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Continuous Glucose Monitoring Device For Managing Blood Sugar Spikes

Contrary to popular belief, anyone can suffer from frequent glucose spikes, not just patients with diabetes. Frequent spikes in blood sugar levels (glucose spikes) and persistently high blood sugar levels are associated with increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, liver disease, stroke, nerve damage and/or kidney disease.

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is a reliable way for non-diabetic individuals to monitor/catch how often their blood sugar spikes in real-time.

What is a glucose spike?

A glucose spike is a rapid and sharp rise in blood glucose levels followed by a similarly sharp fall, usually occurring following a meal; The medical term for after-meal spikes in blood glucose levels being postprandial hyperglycaemia.

Non-diabetic individuals can suffer from glucose spikes

A common misconception is that only patients with diabetes are susceptible to frequent glucose spikes or hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar); Medical studies indicate that certain medical conditions can increase the risk of blood glucose spikes in non-diabetic individuals while certain foods can cause blood glucose to spike equally high in both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals.

Even if you are non-diabetic, a continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM device) can be beneficial for you if you suffer from conditions that increase your risk of frequent blood sugar spikes:

  • Obesity
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Pregnancy (pregnancy diabetes/gestational diabetes)
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of exercise/sedentary lifestyle
  • Physical overexertion (too much exercise/exercise at too high intensities)
  • Constant emotional stress

What is the point of using a continuous glucose monitoring device?

Symptoms of temporary and chronic hyperglycaemia are typically not physically visible; Depending on the individual, the symptoms can either be strong enough to cause discomfort, or so mild that the individual does not notice, and the condition goes unaddressed until it becomes more severe.

A CGM device allows you to accurately track your glucose levels and detect spikes that would otherwise go unnoticed.

If you suspect that you suffer from hyperglycaemia or are prone to frequent glucose spikes, you may want to consider using a CGM device. However, please note that using a continuous glucose monitor is not a substitute for a formal diagnosis/consultation session with a trained medical professional.

Early symptoms of high blood sugar:

  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Poor mood/irritability
  • Increased thirst/hunger
  • Frequent urination

Symptoms of long-term high blood sugar:

  • Fatigue/lethargy (low energy levels)
  • Impaired healing (slow healing of wounds such as cuts or sores)
  • Unhealthy weight loss
  • Skin infection

Unlike other blood glucose measuring devices, the CGM device does not require constantly finger pricking to obtain a blood sample for testing.

Minimising glucose spikes improves longevity

High blood glucose levels are concerning even in non-diabetic individuals, especially so if the individual suffers from frequent glucose spikes, as in the short term such spikes can result in poor mood or lethargy, but in the long term, it can be one of the indicators of increased risk for pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Knowing your blood glucose levels in real-time can help you determine if you suffer from frequent glucose spikes and take the necessary precautions to minimise instances of said spikes occurring to improve your longevity, optimise your health, and avoid problems associated with high blood sugar:

Insulin resistance and diabetes

Insulin is a hormone that promotes the absorption of glucose in the blood into liver, fat, and skeletal muscles cells. Prolonged high levels of blood glucose and frequent glucose spikes result in a correspondingly higher production of insulin by the pancreas in response. Over time, this can lead to insulin resistance as the cells lose their ability to respond to insulin.

Impaired sensitivity to insulin makes it hard for the body to lower blood sugar effectively and maintain blood glucose levels within the healthy range. While insulin resistance can temporary or chronic, if left undetected or untreated, it can result prediabetes and subsequently type 2 diabetes.

Continuous glucose monitoring using a CGM device is effective at catching impaired insulin sensitivity and is thus useful for early insulin resistance detection.

Inflammation

Inflammation can be acute or chronic. While commonly associated with swelling, redness, and pain, inflammation is also responsible fatigue and fever. Medical studies have shown that insulin resistance that results from hyperglycaemia/frequent glucose spikes is proinflammatory, meaning, it can potentially cause inflammatory damage to the body.

Repeated spikes in blood sugar can induce the production of free radicals by cells that line the blood vessels (endothelial cell), resulting in oxidative stress, damage to the endothelial cells, and inflammation of the blood vessels.

Increased risk of stroke and/or heart attack

In addition to causing blood vessels to harden and narrow, increased glucose presence in blood also increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke by promoting:

  • The oxidation of low-density lipoprotein, which causes blood vessel plaque build-up
  • Blood vessel constriction and platelet clumping, increasing the risk of blood clots

A dynamic view of your glucose trends

Conventional blood glucose tests are not as thorough as CGM devices as they can miss significant fluctuations or spikes in glucose levels if the spikes occur between tests.

Continuous glucose monitoring provides patients with a more in-depth look at their blood glucose trends as it shows patients a dynamic view of their daily glucose fluctuations as opposed to just snapshots of their glucose levels at any given time.

CGM can track:

  • Severely low overnight blood sugar levels which often go undetected
  • Spikes in glucose levels between meals
  • Early morning glucose spikes
  • How different diets and exercise routines affect your glucose levels
  • How effective your treatment plan is in real-time if you are diabetic

How does a CGM device work?

A continuous glucose monitoring device is an FDA-approved small wearable monitor that is typically worn on the arm or abdomen. The CGM device is comprised of three parts:

  • The sensor – the implantable portion that measures glucose levels
  • The transmitter – attaches to the sensor and wirelessly transmits data from the sensor to the receiver
  • The receiver – The device (typically the patient’s smartphone) that receives and displays the patient’s real-time glucose levels

Our clinic’s staff will assist you with the installation of the CGM device if you are unable to apply the sensor to your desired application site on your own. When the sensor is applied, a thin sterile fibre will be inserted into the subcutaneous tissue layer of the skin (the layer just under the skin) and held in place via an adhesive pad.

The CGM device sensor samples the fluid in the spaces around subcutaneous cells and provides real-time insights to the patient’s blood glucose levels throughout the day, allowing for the patient and/or the patient’s health care provider to accurately monitor glucose fluctuations.

Optimize your health and workout

Real-time glucose values obtained via CGM can help patients fine tune their diets, exercise routine, stress management, and sleeping patterns.

Stress management

Increased expression of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can increase the risk of insulin resistance. CGM can show patients real-time glucose level changes in response to stress, allowing patients to identify how sensitive they are to stress hormones, what is the cause of their stress, and possibly seek ways to improve their routine to minimise stress.

Mood improvement and improved nutrition

Hyperglycaemia can cause patients to feel irritable, fatigue, and/or lethargic. One of the most common causes of hyperglycaemia in non-diabetic individuals is postprandial (after-meal) hyperglycaemia.

Continuous glucose monitoring tracks the body’s response following the consumption of food items in real-time, allowing patients to identify what foods suit their diet and nutritional needs and help them prevent severe post-meal spikes, which can help improve mood and reduce anxiety.

Optimise athletic performance

CGM can help patients improve their pre-exercise nutrition by helping them personalise their pre-exercise meals to suit their body’s glucose metabolism to ensure optimal performance during a workout.

When used in combination with training techniques such as Zone 2 Training, CGM can help professional athletes extract the most out of each work out session as they are able to personalise the intensity of their work out and nutritional value of their meal to suit their individual metabolic responses and lactate threshold.

Is installation painful?

No, most patients should not feel any pain or discomfort when the sensor is applied.

How long can each CGM sensor last?

Continuous glucose monitoring device sensors typically last around 7- 14 days.

Can I bath while using a Continuous glucose monitoring device?

Yes, the sensor is water-resistant. However, the amount of time the sensor is exposed to water should be minimised. The sensor should not be immersed in water for longer than 30 minutes.