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What does the test measure?

The level of glucose in the fluid between the cells, known as the interstitial fluid, is monitored continuously. Interstitial glucose levels are closely related to blood glucose levels.
CGM devices use a very small wire sensor that is implanted just under the skin of your belly or upper arm to measure glucose levels. A transmitter attached to the sensor wirelessly transmits this data to a dedicated receiver or a device such as a smartphone.

Using Continuous Glucose Monitoring

Continuous glucose monitors may need to be set up before usage, and certain of their components must be replaced regularly. CGM devices do not often require a blood or tissue sample. A tiny sensor is usually inserted beneath the skin, usually in the arm or abdomen, and measures the quantity of sugar in the interstitium, or space between cells. Their sensors automatically monitor glucose levels. However, certain devices may require blood samples for calibration and confirmation of findings.

Before the test

Before you may use your CGM device for the first time, you must first set it up and program it. The monitor you purchase will come with setup instructions. You may be able to find videos on the monitor's manufacturer's website. You can also seek advice and assistance from your medical team in setting up your monitor.

To begin using the CGM device, put the sensor beneath your skin with a specific applicator. This technique is completely painless. An adhesive patch holds the sensor in place. After inserting the sensor, attach a reusable transmitter to the sensor patch.
Because CGM models differ, see your doctor before starting to use your CGM device and carefully read the manufacturer's recommendations.

During the test

To ensure that the readings are accurate, many continuous glucose monitors must be calibrated twice a day using a fingerstick and a blood glucose meter. Some older models may necessitate more frequent calibration, however, some modern versions may not necessitate daily calibration at all. Fingersticks are not painful for the vast majority of diabetics. To do the fingerstick test, prick the tip of your finger with a sterile lancet until a drop of blood appears. The drop of blood will then be placed on a test strip, which will be inserted into your blood glucose meter. The reading on the meter represents your blood glucose level, which will be used to calibrate your CGM. CGM devices can usually be used during routine everyday activities such as showering and exercising.

Receiving test results

Because continuous glucose monitoring is done in real-time, the findings can reveal how your blood sugar levels alter during the day and night. This data can reveal whether habits or environmental factors raise or lower your blood sugar. You can view CGM device results by looking at the receiver or smart device app. You must pass the scanner over the transmitter to acquire results from an intermittently scanned device. If necessary, you can do this through your clothing. In addition to transmitting glucose level data to your receiver or smartphone, your personal CGM device may sound an alarm if your glucose level falls too low or rises too high. All real-time monitors have this feature. If you are using a professional CGM device, your doctor will go over the results with you once the monitoring time is over. This talk could take place in person during an office visit, over the phone, or by email.

Interpreting test results

Depending on the sort of personal CGM device you use, your receiver or smartphone app may provide a variety of facts that you can review quickly. These frequently include:
1. A figure that represents your current glucose level in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
2. A graph or line that depicts glucose levels over time.
3. An arrow represents a rising or decreasing trend.
CGM systems may also let you download additional data to a computer to share with your doctor. Your doctor is the best person to talk to about the appropriate insulin range for you and how to interpret your CGM data over time. In reaction to results or warnings, CGM devices can assist you in making treatment decisions, such as altering your insulin dose or managing low blood glucose. However, certain CGM devices, particularly older versions, may require you to confirm the results with a fingerstick blood test before making any treatment modifications. Continuous glucose monitoring can help you keep track of how your blood glucose levels fluctuate as a result of your diet, activity, insulin use, and other things. You and your health care team can work together to alter your medications, insulin doses, and other components of your diabetes self-care by observing these changes.