Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) is one of the latest advancements in diabetes management. A traditional glucose meter uses the information from a fingerstick test for a blood glucose value that represents only a snapshot in time. CGM monitors continuously, to let you see what’s happening between fingerstick tests. That way, you can watch glucose levels and patterns that you may not have been able to see before.
A CGM system involves a sensor that is placed under the skin (the subcutaneous space). The sensor continuously reads the glucose levels in your tissues (the interstitial fluid), not in the blood. Every 5 minutes the sensor sends these measurements to a receiver on your pump, which displays a graph of your glucose levels.
CGM doesn’t replace fingerstick testing; rather, it works with it. With trending graphs and directional arrows, the idea is to use CGM to determine the direction your glucose is headed and how fast, and then use your fingerstick test to figure out your insulin dose.