CGM makes you look at your blood sugars more. That’s what makes it work so well.

I have been type 1 since 1998 and over the past couple of years i have been fortunate to own a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

What’s a CGM? In short, they are pretty amazing devices.

I was curious: how often do I actually look at my CGM?

I used mumoActive to record every time I glanced at my CGM. The results were interesting: on average I look at my blood sugars 19 times a day, which is about once an hour during my waking day. Because I am looking so often, I can work to keep them in range.

Rather than waiting until I am badly hypo or very high, or wondering how I am doing, I can see the way things are going and take a small amount of carbs/insulin, rather than taking larger quantities to fix a more severe problem. And because I am looking so often, I have a better sense of what my body is doing throughout every part of the day. And then I learn from it.

For some advanced blood sugar management strategies, check the Sugar Surfer.

But given that I have a CGM, why would I bother entering my blood sugars into a manual app as well? Isn’t that just more work?

I often want to go back a day or so to understand why I went hypo or high. It’s usually when I have some dead time, like when i’m on the tube. To do this I’ll need to look at my BGs, carbs and insulin and my CGM doesn’t go back more than a day to view the BG data.

Well technically I could, if I had remembered to connect my CGM to my Mac the night before and uploaded my data to Diasend. Which I hadn’t. And assuming I had an internet connection so I could view the non-mobile friendly website on the tube. Which I didn’t. It’s helpful to be able to do this, but doesn’t work if I want to know where I am at any given time of the day.

Even though the data on mumoActive was less granular than the CGM, I actually had it available to me then and there, allowing me to better understand my body and make correction insulin doses to keep in range. And if I didn’t have a CGM I could still do the same thing but with manual testing.

The future of software tools is coming to help people with diabetes manage their condition throughout every part of the day.