Continuous glucose monitors available

November 13, 2018

When you think of humans with implants, you may picture sinister movie characters, like Dr. No with bionic metal hands or the Borg from “Star Trek.” But as a force for good, a newly approved, implantable glucose monitor may turn you into a diabetes-vanquishing, fighting machine.

One of the challenges of managing insulin-dependent diabetes (that’s everyone with Type 1 and 30 to 40 percent of folks with Type 2) is knowing how much insulin to use and what to eat, so you can keep glucose levels in a healthy range and dodge high (hyper) and low (hypo) glucose readings. Highs can lead to complications; the lows can be life-threatening. But knowing your numbers so you can adjust your medication and food intake often means frequent (and bothersome) finger sticks using a glucose meter.

Enter continuous glucose monitors! For a few years the devices have been available, using an implanted sensor that’s replaced every six to 14 days, plus a transmitter and a receiver.

But now there’s a newly approved CGM with a tiny sensor/transmitter that can stay implanted in your upper arm for 90 days, and it sends data directly to your smartphone! It alerts you 24/7 to both hyperand hypoglycemia. However, with 17 and 16 percent false positives respectively, you need to use your low-tech glucose meter to check its readings. Then, careful monitoring along with regular exercise and eating right will improve your glucose control, so no matter if you have Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes, you’re less likely to have complications.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

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