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For people who need to keep an eye on their blood sugar level, a glucose meter is a handy thing to keep around. There are many different types of glucose meters available with continuous glucose monitor being one of them. Unlike other glucose monitoring devices that merely detect the amount of glucose present in your system, a continuous glucose monitoring device also detects trends and patterns thus, gives your doctor a more comprehensive picture of your condition.
A continuous glucose monitor is not available over the counter and will need to be prescribed by your doctor. It uses a tiny sensor that is placed under the skin of your abdomen to measure the glucose level in the fluid within your body. This insertion is quick and quite painless. The sensor has a transmitter that sends the information about your glucose levels to a small pager like device. The data collected can be seen in the form of readings every 1,5 or 10 minutes. If your sugar levels drop to an extremely low level to go up to a very high level, the monitor will sound and alarm to notify you.
The data collected by a continuous glucose monitor can also be downloaded to your smartphone, laptop or tablet. By looking at the readings over a period of time, you will be able to notice trends and patterns in your sugar levels. This data helps diabetic patients and their doctors to decide on a number of things such as:
- How much insulin is needed?
- What is the optimum dosage of medication required for you?
- What is the optimum number of meals needed per day?
- How much should you eat in every meal?
- What is the right exercise plan for you?
Diabetics who use an insulin pump can also link this to the continuous glucose monitor so that they do not need to manually program the pump. This is known as a sensor augmented pump. This device can also help record blood sugar levels as you sleep thus, detecting spikes and lows that would otherwise go undetected. It also helps understand the relationship between your diet as well as exercise and your blood sugar levels.
A continuous glucose monitor needs to be changed every 3 to 7 days. Also, it cannot be used to replace finger sticks or traditional home monitors. You may also need a little training on how to use the device correctly. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a general physician.