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Diabetes management with Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Diabetes management with Continuous Glucose Monitoring

There are many new and exciting technologies in the arena of diabetes management. These include new medications, closed loop insulin pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM). These tools can aid patients in managing their diabetes and hopefully improve health outcomes such as A1c levels.

What is CGM therapy?
CGM therapy is a small device inserted under the skin every seven to 14 days, which provides regular glucose levels throughout the day and night. These devices take fluid from your body and convert it into a glucose value that gets transmitted to a device or smart phone. This allows the patient and provider to make necessary treatment decisions. CGM therapy also alarms patients when their glucose levels are too high or low and also can be shared with caregivers and healthcare providers.

What are the benefits of CGM therapy?
Fewer fingersticks and better outcomes! One of the most difficult aspects of diabetes management can be performing fingerstick glucose monitoring, as it can be painful and inconvenient. With CGM therapy, patients can perform fewer fingersticks but still have reliable glucose readings about every five minutes. Having more glucose values in a 24-hour period gives patients and providers increased awareness of patterns in glucose levels and improves time spent at target glucose ranges.

What are the current CGM models on the market?
While this field is rapidly evolving, there are currently three CGM devices on the market: Dexcom G6, Freestyle Libre and Medtronic Guardian. There are small differences between these models that can be researched through the manufacturer.

Who is a candidate for CGM therapy?
While anyone with diabetes can benefit from CGM therapy, insurance companies typically have specific requirements on coverage for CGM. Most insurers require a person to test his or her glucose levels four times daily on average and to be on three injections of insulin daily. Coverage includes both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but it is recommended to consult your insurance carrier for specifics regarding cost and availability.

About Lesli Nall, PA-C
Lesli Nall is a board-certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) at the Methodist Health Multi Specialty Clinic located at 1305 North Elm Street in Henderson, KY. Nall specializes in endocrinology services that include type 1 and type 2 diabetes, lipid disorders, thyroid disease, pituitary disorders and osteoporosis. She also initiates and manages insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring. Appointments with Nall can be made by calling 270-831-7937.