T1D & FOOD
October 20, 2014
A few weeks ago I trialled the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).
The CGM is a way to measure glucose levels in real-time throughout the day and night.
Although they do say it is “real time” there is up to a 15 minute delay as it is measuring the
glucose in your institutal fluid not your blood.
A tiny electrode called a glucose sensor is inserted under the skin and it is connected to
a transmitter that sends the information via wireless radio frequency to your pump.I'll be honest with you and tell you that despite being on the pump for several years, I was
hesitant to be attached to another device.
I have troubles finding a spot on my body to insert my pump cannula so I was like 'Where
the hell am I going to put this other sensor?'Due to being on the pump for about 8 years, I think my stomach has become
oversensitive, so I try and refrain from inserting anything there but I’m so sick of putting it
everywhere except on my stomach. So anyway, inserting the CGM on my stomach was a
definite no! The only other option was my back as it would probably get caught less on my
It was taped on my back with extra tape so it would really last the 6 days. Yes, that’s right –
I said 6 days! It only lasts a week before it becomes more inaccurate or the sensor falls out.The CGM doesn’t replace finger pricks but it allows you to see how your sugar levels
increase or drop between meals and activities. You still have to test yourself to calibrate
the CGM about 5 times a day so I usually just did this before meals.The week was quite interesting… I have to say I was very impressed with my experience
with the CGM. Although being quite obsessed with looking how my glucose levels were
travelling after eating or drinking, it made me more conscious of what foods I was eating
as I didn’t want to see that dreaded spike! It provided me with guidance of what was going
on with my body.
Say if I test myself 2/3 hours after a meal, depending on what I ate, I was sitting at 11 or 12. I
wouldn’t know whether I was this level for the last 5 minutes or hour! The CGM can give
you this information and show you at what time you spiked. The only issue I really had
with it was that the signal constantly went weak so I would have to move my pump closer
to the transmitter. I’m not sure what the signal distance or restriction is but I guess clothing
affects it so it was quite frustrating constantly needing to find a place where the pump still
had signal.I was surprised how much I enjoyed knowing what my body was doing ‘behind the
scenes’ as such.
The only down fall is the price of this amazing piece of technology.
The transmitter device needs to be purchased and then the sensor itself is about $70 for the
week! Quite 'exie' but I think I have been convinced.
If it's something that provides me with a bit more control of my own body I think I’m
on to it!
Do you think the price can be justified for the ‘service’ it provides?Have you trialled or are currently using the CGM? It would be great to hear your thoughts and experiences?