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Will Continuous Blood Glucose Meters Change the Way We Think About Food?



It is a fad for a medical device, but also a promotional video for FreeStyle Libre by Abbott Laboratories, one of the country's best-selling continuous glucose monitors. Similar devices include the Guardian Connect from Medtronic, the Dexcom G6 and the Senseonics product Eversense.

The devices provide diabetics with the opportunity to monitor the rise in their blood sugar in real time. The data is transmitted from a hair-thin sensor directly under the skin to an app on their phone. While glucose meters with finger-sticks used by millions of Americans provide a snapshot of blood glucose levels, CGMs that are not covered by most types of insurance and can cost between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars show the metric as a fluid process.

Just ate a banana? Carriers of CGMs can check their phone to see if their bodies are happy with the news or worried. How about a bowl of grapes? You might be surprised with the result. Similar to heart rate monitors in the 1

990s, CGMs provide insight into exercise stress, with the exception that the body's own system is strained to remove glucose from the bloodstream.

"Even people who are well, those who do not have insulin resistance, when these episodes occur when we apply CGMs to it," said obesity clinician Sarah Hallberg last year in a lecture about her nutrition research. "So … that's a problem for everyone." In a recent article published in PLOS Biology, researchers from Stanford reported that 15% of 57 healthy individuals studied the use of pre-diabetic glucose levels after meals with CGM.

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Increased blood sugar is dangerous to vital organs over time. In healthy individuals, the onset of glucose causes the pancreas to release insulin, an emergency hormone that transports excess sugar into the fat cells. For people with type 2 diabetes, the system does not work.

"I used CGM for the first time after reversing my diabetes and now use it to see how I tolerate individual foods," says John Somsky, 50, a computer programmer and former diabetes patient Hugo, Minnesota.

Somsky reversed his diabetes and lost 150 pounds on a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet with intermittent fasting. He says the news from his CGM can be surprising.

"I ate steak in a restaurant, and it had some spices on it, and it increased my blood sugar to 135 or 140 spice mix," he said.

Somsky learned that his blood sugar when he was nearby eating half of the night to recover from a meal, he learned that "if I only eat carrots, it will make my blood rise more sugar than if you eat carrots that have been dipped in a ranch

Experts say this is both a limitation and an advantage of the devices Foods have a different effect on blood sugar in combination with other foods.

In the meantime, phones are beginning to respond CGM market will reach $ 1.3 billion over the next five years.


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