Making healthy lifestyle choices with Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) 

Diabetes in India 

India has a high number of people living with diabetes. It is important that they take proper medication and make lifestyle changes. Also, an absence of regular monitoring can lead to delays in treatment and diabetes-related complications. This is where continuous glucose monitoring devices come in, to help manage glucose levels thereby supporting holistic diabetes management. 

While traditional glucose monitoring requires daily calibrations with painful finger pricks, revolutionary sensor-based monitoring systems can do this easily, without finger pricks,  continuously for up to 14 days. This offers people with diabetes real-time results, so they can make more informed daily decisions. 

Key Takeaways from Effective Diabetes Management Event 

I attended an insightful discussion about effective diabetes management through diet, exercise and glucose monitoring. We learnt more about healthy food choices and the role exercises play for people living with diabetes. 

During the session, it was discussed that diabetes is an event in your life & your life changes once you are diagnosed with it. It’s a lifelong journey requiring regular monitoring and management of glucose levels. The monitoring mechanism has evolved from lab tests to glucometer to Continuous Glucose Monitoring now. This really helps in prescribing oral medication and insulin, for each individual, especially since no two treatments or food choices or glucose levels are same across patients. 

During the session, the Nutritionst & Diabetes Educator, gave us an interesting perspective. In her opinion the prick-free technology of Continuous Glucose Monitoring, CGM is the biggest innovation in the health care industry. Additionally, making smarter food choices, implementing portion control and finding healthier alternatives helps in controlling glucose levels. 

Diabetes is an asymptomatic disease as we can’t visualize exactly when the sugar levels are going up. The fact that there are reliable numbers with the help of a CGM device, makes the patient feel empowered to own and control them.  

It was an interactive session where I got the opportunity to ask the experts how can CGM help in making more informed food choices.  

The nutritionist rightly pointed out that you cannot have a general diet for people with diabetes and it’s very individualistic. CGM helps you identify exactly what works and what doesn’t to lead a healthier lifestyle. The diet for a person with diabetes should indeed be the diet for the whole family. 

There’s no special diet for people with diabetes. You don’t even have to give up sweets entirely as long as you practice a healthy lifestyle, get regular exercise and follow a healthy eating plan. To keep your blood sugar levels under control, it is adviced to include complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fibre and protein. 

Role of CGM technology in managing diabetes 

You can manage Type 1 and type 2 diabetes through medication, monitoring glucose levels, exercise and a nutritious diet. Through proper diabetes management, you can maintain your target blood glucose levels. By keeping up with this routine, one can minimize risk of any diabetes complications. 

Managing diabetes begins with understanding what causes diabetes, what you can and can’t eat, why exercise and diabetes are inseparable, and what target blood sugar  levels are. Knowing these things can help you take charge of your health. 

Sensor-based monitoring devices like continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices present real-time information about glucose level trends, enabling users to check their readings frequently throughout the day. This can help them respond immediately to high or low blood glucose levels. In turn they can make informed decisions, thus improving their quality of life and helping prevent diabetes-related complications.

Clear data presented in the form of glucose level trends and visual graphs can be easily understood, and shown to one’s doctor. This records highs and lows, post meal spikes, and even any worrying overnight trends, which can help guide further treatment  decisions. 

CGM also uses a metric called Time in Range or TIR, which refers to the percentage of time in a day that an individual spends in target glucose range. This metric plays a vital role in controlling diabetes by helping map the extent of glycemic control, which can guide diabetes management practices – across diet, exercise, and treatment – in real time. CGM helps keep this in check for people with various types of diabetes and related complications. This includes pregnant women, young adults, paediatric  population, and older people with comorbidities. 

People with diabetes can be a healthy only if they take care of themselves. It is a team effort. Also, it is important that their family, especially the caregiver understands their needs. Along with doctor’s support and nutritional guidance diabetics can lead a healthy and fulfilling life with  diabetes. 

Read more about Continuous Glucose Monitoring here.  

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The information mentioned in this document is only suggestive/for patient education and shall not be considered as a substitute for doctor’s advice or recommendations from Abbott. Please consult your doctor for more information 

Any photos displayed are for illustrative purposes only. Any person depicted in such photos is a model.

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