Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and self-testing blood glucose meters are both tools that can be used to monitor blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. However, they have some important differences in terms of how they work and the information they provide.
Self-testing Blood Glucose Meter
Self-testing blood glucose meters monitors or glucometers, are handheld devices that allow users to measure their blood glucose levels by pricking their finger and placing a drop of blood on a test strip. The meter reads the strip and displays the blood glucose level on a screen. Self-testing blood glucose meters provide a snapshot of the blood glucose level at the time the test is taken.
Continuous Glucose Monitor
Continuous glucose monitoring, on the other hand, involves wearing a small sensor on the skin that measures glucose levels in the interstitial fluid (the fluid between cells). The sensor sends readings to a receiver or smartphone app, which displays the current glucose level and provides a graph of glucose trends over time. CGM can provide more information than self-testing blood glucose meters because it provides a continuous stream of data, rather than a snapshot.
Differences between the two
Accuracy: Self-testing blood glucose meters are generally accurate, but there can be some variation between devices and test strips. Frequency of testing: Self-testing blood glucose meters require users to perform a fingerstick test each time they want to check their blood glucose level, which can be painful and inconvenient. CGM provides continuous glucose monitoring, which means that users don’t have to perform as many fingersticks.CGM sensors are also generally accurate, but may have slightly more variability than blood glucose meters.
Data: Self-testing blood glucose meters provide a single glucose reading, while CGM provides a continuous stream of data that can be used to identify trends and patterns in blood glucose levels over time.
Cost: Self-testing blood glucose meters are generally less expensive than CGM systems, but the cost of test strips can add up over time. CGM systems are more expensive up front, but may be covered by insurance in some cases.
Overall, both self-testing blood glucose meters and CGM have their benefits and limitations. The choice of which one to use depends on factors such as the individual’s lifestyle, level of glucose control, and personal preferences. Some people may choose to use both types of devices to get the most comprehensive view of their blood glucose levels. It’s important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best monitoring strategy for your individual needs.
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