I have been talking about CGM for several weeks, maybe more. My family and friends may think that I'm speaking another language. I guess I am...so here's the translation from the language of diabetes for you. And thank you for wanting to understand our new language!
CGM stands for Continuous Glucose Monitoring. We currently monitor Ally's blood glucose levels by pricking her fingers a minimum of 8 times per day. We prick her finger and use her blood glucose meter to check levels when she wakes up, before each meal or snack, before/after exercise, before bathtime, before bed, in the middle of the night, whenever she looks pale, acts funny, says she's hungry... Sounds like we should have all the hours in the day covered doesn't it? Well, believe it or not there is a lot of time in between these checks that we have no idea about. Glucose levels in the body are constantly changing. Spot checking (by pricking her finger) only tells us what her blood glucose level is at that moment. It's the in between stuff that we want to know more about. Are we missing highs or lows in that time? I know that her levels are like a roller coaster of ups and downs...as different things affect blood glucose levels - foods and how quickly those carbs are broken down into sugar, exercise, anxiety, excitement, illness...the list goes on. But our goal is to try to keep those glucose levels within a safe range, safe for the moment and ultimately safe for her lifelong health.
So how does it work...
The Continuous Glucose Monitoring system (also known as MiniLink) includes a sensor and transmitter which can provide continuous glucose measurements to help you control your glucose levels better. The sensor measures the glucose levels in the fluid under your skin. (Blood Glucose Meters measure the glucose levels in the blood.)** The transmitter takes electronic signals generated by the glucose sensor and sends them by radio frequency to the pump.