CGM systems help doctor/patient see the big picture


by Julie Flieg, RN, BSN
Without diabetes, your body tracks glucose levels all day and night to ensure the right amount of insulin is released at the right time. To successfully manage diabetes, a monitoring system is needed to consistently check your glucose levels.
Ste.Genevieve County Memorial Hospital has in its arsenal of diabetes treatment continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems, which provide a much more complete picture of glucose levels.
The continuous glucose monitor can help healthcare providers fine tune the proper diabetes treatment needed for their patients.  Therapy adjustments made possible by the continuous glucose monitoring have been shown to reduce A1C levels, which reduce a patient’s risk of complications such as eye, kidney, nerve and heart disease.  The reduction of these complications, in turn, can lead to a longer, healthier life.
The continuous glucose monitor is not implanted.  There is a tiny glucose sensor at the end of the recorder that is easily inserted under the skin in a virtually painless procedure.  Once it is inserted, a patient can go on with life as usual.  The monitor is small, thin and lightweight, about as big as a postage stamp.  It will not tug, pull or pinch with movement.  It only uses a small amount of skin area and is discreetly worn under clothing.  The device can be worn while swimming, bathing or showering without worries.
The patient will continue to take blood glucose readings as recommended by their healthcare provider and record daily events such as meals, insulin and exercise in a logbook for 4-6 days.  Glucose measurements are automatically collected and stored by the recorder every five minutes.  Once your testing is complete, your healthcare provider generates a personalized report that helps both of you to work together to fine tune your therapy.
The benefits from the monitor are:
• Reveals low and high glucose trends not tracked by finger sticks and A1c testing alone.
• Reduce your A1c level, and bring it closer to the American Diabetes Association target of 7% or less.
• Lower long-term risks of eye, kidney, nerve and heart disease.
• Learn how well therapy is working-does the patient’s basal rates need adjusted?
• Learn how food is affecting the patient’s glucose level.
To refer patients to discuss the continuous glucose monitor, call Sharon Grass at Park Drive Family Health Care for an appointment 883-7474.

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