What is a Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring System?

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A continuous blood glucose monitoring system (CBGMS) is a device approved by the Federal Drug Administration that continuously records blood sugar levels in a person with diabetes. Most of the CBGMS devices sold in the market today can take close to 300 blood sugar readings in a 24-hour period.

This device is recommended for use in adults and children who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and is also particularly useful for diabetics who are active in sports, who live alone and who have erratic blood sugar fluctuations.


The CBGMS uses a tiny device called a “sensor” that is inserted beneath the skin of the abdomen. The insertion is quick and painless, much like inserting an insulin pump catheter. The sensor measures the blood glucose levels of the patient and then sends the information to a compact device called a monitor. The monitor can be attached to the waistline of the user for convenience and portability. The system then automatically takes records of blood sugar levels every five minutes for up to 72 hours.

Other considerations like insulin shots, number or frequency of exercise, and food consumed are also entered into the diabetic’s blood glucose monitoring record. This information is then downloaded into a computer and reviewed by a doctor to assist in the patient’s diabetes management plan.


The main benefit of the CBGMS is to help identify trends that are otherwise not noticeable by standard blood glucose tests and which are vital in patient’s diabetes management plan. Diabetics can use this device to determine if their blood sugar is either falling or rising, and make the necessary adjustments to their diet and exercise regimen, or even seek medical treatment.

The CBGMS can detect rise and fall in blood sugar levels particularly between meals, so diabetics can easily identify which food and drinks cause their blood sugar level to increase. It can also detect spikes in blood sugar levels in the mornings, and give diabetics an evaluation of how their exercise regimen affects their blood sugar. It can also provide an evaluation of how changes in one’s diet and exercise regimen can affect blood sugar levels in the short term, or as early as 72 hours.


Although there are benefits of using the continuous blood glucose monitoring system, there are also some limitations in the use of the device. The CBGMS is not deemed as a replacement for the standard blood glucose monitoring test. It is not also intended for long-term blood sugar monitoring. The device is basically for monitoring trends in one’s blood glucose levels. Diabetics still have to do the blood glucose meter reading which is considered more accurate and useful in blood sugar monitoring. The device also requires expert training and may be too technical for some individuals. It is also expensive and are often not included in medical insurance policies.


Diabetes Monitor: Diabetes Monitor: Continuous Glucose Monitoring

WebMD: Diabetes and Continuous Glucose Monitoring