Continuous Glucose Monitors: They are not just for Diabetics
Over the last couple of years there seems to be more buzz about continuous glucose monitors (CGM). It occurs to me that when I look at various social media ads I see more health conscious individuals, wellness experts, nutritionists, or athletes using these devices. I cannot get on TikTok without seeing someone showing the effect of food on their blood sugar using their CGM. I regularly receive emails advertising continuous glucose monitors.
At the beginning of my journey to improve my health, I felt a bit helpless. I had been told that I had protein in my urine (which means kidney disease), a fatty liver, and my average blood sugar (measured by a hemoglobin A1c) was 126. This represents a hemoglobin A1c of 6.0. When one reaches a Hemoglobin A1c of 6.5 they are assigned the diagnosis of diabetes. I had a significant case of prediabetes and was experiencing the complications of diabetes without having the diagnosis. At that time, I felt a bit helpless, frustrated and was in denial. So, I decided to do something about it, and I got a continuous glucose monitor.
I did some research and found a company from whom to purchase a continuous glucose monitor package. I purchased six months of their service for nearly $900.00. For this price I received the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor and an app that provided me extensive information regarding my glucose levels. The app also had tips on how to eat to control your glucose and put me through various activities to show me how my glucose was altered by the activity. I was able to track my food in the app so I could easily see at any time what my glucose did in relation to the food I ate. Because I paid the money, I committed to the process for 6 months and am very happy I did.
At the end of the six months, the protein in my urine was almost undetectable, I had reversed my fatty liver, lost 20lbs, and my hemoglobin A1c was 5.3, which is an average blood sugar of 105. I learned what foods were affecting my blood sugar adversely (some of which were unexpected) and what foods did not affect my blood sugar. I learned how to eat for my health. I know that may seem strange, but I was never taught healthy eating and the impact of doing otherwise. Most of all, I learned accountability. It is hard to be in denial when you see the effect of your food choices immediately. I can not express how startling it was to see my glucose shoot up to 170 after one meal and remain elevated (over 120) for 4-5 hours after. My denial quickly went away.
Is a CGM right for you if you are not diabetic? Perhaps, but that is something you should discuss with your health care provider. Do not allow finances to be a barrier. Some health insurance companies are now paying for a CGM in persons without diabetes but it does require a prescription. If you are interested if a CGM is right for you, set up an appointment to talk with me.