What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) And How Does It Work?

Avatar for Hadyn Luke Hadyn Luke posted this on Friday 4th of June 2021 Hadyn Luke 04/06/2021


What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) And How Does It Work?

From regular gym goers to athletes and sports professionals, as a personal trainer you’ll always be looking for new techniques to help your clients improve their performance.

If you’re looking for new tools to add to your personal training kit, it’s worth investigating Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) as a way of helping clients to train harder by monitoring their energy use.

In this first of two blogs, we look at what CGM is and how it works.

What is Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM)?

CGM is used by people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes as a less invasive alternative to using a blood glucose meter, which requires taking blood through finger pricking.

Instead, the CGM sensors are placed just under the skin to measure the level of glucose in the interstitial fluid (ISF), which is found in and also around cells. This is different from blood glucose monitoring, as the sensors measure ISF rather than blood.

The other major difference is that this kind of monitoring provides hundreds of readings a day for continuous analysis and a clearer picture of the body’s glucose levels. Users should be aware that changes to glucose levels will take around 10 minutes longer to register than with traditional blood glucose meters.

How does a CGM monitor work?

An applicator is used to insert the sensor – a flexible sterile fibre – just under the skin of the upper arm. This is a simple process that is reported to be less painful than traditional finger pricking.

Glucose readings are obtained by scanning the sensor with either a reader or an app. These usually give the current reading of your glucose level and recent history of levels.

As well as readings, there are usually options to create reports for longer term analysis and set alarms for high or low glucose levels.

Why are personal trainers using CGM with their clients?

CGM is a useful way of ensuring that clients have the fuel to train and that athletes and sporting professionals can train, compete and recover within optimal levels.

Because this way of monitoring glucose gives real-time continual measurements, it can take the guesswork out of fuelling the body, ensuring that clients and professionals consume the right amount and type of food and drink for their energy needs.

While CGM monitoring can provide useful information on glucose levels in the body, it is not designed to be used to make decisions on medical treatment plans or to replace advice from health care professionals.

In a future blog, we will look at how the body taps into different types of energy during a workout and how CGM can be used to maximise performance.

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