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Continuous Glucose Monitoring: What is it?

Updated: Jan 18

Simply put, a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) tracks glucose levels throughout the day and night. It can alert you if your levels go too high or low. CGM systems take glucose measurements at regular intervals, as frequently as every 5 minutes, and translate them into dynamic data to show glucose direction and rate of change. A CGM system also tracks your glucose levels continuously throughout the day and night. Your glucose reading is sent to your smart device† or receiver as frequently as every five minutes. These systems then translate your readings into dynamic data so you're better able to manage your diabetes treatment.


How does a Continuous Glucose Monitor work?

Instead of looking at one glucose number at a single moment in time, a CGM system tracks your glucose levels day and night. Here's how:


1. A tiny sensor wire is inserted under your skin using an automatic applicator

Users insert a tiny sensor wire just under the skin using an automatic applicator. An adhesive patch holds the CGM sensor in place so it can measure glucose readings in interstitial fluid throughout the day and night.


2. Your transmitter sends data

A small, reusable transmitter connects to the sensor wire and sends real-time readings wirelessly to a receiver so you can view the information. With some systems, a compatible smart device with the CGM system app can serve as the display device.


3. You receive updates & alerts

The receiver or compatible smart device displays current glucose levels, as well as historical trends in levels. The CGM receiver and/or compatible smart device can also be set to send you custom alerts when certain glucose thresholds are reached.


How we use it:

We know that elevated Glucose can damage the lining of your blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease. CGM is an excellent tool to help patients learn what dietary components are resulting in a spike in their blood-sugar. For optimal health, you would want to keep your blood sugar levels as flat as possible. So the CGM is an excellent tool for patients to understand how their diet is affecting their blood sugar levels and overall health.

At Sydenham Clinic we frequently use CGM on our patients who are falling in the pre diabetic range and sometimes in patients who just want to understand their dynamics of the blood sugar better. If your hemoglobin A1-C is elevated, a CGM can help you determine if they hemoglobin A1-C is valid.


It connects directly to your phone. You can simply read it whenever you want, as fast as 30 seconds intervals. Also, our physicians can track your history and see the charts/trends when you come in for a check-up, which helps in further understanding your glucose levels.



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