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US experts back continuous glucose monitors for type 1 diabetes

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Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) represent the “gold standard” of care for adults with type 1 diabetes, according to US experts.

CGMs measure glucose levels in the fluid between the body’s cells every few minutes throughout the day and night, noted the Endocrine Society.

“It is crucial to ensure patients are comfortable with any devices”

Anne Peters

The technology can tell the user whether glucose levels are rising or falling, and monitor trends from the past several hours. The devices also feature alarms to warn users when glucose levels are too high or too low.

The US medical society has now backed their use in clinical practice guidance published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The guideline gave its strongest recommendation in support of using CGM technology in individuals with type 1 diabetes who are “able and willing” to use the monitors.

The taskforce behind the guidance also suggested that CGMs can be used on a short-term, intermittent basis for individuals with type 2 diabetes whose blood glucose is above targeted levels.

In addition, the guideline taskforce recommended the use of insulin pumps over multiple daily insulin injections in individuals with type 1 diabetes who have not met their HbA1C targets and again are judged willing and able to use the device.

University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine

US experts back continuous glucose monitors

Anne Peters

Dr Anne Peters, chair of the guideline taskforce, said: “Studies have found that people with type 1 diabetes who use CGMs are able to maintain better control of their blood sugar without increasing episodes of hypoglycemia when blood sugar drops to dangerous levels, compared to those who self-monitor blood glucose with periodic finger-sticks.

“Scientific evidence supports the use of CGM technology in individuals with type 1 diabetes whose blood sugar is above the targeted level as well as those whose blood glucose is well managed,” said Dr Peters, from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

She added: “A device’s success is directly linked to an individual’s willingness to use and understand the technology. It is crucial to ensure patients are comfortable with any devices they decide to incorporate into their treatment plans.”

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