How to Use Continuous Glucose Monitoring to Lower Your Blood Sugar

woman figuring out how to use a cgm

Blood sugar control has declined over the last decade, revealing a sobering reality: about half of adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes find themselves unable to achieve or maintain normal glucose levels. This alarming trend not only underscores the growing issue of metabolic disorders but also highlights the urgent need for more effective strategies to manage blood sugar levels.

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is that effective strategy for many. CGM offers a revolutionary approach to blood sugar management by providing real-time insights into the intricate dance of glucose levels throughout the day—and while you sleep.

Unlike traditional blood sugar measurement methods that offer sporadic snapshots—and leave your poor fingers bloodied and numb—CGM provides a continuous stream of data, transforming the way individuals understand and address their blood sugar fluctuations. 

Struggling with how to lower blood sugar and maintain normal glucose levels? Continuous glucose monitoring may be the answer you’ve been looking for. 

How can CGM help you lower your blood sugar?

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is revolutionizing the approach to blood sugar management. Its dynamic capabilities not only track glucose levels but empower individuals to take proactive steps toward lowering blood sugar. 

How? Well, by:

  • Identifying Patterns and Trends: CGM provides a comprehensive view of your blood sugar levels throughout the day, revealing patterns and trends that might go unnoticed with traditional monitoring methods. It can bridge the gap between understanding and action. 
  • Real-time Alerts for High and Low Blood Sugar: You can set customized notifications and receive real-time alerts when your blood sugar levels spike or drop. That means instant notifications when there’s high glucose in your blood and before signs of low blood sugar hit . CGM results in fewer hospital visits for hyper- and hypoglycemia in diabetics. 
  • Informed Decision-Making: By seeing how different activities impact your blood sugar levels—in real-time, you can tailor your diet and exercise regimen to align with your body’s unique needs. 
  • Optimizing Medication Usage: The insight provided by your CGM device can allow for more precise adjustments to medication and insulin doses and timing. In fact, many continuous glucose monitoring devices can integrate directly with your insulin pump so you’ll get doses based on your actual glucose levels

Using CGM to set goals and track your progress

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) not only allows you to better monitor your blood sugar levels but also acts as a powerful tool for setting and achieving realistic health goals. 

Begin by consulting with your healthcare provider to establish personalized and realistic blood sugar goals based on your current glucose levels and trends. Whether aiming for tighter glucose control or seeking to prevent spikes and crashes, setting clear goals provides a roadmap for your blood sugar management journey.

Then, you can focus your attention on achieving more “time-in-range.” This metric is a valuable indicator of overall glucose control. 

Using CGM to make changes to your lifestyle and treatment plan

One of the main benefits of continuous glucose monitoring is the ability to view and analyze trends in your glucose levels. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) not only provides a window into your blood sugar levels but also empowers you to make informed and targeted adjustments to your lifestyle and treatment plan.

It is one of the reasons that CGM results in better glycemic control

Our lives are hardly simple, characterized by hectic schedules and an abundance of tempting, often unhealthy, food choices, the importance of proactive health management cannot be overstated. The real-time data and trend analysis provided by your CGM device can help you to make immediate changes to your lifestyle and your diabetes treatment plan. 

You can:

  • Observe how dietary choices, exercise routines, stress levels, and sleep patterns correlate with glucose fluctuations. 
  • Identify patterns related to meals and snacks, and tailor your diet accordingly. 
  • Pinpoint the most effective times for physical activity and assess how workouts influence glucose control. 
  • Work closely with your healthcare provider to interpret CGM trends and consider adjustments to medication dosage or timing.
  • Recognize the impact of stress and sleep on blood sugar levels by analyzing CGM data during different life circumstances.
  • Regularly share CGM data with your healthcare team to foster collaborative decision-making. 
  • Learn how to control glucose levels more effectively. 

Working with your healthcare team to use CGM effectively

Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) can empower individual users, but that doesn’t mean they can simply go it alone. A collaborative partnership with your healthcare team is still necessary—it may even be easier. 

While CGM provides a wealth of real-time data, interpreting this information often requires expertise. Healthcare professionals, like those at Heally, can provide valuable insights into setting realistic and personalized objectives based on your unique circumstances. 

Healthcare professionals, particularly those with a focus on holistic health like Heally, can assist in tailoring lifestyle recommendations based on CGM insights. 

For individuals using medications to regulate blood sugar, collaboration with healthcare professionals is absolutely essential. Share CGM data regularly with your healthcare team to facilitate ongoing assessments of medication effectiveness. 

Regular check-ins and consultations provide opportunities to address challenges, celebrate successes, and iterate on your plan as needed. CGM is an incredibly effective tool for diabetes management, but your healthcare team will always be the most important. 

Tips for using CGM to manage your blood sugar levels

Effectively managing your blood sugar levels with Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) involves more than just wearing the sensor. Here are practical tips to make the most of your CGM experience:

1. Wear Your Sensor Consistently

Consistency is key. Ensure your CGM sensor is worn consistently to maintain a continuous stream of data. Follow the recommended wear time and placement instructions provided by the manufacturer for optimal performance.

2. Calibrate Your Sensor Regularly:

While it might be nice to toss out those fingersticks for good, calibrating your CGM sensor with fingerstick glucose readings is crucial for accuracy. Follow the calibration schedule outlined in the device instructions. Regular calibration enhances the precision of your CGM data, providing reliable insights into your blood sugar levels.

3. Review CGM Data Regularly:

Make it a habit to review your CGM data regularly. Set aside dedicated times to analyze trends, identify patterns, and gain a comprehensive understanding of your blood sugar fluctuations. Regular reviews empower you to make informed decisions about lifestyle adjustments.

4. Set Alerts and Alarms:

Customize alerts and alarms on your CGM device to notify you of impending high or low blood sugar levels. You’re not just trying to maintain normal glucose levels and lower your A1c,  you want to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia

5. Share CGM Data with Your Healthcare Team:

Collaboration with your healthcare team is essential for effective blood sugar management. Share your CGM data regularly with your healthcare professionals, enabling them to provide informed guidance, make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan, and offer ongoing support.

6. Understand Device Features:

Familiarize yourself with the features of your CGM device. Whether it’s advanced analytics, trend graphs, or connectivity with other devices, understanding these features enhances your ability to interpret and utilize CGM data effectively.

Maintain More Normal Blood Sugar Levels with CGM

As CGM empowers individuals to make informed decisions about diet, exercise, and medication, it becomes more than a monitoring tool. But that doesn’t mean you can forgo the advice and monitoring of a healthcare team. 

Don’t become another statistic. Take control of your diabetes! Meet with a CGM doctor and see if continuous glucose monitoring is right for you. Get started today!


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