Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) For Health/Wellness

Has anyone got first had experience of using CGM as part of their health or wellness journey?

I totally understand the CGM is not necessary to be healthy or to reduce weight, but understanding how foods are impacting on your metabolism sounds interesting. So I’m going to try it for a month and see if I learn anything.

Curious to hear from anyone who has tried it and whether they found it insightful or just a waste of time.

Replies

  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 7,614 Member
    Seems pointless to me, other than for type 1 diabetics.
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,172 Member
    I just recently read a research brief by Eric Trexler about CGM's (for non-diabetics), published in the most recent issue of MASS (Monthly Application in Strength Sport).

    The study it referenced is:
    Validity of continuous glucose monitoring for categorizing glycemic responses to diet: implications for use in personalized nutrition
    https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqac026/6522168?login=false

    The brief itself was ~4 pages and went into plenty of details/specifics, but I'm just going to copy/paste the TL;DR here:
    "However, for non-clinical applications related to general health or performance in people without glycemic control issues, I’m not seeing much evidence to support a beneficial effect"

  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    If you aren't diabetic, it seems like it would be pretty worthless data.
  • horsewishr
    horsewishr Posts: 3 Member
    I’m wearing a Freestyle Libre CGM. I’m an RN/diabetes educator. I have prediabetes. I LOVE the CGM. It totally motivates me to eat right. I’ve been able to walk away from unhealthy food choices because I don’t want to see my sugar rise. I have several coworkers (docs and nurse practitioners) who have made similar comments.
  • mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12
    mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12 Posts: 205 Member
    Thank you for posting @horsewishr
  • sarah7591
    sarah7591 Posts: 249 Member
    I am prediabetic and use a monitor but not continuous. I bought it over the counter and can usually tell what spikes my blood sugar. I would love to have a continuous but I am sure it is expensive if not prescribed. I do try to eat to my meter.
  • mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12
    mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12 Posts: 205 Member
    I am waiting for my CGM to arrive with Veri. It is expensive - it cost me $134 for 28 days with a discount code. I don’t think this is something I will do all year so the cost seemed ok for a one off. And if I find it useful I might do one month on one month off over time.

    My sensor should arrive in the next few days and I’ll aim to come back to let people know my experience.

    In the meantime, they sent me a 20% off code for friends and family if anyone is looking for one.

    Go to https://veri.co/ref?code=REBECCA-VF9M8 .
    Use my code REBECCA-VF9M8 at the checkout. And get 20% off your first order.
  • sarah7591
    sarah7591 Posts: 249 Member
    I saw in the paper yesterday a new book (actually best seller) called Glucose Revolution. I have not read the book but it may be worth reading.
  • mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12
    mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12 Posts: 205 Member
    Thank you @sarah7591 ill look that up
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,704 Member
    Is there some major benefit by getting the third party app and markup instead of just buying the sensor from a pharmacy and using Abbott's app?
  • mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12
    mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12 Posts: 205 Member
    @PAV8888 I live in the US and here you need a prescription to buy the sensor. Going through a third party they organize the prescription for you so it’s just much easier than trying to get an appointment with my doctor and getting her to write me a prescription. Lots of places you don’t need a prescription to by the sensor and in that scenario I would absolutely look at other options. In fact if this were to turn out to be something I wanted to do regularly I would look at asking family to send me the sensors as in Europe you can just buy them over the counter - it’s only marginally cheaper though so might not be worth the postage!
  • mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12
    mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12 Posts: 205 Member
    @sarah7591 thank you so much for the book recommendation. Read it in one sitting and learnt so much practical information about how our metabolism works!
  • kchapmanma
    kchapmanma Posts: 110 Member
    I am diabetic and have a Dexcom CGM. It has been a huge benefit for me in managing my health, and I would highly recommend it to anyone struggling to manage their diabetes. I don't think it would be worth it for someone who doesn't have diabetes, though.
  • mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12
    mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12 Posts: 205 Member
    So I’ve been wearing my CGM for a week now and thought I’d circle back for anyone who is interested.

    The data is certainly interesting and wearing it is no bother I don’t notice it at all.

    Trying to keep my glucose within the recommended limits is hard work - and I don’t have a sweet tooth. I was surprised that my healthy vegetables, beans, legumes etc push my glucose way up which i’d never thought about but makes sense when you’re confronted with the data and take a moment to think about it.

    Eating strange food combos in an effort to maintain my glucose in target and still hit nutrient goals and stay in my calorie target.

    I am eating the same calories as previously, slightly more on some days. I am not more active than I was. I lost 1.5Ib this week. Previously I was loosing less than half a pound a week. This could easily be a coincidence or water, but it’s interesting because I am eating foods I would never usually eat because of the fat content.
  • StepWise123
    StepWise123 Posts: 170 Member
    Yes!! I talked my Dr into writing me a trial prescription for the Libre Freestyle. It was a complete eye opener. I wore it for two weeks and I was able to discover that certain foods were spiking my blood sugar more than expected. Once I avoided those I saw normal glucose levels. Also, I discovered through 23&Me that I have a predisposition that causes me to gain weight if I eat too much saturated fat. So I’ve reduced that drastically. By modifying those 2 things, I’ve lost over 20 pounds.
    A CGM is a great idea. I wish everyone could get one even for a short time.
  • mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12
    mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12 Posts: 205 Member
    That is so interesting @StepWise123. I didn’t realize DNA test told you health info, I thought it would just tell me where my ancestors likely lived. I’m going to look into that!
  • StepWise123
    StepWise123 Posts: 170 Member
    That is so interesting @StepWise123. I didn’t realize DNA test told you health info, I thought it would just tell me where my ancestors likely lived. I’m going to look into that!

    Yes, you can get 23&Me's health report. It's a little extra charge but they give you some analysis. If you feel like spending some extra time beyond that, you can download your "raw data" from 23&Me to your computer and start exploring. Well, it's a little bit of a rabbit hole to do that! but the information is out there. It's all fascinating. NIH.gov is a great resource for information and nutrigenomics is the wave of the future.
  • mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12
    mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12 Posts: 205 Member
    I’m just over two weeks into glucose monitoring and find it to be a very interesting experience.

    I started wearing the monitor on 29 April. The day I put the monitor on I weighed 143.8 Ib, today I weigh 137.4 Ib.

    For comparison I weighed 145.2 Ib on 15 April, two weeks before putting in the monitor.

    I’ve been calorie counting carefully for months loosing about half a pound each week for months. I haven’t stopped calorie counting and have stayed at the same total calories throughout. But what has changed is what I am eating. Lots of fat, lots of protein and limited carbs including sugar because the goal is to limit spikes in my blood sugar. It similar to keto but not low enough cards to be keto (as I understand it).

    I question how healthy it is to eat this way - I’m vegan and generally eat lists of grains, beans and vegetables, but in terms of weight loss it seems to be doing something.

    For reference I am not doing more exercise, I wasn’t doing any before and I’m not doing any now.

    I’m not suggesting anyone else should do this or that glucose monitoring is any kind of magic solution, just sharing because I am finding my experiment very interesting.