GLUCOSE MONITORING IN HOUSTON & SUGAR LAND
Of course, we perform many procedures to address endocrine problems. Because so many people have diabetes, we perform continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). Continuous glucose monitoring automatically tracks blood sugar levels day and night. It displays blood sugar levels at 1-, 5-, 10- or 15-minute intervals. If your sugar drops dangerously low or reaches a high preset level, the monitor sounds an alarm to alert you immediately.
At one time only doctors could read CGM systems. Now anyone can read them as part of your at-home diabetes care. You can now download your data to your computer, tablet or smartphone to identify patterns in your sugar levels. This information will help you and your doctor manage your diabetes, including:
- How much insulin you need
- Exercise plan that’s right for you
- Number of meals/snacks you need daily
- Correct types/doses of medication
CGM doesn’t replace traditional home monitors. You’ll still need to measure your blood sugar with a regular glucose meter a few times each day ensure the monitor stays accurate. In some cases, the sensor is placed under your belly skin quickly and painlessly or attached to the back of your arm. The sensor’s transmitter then sends the information to a wireless, pager-like monitor that clips on your belt. If you also use an insulin pump, you can link it to your CGM system for continuous care.
How Does Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Work?
CGM functions through a tiny sensor inserted under the skin of your belly or arm. The sensor detects blood sugar found in the fluid between cells. The sensor tests your glucose every few minutes and wirelessly sends it to a monitor. The monitor may be part of an insulin pump or a separate device, which you can carry in a pocket or purse. Some glucose monitoring systems can also send information directly to your smartphone, computer or tablet. With continuous daily glucose monitoring, you will have fewer emergencies, fewer finger-sticks and better overall blood sugar management, not to mention better health.
CGM isn’t right for all diabetics. CGMs are more expensive than glucose meters and your insurance or Medicaid may not cover them. Some users need extra training and practice to use continuous glucose monitoring correctly. Ask your doctor whether continuous glucose monitoring can work for you.
Who Needs CGM?
Your doctor may recommend continuous glucose monitoring if you have major highs and lows in blood sugar readings for no clear reason, if you have gestational diabetes, which happens during pregnancy, or if you are on an insulin pump.
Hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar is too low. Hyperglycemia is when your blood sugar is too high.
CGM can be used by adults and by children aged 2 and older. The FDA recently approved smartphone apps for CGM that share information on blood glucose immediately. This will be a great help to caregivers and parents who can’t always be with the diabetic person.
New and better kinds of CGM systems are now in clinical trials. This technology is a key part of researchers’ efforts to build an artificial human pancreas, which could mimic the body’s natural insulin controlling process.
INSULIN PUMP AVAILABLE IN HOUSTON & SUGAR LAND
We use an insulin pump to administer insulin directly when treating type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes or latent autoimmune diabetes in adults. An insulin pump can help increase your flexibility in food choices, meal schedules and activities. An insulin pump can also:
- Reduce your injections
- Lower your A1C level
- Reduce low blood sugar events
- Give you tight control before and during pregnancy
- Help with high blood sugar in the early morning
- Help with delayed digestion
Why Use an Insulin Pump?
An insulin pump can help you manage your diabetes. It allows you to match your insulin to your lifestyle. With an insulin injection, you have to match your life to how the insulin is working. In conjunction with your endocrinology specialist and diabetes care team, an insulin pump can help you keep your blood sugar within your target range. People of all ages can use insulin pumps with type 1 diabetes and some people with type 2 diabetes have begun using them, as well.
How Does an Insulin Pump Work?
An insulin pump delivers short-acting insulin 24 hours a day through a small catheter under your skin. We separate insulin doses into:
- Basal rates
- Bolus doses to cover ingested carbohydrates
- Correction/supplemental doses
The insulin pump delivers basal insulin continuously over 24 hours and maintains your blood glucose levels between meals and overnight. It is common to program different amounts of insulin for different times of the day and night. When you eat, you activate the insulin pump to give you additional insulin. This is called a bolus. You take a bolus to cover the carbohydrate in each meal or snack. You can also take a bolus to treat high blood glucose. If your blood glucose is high before you eat, you take a correction dose or supplemental bolus of insulin to bring get back to your target range.
Wearing an Insulin Pump
You can buy a special insulin pump case or attach your insulin pump to a waistband, pocket, bra or sock and tuck any excess tubing into the waistband of your underwear or pants, if necessary.
During sleep, you can try wearing your insulin pump on your pajama waistband, on an armband or leg band or clip it to a blanket, sheet, stuffed toy or pillow using a belt clip. Showering and bathing present other challenges for your insulin pump. Although insulin pumps are water-resistant, never put them directly into water. An insulin pump has a disconnect port for swimming, bathing and showering. Some pumps can be set on the side of the tub or in a shower caddy or soap tray. Special cases allow you to hang your insulin pump from your neck or a shower curtain hook, too.
Using an insulin pump should not hamper your lifestyle. You can wear a strong elastic waistband with an insulin pump case or wear it on an armband where it is visible while participating in sports and other activities. Some women tape the insulin pump to the front of their sports bras while they exercise.
Disconnecting Your Insulin Pump
Here are some important tips to remember when disconnecting your insulin pump.
Remember that if you stop your pump while it is delivering a bolus – that bolus will not be resumed. You may need to program a new one and/or bolus to cover the basal rate dose you will miss. If your blood glucose is under 150, you can wait an hour to bolus again. Never go more than an hour or two without insulin. Check your blood glucose every three to four hours.
Discover leading-edge endocrinology for diabetes, hormones and thyroid problems. Call 713-797-9191 or use our Request an Appointment form. We welcome patients from Houston, West University, Bellaire, River Oaks, Sugar Land and surrounding locations.