July 2023 Newsletter- Continuous Glucose Monitor

By: Dr. Bianco and Chelsea Dorsett

Posted 07/11/2023

Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM)
Dr. Tony Bianco, DO

The emergence of the continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a key tool for helping individuals understand one’s physiology and response to food. In my opinion, this is one of the most important simple technologies to come on the scene. Why is this? Continuous glucose monitors allow for instant measurement of interstitial blood sugar.While this isn’t as accurate as the classic finger stick, the newer technology is rapidly improving. More than an individual datapoint, the device allows you to get general trends throughout the day and gain insights into the food and activities that have major impact on your blood sugar.

Who cares about blood sugar? You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of the relationship of elevated blood sugar and diet and exercise; more specifically, the large and frequent spikes and falls that occur throughout the day. Blood sugar dysregulation is, of course, directly linked to complications from diabetes, which, in turn, increases risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, and dementia, among many other problems.

CGMs allow you to take responsibility for your health and guide you on a path forward. In the world of personalized medicine, you may respond differently to one food than another. The insight I learned from trialing a CGM myself was the impact of walking after a meal, an activity which seems to benefit most people by blunting big blood sugar spikes. One patient even had large blood sugar spike after consuming a “keto” protein powder.CGMs will allow you to figure out how diet and exercise impact you specifically, so that you can make changes to improve your overall health. While I think we have the capacity to regain our intuition for how to thrive in this world, modern technology can give us more rapid information to drive changes to our lifestyle and health!


You are unique!
Chelsea Dorsett, RD, LD

The key to longevity is keeping your blood sugars as stable as possible. Of course blood sugar will rise when you eat and lower when you fast, but avoiding HUGE spikes in blood sugar (which will eventually lead to a huge crash), is essential if you want to live a long healthy life. Even if you are NOT a diabetic, I strongly suggest getting a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). Why? Everyone is different. How my body processes 10 grapes will be different than how your body processes 10 grapes. Knowing what foods in particular spike YOUR blood sugar will help you avoid diabetes, cardiovascular disease and will slow down the aging process.

What I love about CGM is the blood doesn't lie. When you have a weekend of pizza, beer and staying up late- you will see the results. You blood sugar will be higher. But for how long? You get to decide. Exercise, intermittent fasting and sticking with a low carbohydrate/sugar diet will lower your blood sugar back into a healthy range. But if the weekend rolls around and you are back into the pizza and beer- blood sugar goes up. The CGM will literally tell you at any given second what your blood sugar is doing based off your eating, sleep and exercise habits. I had a few patients that were surprised to learn that Stevia raised their blood sugar. This isn't the case for everyone of course, as I normally recommend Stevia as a great sugar-free substitute. But again, everyone is unique. For this particular patient, she was consistently finding that stevia in her coffee was causing her blood sugar to spike. She would have never know this unless it was for the CGM. I had another patient who found that her protein powder was causing her blood sugar to spike. Her and I were both surprised by this, since it was high in protein and low in carbohydrates. However, upon further review, it had Splenda in the ingredients as a sweetener. When you ingest Splenda (a chemical based artificial sweetener) your brain thinks you are about to digest something VERY sweet- so in preparation, insulin rises. The point here is- without the CGM, you would have no idea what is and isn't causing blood sugar spikes. Talk with your integrative doctor about prescribing one to your local pharmacy. You won't want to miss out on this valuable data!

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