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Manage Insulin-Dependent Diabetes With 90-Day CGMs

Manage Insulin-Dependent Diabetes With 90-Day CGMs

Learn how 90-day CGMs may be a game-changer for folks with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

When you think of humans with implants, you may picture sinister movie characters like Dr. No with bionic metal hands or the Borg from Star Trek. But as a force for good, an implantable glucose monitor that was approved in 2018 may turn you into a diabetes-vanquishing, fighting machine.

One of the challenges of managing insulin-dependent diabetes (that’s everyone with type 1 and 30 to 40 percent of folks with type 2) is knowing how much insulin to use and what to eat, so you can keep glucose levels in a healthy range and dodge high (hyper) and low (hypo) glucose readings. Those highs can lead to complications; the lows can be life-threatening. But knowing your numbers so you can adjust your medication and food intake often means frequent (and bothersome) finger-sticks using a glucose meter.

Enter continuous glucose monitors (CGMs)! The devices consist of a small sensor with a tiny tube that pierces the skin and is replaced every 6 to 14 days, plus a transmitter and a receiver.

Additionally, there’s another type of CGM with a tiny sensor/transmitter that can stay implanted in your upper arm for 90 days and send its data directly to your smartphone! It alerts you 24/7 to both hyper- and hypoglycemia. However, with 17 and 16 percent false positives, you need to use your low-tech glucose meter to check its readings.

Careful monitoring along with regular exercise and a nutritious diet, will improve your glucose control, so no matter if you have type 2 or type 1 diabetes, you’re less likely to have complications.

Medically reviewed in July 2019.

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