Continuous glucose monitors are becoming all the rage


I looked into getting a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) before. Not because I have diabetes but because I was experimenting on myself with taking a more strict low carb diet. It turns out you need a prescription to get one. I don’t know why since I was able to get a ketone and glucose test kit from Keto Mojo. These kits do pretty much the same thing as a CGM except you have to test on demand rather than test continuously.

Scarcity may be driving part of the demand. Because it’s a medical device, the Food and Drug Administration regulates the continuous glucose monitor, so it requires a prescription. If you’re not diabetic, insurance almost certainly won’t cover it. Many doctors won’t prescribe it.

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If I can use an on demand type test where I have to prick my finger and put a drop of blood on a test strip why can’t I get a CGM? Why does this need a prescription? I’m not ingesting anything. All I want to do is see how quickly my body reacts to certain types of food.

Some doctors are against it. They think people are nuts for doing this.

Still, some experts object to widespread monitoring, like Dr. David Slawson, professor of family medicine at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There’s been no rigorous research to show it improves quality of life for healthy people and may lead to anxiety and depression, he says. “It looks very cool and the graphs are great and glitzy, but the reality is it doesn’t improve anything,” he says. “We are nuts to be doing this.”

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I don’t see how this will lead to anxiety and depression. If you’re already susceptible to eating disorders or other addictive type behaviors knowing your blood sugar levels isn’t going to change that in my opinion.

My metabolism is different than my wife’s. I’m able to eat a higher level of carbohydrates than she can without gaining weight. What I would like to know, however, is what is really happening in my body? Is my blood sugar spiking anyway but somehow I’m able to burn the glucose faster than she can? I think it would be good for her too so she knows what foods to avoid if she’s looking to lose or maintain weight. Diet and exercise are very personal and we all react a little different to food and training.

“People say, why don’t you just read a book and eat low carbs,” says Dr. Casey Means, co-founder and chief medical officer of Levels Health.”The problem is you and I can eat the exact same banana, and my glucose might go up 100 points and you go up 10. One-size-fits-all nutrition recommendations really fall short,” given new understanding of biochemical individuality, she says.

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Hopefully one day it will over the counter so I can just pick one up and monitor my own health the way I want.

Image by Pamula REEVES-BARKER from Pixabay