Dependent Diabetes

Got A Costco Near You Check Their Prices To See If Theyre Better

Sometimes, having a wholesale membership from Costco or Sams Club may save you a little money on the newest CGM technology without insurance. While this is not always the case, its still worth investigating in the cost-savings process!

Here is the 2022 cost breakdown of popular CGMs like the Freestyle Libre 2 and Dexcom G6 on Costcos website.*:

*This is just one example of popular CGM device pricing on a specific date in time. Exact costs may vary depending on patient circumstances, at what point in the future you fill your prescription and the location. Always contact your local Costco, Sams Club, or other pharmacies for exact prices on CGM supplies you want to fill without running insurance in your area.

Bigger Implications For Diabetes And Prediabetes

At this time, 49-52% of the adult US population has either diabetes or prediabetes, many of whom remain undiagnosed.Its estimated that upwards of 70% of people with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.

A 2018 analysis of the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data found that only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy. TWELVE PERCENT. .

That means 88% of Americans are NOT metabolically healthy.

I have no doubt that if I continued to eat high-carb meals for my lifetime , pushing my blood sugar levels to prediabetic levels again and again and again gradually resulting in a breakdown of my insulin sensitivity, I would become one of these statistics. Furthermore, eating this way leaves me feeling like garbage. It makes me crazy hungry for all the wrong foods as my poor body attempts to regulate blood sugar between spike after spike.

Fortunately, I dont have to go down that path because this experiment has highlighted just how crucial a lower-carb, real food diet is to maintaining blood sugar balance, even for people like myself, who supposedly have normal glucose tolerance. If you watch the spectacular results of the Virta program or similar diabetes interventions using a lower carbohydrate approach, its just common sense.

The point is that even if youre metabolically healthy, your blood sugar can still spike pretty high if you eat a bunch of naked carbs.

My oatmeal experiment made that crystal clear.

Recommended Reading: Diabetic Smoothies With Almond Milk

Coverage Of Biosimilar Drugs

Biologic drugs are drugs produced from living cells and patented by pharmaceutical companies. Biosimilars are very similar copies of biologic drugs, which cost less. When biosimilars are marketed, the brand name biologic drug to which it is compared is called the reference biologic drug. The public plan covers biosimilars specified on the List of Medications.

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If Knowledge Is Power Why Not Monitor Your Blood Sugar

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So, why would a person who doesnt have diabetes want to monitor their blood sugar? Possible reasons include

  • Detecting prediabetes. In prediabetes blood sugar is slightly high, but not high enough to meet the definition of diabetes. For healthy people, blood sugar testing is typically recommended every three years or so if prediabetes is diagnosed, repeat testing is recommended more often, at least yearly. CGM might allow earlier diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes. This could be particularly helpful for people at higher risk for diabetes due to family history or other factors, and people taking medicines that can raise blood sugar.
  • The notion of âoptimizingâ blood sugar for peak mental or physical performance. Not surprisingly, some CGM makers suggest knowing your blood sugar can help you make changes to keep it in an âideal rangeâ that will help you perform your best, prevent diabetes, or improve health in some other way. For example, you might change what or when you eat. None of these marketing notions has been proven, or even well studied. And guess what even the ideal blood sugar range for a person who isnt diabetic is uncertain.
  • The illusion of control. Having more information about your body may provide you with a sense of control over your health, even if you take no immediate action.
  • Curiosity. Lets face it, its tempting to gather information about our bodies that might be interesting .

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Pros And Cons Of Using A Flash Glucose Monitor Or Cgm

Diabetes technology is a wonderful thing, but it certainly isnt for everyone.

Some people feel uneasy about getting lots of data, and for some people it gives them more confidence. Weve got more information to help you work through these different feelings about using diabetes tech. And you can always call our helpline to ask questions or just to talk it through.

Advantages of Flash and CGM

Disadvantages of Flash and CGM

You dont need to do so many finger-prick checks and you can set alarms if your blood sugar goes too low or too high .

Its not always as accurate as doing a finger prick check and it can take a while to get used to using the technology

You can see trends, like when your sugar levels are starting to rise or drop, so you can take action earlier.

You can get overloaded with data, which can confuse or worry some people.

You can get your sugar levels in your target range more often as you have more information about when youre high and low.

You may find wearing the sensor irritating, you might not like the look of it, or showing people that you have diabetes.

You can see what your levels are like at times when you dont normally test, like during the night .

Your glucose levels can be shared with your diabetes team, so they can review and adjust your diabetes management. It also means that the information can be shared easily during virtual appointments.

Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring Market Size Is Projected To Reach Usd 1492 Billion By 2030 Growing At A Cagr Of 123%: Straits Research

The global continuous blood glucose monitoring market size was valued at USD 5.25 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 14.92 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 12.3% during the forecast period . North America Dominated the Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring Market

New York, United States, Nov. 01, 2022 — The demand for continuous blood glucose monitors is rising. People with diabetes are among the most vulnerable to severe complications caused by COVID-19. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been more preference for the use of virtual clinics and telemedicine to monitor diabetics. For example, the UK’s National Health Service revised its clinical guidance to promote remote contacts through mobile, email, and video conferencing. This has contributed to increased demand for apps for diabetic treatment, which can exchange data remotely.

Report Scope

Increase in Diabetes Incidence and to Reduce the Complications Associated with the Disease

Regional Analysis

The regions of North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, the Middle East, and Africa are majorly considered in the analysis of the global continuous blood glucose monitoring market.

Competitive Players in the Global Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring Market

3.3 Restraints

3.3.2 Insufficient reimbursement

3.5 Challenges

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Why Is Carb Tolerance So Individual

Everyones carb tolerance is different and thats what is so cool about wearing a continuous glucose monitor. For me personally, total carbohydrate intake at meals was the biggest determining factor of my blood sugar response. Non-starchy vegetables, which contain small amounts of carbohydrates but a higher proportion of fiber , didnt spike my blood sugar whatsoever, even at meals with BIG portions of non-starchy vegetables.

I was able to tolerate potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, beans, real sourdough bread, and fruit without a spike my blood sugar so long as I ate them in reasonable portions and alongside fat and protein and lots of non-starchy vegetables . I learned that rice, oatmeal, and hidden sugar did not work well for my body.

It could be that the latter sources of carbohydrates are acellular, which some research argues has a more severe glycemic and inflammatory response.

It could be that my microbiome has some preferences of its own .

It could be that I inherited a pancreas that doesnt enjoy pumping out big boluses of insulin . Yay, #epigenetics.

Technically, it doesnt matter what the mechanism is. What matters is that I can identify the foods that spike my blood sugar and make a choice as to if I eat them, in what portions, and how often.

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