If you have diabetes, a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can be an extremely useful tool. A CGM tracks your blood sugar throughout the day and night. Following trends closely can help you see how factors like food, exercise and medication impact your diabetes management. This information can also help your provider tailor your care to your needs.
Without a CGM, checking blood sugar is like taking a snapshot that tells you about one moment in time. A CGM is more like taking a video, where you can watch as things change. Seeing how your blood sugar shifts 24/7 can help you troubleshoot highs or lows. It may also tell your provider when it’s time to change your medication.
Time in range is one key metric your provider will be looking at. This helps them know how much of your day is spent with blood glucose in the target range of 70-180 mg/dL. For most adults, the goal is to stay in range for 70% or more of the time. That’s 17 out of 24 hours. This goal is linked with fewer complications related to diabetes. You’ll tend to feel better, too!
Talk to your provider to find out what goal is right for you. Depending on your time in range, your provider may:
- Recommend changing your medication dose or schedule.
- Talk with you about what and how often you’re eating.
- Suggest food choices that may help.
- Help you plan physical activity that can benefit your blood sugar.
When using your own CGM, be sure to share the data you get with your provider. If you are eligible for a CGM through one of our programs and link it to your account, your CGM data will be in your Health Summary Report. You can share the report with your current provider through your account. And if you’re working with our care team, they will review it along with your other health information, like blood sugar or blood pressure readings.
The information your CGM collects tells a story about your life and health. Your provider will help you interpret it, and you will help give it context. Together, you’ll be more empowered to create a plan that is just right for you.
Here’s an example of how a provider might personalize care with CGM data:
CGM user Daniel reviews his CGM data with his coach. They look at his time in range report, and see that he is below the target of 70%. After taking a closer look at his daily trend charts, they realize he has post-breakfast spikes every day, so they talk about morning routines.
Daniel mentions he has been eating a bowl of cereal with a banana and a glass of orange juice for breakfast. The coach points out that this meal contains a lot of carbohydrates. She suggests a lower-carb, higher-protein morning meal for Daniel—low-fat yogurt with berries and a sprinkle of high-fiber cereal; water with lemon. He plans to try this out the following week.
Over the next week, both Daniel and his coach watch his CGM data to see if the new breakfast has made a difference. Within a few days, Daniel’s post-breakfast spikes are gone! They feel confident that changing to a lower-carb meal was the right choice. Daniel also notices he has more energy in the hours after he eats.