low blood sugar episodes, measuring blood sugar, Invokana and Farxiga

People who use insulin to control their diabetes must walk a tightrope. On the one hand, they need to keep blood sugar from soaring, since that type of hyperglycemia can damage their kidneys, retinas and other organs. On the other hand, however, they need to avoid dangerously low blood sugar episodes.

Technology Reduces Low Blood Sugar Episodes:

One way to reduce hypoglycemic episodes is with a continuous blood glucose monitor that sounds an alarm when blood sugar goes too high or drops too low. Some people with type 1 diabetes are not sensitive to the symptoms that signal the first stages of hypoglycemia. Such hypoglycemic unawareness can land people in trouble.

Researchers randomly assigned 149 individuals with type 1 diabetes and hypoglycemic unawareness to use traditional finger-stick blood sugar monitoring or to wear the continuous blood glucose monitor (Heinemann et al, The Lancet, online Feb. 18, 2018). Those wearing the machine had an average of 3.5 low blood sugar episodes a month, down from about 11 at baseline. People in the control group did not have a decrease in such episodes.

Disadvantages of Continuous Glucose Monitors:

The technology does have a few downsides. Wearing the sensor all the time may be inconvenient; the participants in this study wore it 85 percent of the time, including overnight. (That might explain how it apparently helped reduce low blood sugar episodes during sleep.)

In addition, this technology could also be costly. Insurance companies differ in how much they are willing to pay for the monitor.

In the same journal, an editorial discusses how continuous glucose monitoring is transforming the treatment of type 1 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes who must use injected insulin for blood sugar control may also benefit from this new technology.

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  1. Jojo

    Thank you Jesus thank you

  2. cwolfrom

    Just read your blog this morning and had a sickening feeling after I was done. EGGS ARE A CRUCIAL PART OF MY DIET! Being hypoglycemic, eating lots of protein is important for me, but I don”t digest animal protein very well, so don’t eat beef, chicken or pork. Eggs are a large part of what I do eat: local, organic eggs that is. I have a smoothie every morning which includes two raw eggs. I have egg salad 1-2X a week and omelets for lunch on weekends. I don’t know how I would substitute eggs out of my diet, even cut down much. I do eat plenty of turkey, probably too much, and fish twice a week. I have food allergies to black beans, garbanzos and avoid pinto because I”m trying to eat low carb. I”m perplexed. Can I just breathe air and have good thoughts?

  3. Barb C.

    I am a 68 year old female and since Medicare has approved the CGM I have been wearing it and love it! Instead of 7-9 finger sticks/day to check my glucose, I now only have to do so twice/day to calibrate the CGM – WONDERFUL!! And I do not understand the technology, but I’ve been able to cut back on my insulin during the day, which is always a big plus. I haven’t had my first A1c taken since going on the CGM, but am hoping it will drop from my last one.
    It is easy to apply and always warns me if I’m going hypo or hyper so I’m able to take the appropriate action to prevent either condition. Definitely a plus in my opinion!

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