Why do healthcare providers use blinded continuous glucose monitoring?

Steven Edelman, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Healthcare providers who use blinded continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) say that real-time unblinded CGM (which allows you to see your blood sugar measurements) is more expensive than a short-term blinded session (which does not). They say that people who use unblinded CGM will not know what to do with the results, and fear it may cause them to overreact and do harm by taking too much insulin.

These providers also say that the technology is “too much” for many people with diabetes. They refer to something called the "Hawthorne effect." That concept suggests that if we see the blood sugar (glucose) result, we will change our behavior based on them. Therefore, your doctor will not know how adding a medication or changing your insulin dose is really affecting you.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.