Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is a small wearable device that tracks your glucose throughout the day and night, notifying you of highs and lows so you can take action.

CGM is a way to measure glucose levels in real time throughout the day and night. A tiny electrode called a glucose sensor is inserted under the skin to measure glucose levels in tissue fluid. It is connected to a transmitter that sends the information via wireless radio frequency to a monitoring and display device. The device can detect and notify you if your glucose is reaching a high or low limit. The latest Medtronic CGM systems can actually alert you before you reach your glucose limits.

CGM systems usually consist of a glucose sensor, a transmitter, and a small external monitor to view your glucose levels. MiniMed insulin pumps have built-in CGM so the information can be conveniently seen on your pump screen.

The CGM monitor or insulin pump is small, discreet, and easy-to-wear. It can be attached to your belt, hidden in your pocket, or placed under your clothing. This component will show your current glucose levels and your historical glucose trends. It also notifies you before you reach your low or high glucose limits and if your glucose level rises or falls too quickly.

The CGM transmitter is a small, lightweight device that attaches to the glucose sensor, gathers your glucose data, and sends it wirelessly to the glucose monitor unit. The Medtronic transmitter is waterproof and can be worn while swimming, bathing, or showering without worries.

The glucose sensor is inserted under the skin to check glucose levels in tissue fluid. The glucose sensor has a small adhesive (sticky) patch to hold it in place for a few days and then it must be replaced with a new sensor. The glucose sensor is inserted with a needle, which is removed after the glucose sensor is in place. The most common place to wear a glucose sensor is in the abdomen.
The glucose sensor is easily inserted under the skin using an insertion device. A sensor is placed into the insertion device, and with a push of a button the glucose sensor is inserted quickly and easily.

Benefits of CGM

A blood glucose meter only provides a brief “snapshot” of your glucose level at a single moment in time. A CGM device, though, gives you a greater view of your glucose trends. CGM provides you with:

The direction your glucose levels are going
Early notification of oncoming lows and highs
Alerts for lows or highs while you are sleeping or anytime
Insights into how food, physical activity, medication, and illness impact your diabetes

CGM can provide valuable information at crucial points during the day, including before and during exercise, prior to driving, before test/exam-taking, and in the middle of the night. It is still required to check blood glucose levels with a fingerstick before therapy adjustment.

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