What is continuous glucose monitoring? Continuous glucose monitoring automatically tracks blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, throughout the day and night. You can see your glucose level anytime at a glance. You can also review how your glucose changes over a few hours or days to see trends. Seeing glucose levels in real time can help you make more informed decisions throughout the day about how to balance your food, physical activity, and medicines.
How does a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) work? A CGM works through a tiny sensor inserted under your skin, usually on your belly or arm. The sensor measures your interstitial glucose level, which is the glucose found in the fluid between the cells. The sensor tests glucose every few minutes. A transmitter wirelessly sends the information to a monitor. The monitor may be part of an insulin pump or a separate device, which you might carry in a pocket or purse. Some CGMs
My experiences using a CGM
Every 3 months, I wear a glucose monitor to assist with my own learning of the glucose response to the foods I eat. I have also used CGM data to assist with determining which foods are best suited to the paddling events and the distances I am paddling. 3 months prior to a long distance paddle, I start to work on my diet and aim to be in "nutritional ketosis" during periods of the day. This enables me to exercise in a period of ketosis and to optimise "fat" as my fuel source for my long distance paddles Some of the self testing I have also completed on myself using CGM data include:
1. What is my glucose response to real food compared to food that includes inflammatory oils such as sunflower oils and canola oil? 2. What is my glucose response to high intensity exercise compared to low intensity exercise? 3. What is my glucose response to exercise and/ or food following a night of drinking alcohol? 4. What is my glucose response to milk in my coffee compared to cream in my coffee? 5. What is my glucose response to eating prior to exercise compared to eating following exercise? 6. How does my menstrual cycle effect my glucose response and how do hormone responses during menopause effect glucose response?
By completing this testing on myself, I have learned how each food individually affects my ability to move glucose out of my system quicker so I am not constantly asking my pancreas to produce insulin. My ultimate aim to to save my brain from becoming insulin resistant, but in the mean time, through my learning using the CGM I have been able to shift some of the excess weight I was carrying, whilst also improving my mental health and the added bonus was I started to win the long distance races I participated in due to my body becoming" fat adapted" I have placed below some of the graphs I use to teach my BrainFit participants. These graphs are from my own data
Ordering a Continuous Glucose Monitor
There are a number of sites to order a CGM from and some health funds may offer a rebate for a CGM. Please email Brodie prior to ordering a CGM so you can receive instructions on how to order the most appropriate CGM for your purposes.