Continuous Glucose Monitoring, or CGM, is the process of automatically measuring the amount of sugar (glucose) in your body every few minutes with a sensor that is placed under your skin. The continuous readings allow the system to use the data to predict the direction your glucose level is heading and will display that information as an arrow. With the actual value of your glucose, plus the arrow, you can see more about what is happening with your glucose.
CGM systems available today measure glucose in the interstitial fluid – the fluid between your cells just under the skin. Since CGM is measuring glucose in a different part of your body, it will not be the same concentration as in your blood, but very similar. A blood glucose meter requires that you take a small sample of blood from your fingertip and place it on a test strip that’s inserted inside a meter. The meter provides a glucose value based on the amount of glucose in the blood sample at that moment.
One significant benefit of CGM is that it provides a “moving” picture of how your glucose levels change over time without samples from fingersticks. This can make it easier to see how diet, exercise and other health factors affect your glucose levels. CGM also provides alerts to let you know if your glucose levels are changing rapidly or approaching unsafe levels. Published research studies show using CGM regularly can reduce A1c without increasing hypoglycemia*.