CGM meant to monitor low blood sugar



June 24, 2018 - 11:00 PM

To Your Good Health

Dear Dr Roach: I am a 71-year-old Type 2 diabetic woman, but I find the glucose monitoring systems requiring blood samples so painful to use that I don’t test. At present, I get along by taking a 500-mg metformin tablet three times a day and having bloodwork done about twice a year. My last fasting glucose test result (1/19/18) was 134 mg/dL, and my HbA1c was 6.9 percent. Should I consider a continuous glucose monitor? I am overweight, so that is a factor I am working on. — C.P.

Answer: A continuous glucose monitor checks and electronically records many blood sugar readings, as often as every five minutes, which can sometimes be read by the user in real time or can be downloaded by the clinician at the end of two weeks (at which point, another unit is placed). The units themselves look like large buttons and contain a very thin needle with a sensor that measures the blood sugar.

CGM systems are used most often in people with Type 1 diabetes, but some patients with Type 2 may be candidates for the system, particularly those whose blood sugars are known or suspected to go too low.

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