"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Is monitoring blood sugar useful without diabetes?

Here's an ad you might not have seen, however it's coming soon: A person walks along a mud road through beautiful countryside. He stops on the overlook and glances at his mobile phone. The phone screen flashes a number, telling her that her blood sugar is normal. He smiles and resumes his run.

What's different about this ad, you wonder? Jogger No diabetes. So, how does his phone know his blood sugar? And why, in the course of a run, does he need to know the result? Read on

Should you monitor your blood sugar should you don't have diabetes?

Several firms are working hard to make such an ad a reality, as they start marketing non-diabetic blood sugar measuring devices. Called Continuous glucose monitoring systems, or CGMs, are sometimes utilized by individuals with diabetes. These firms could make huge profits by convincing healthy people without diabetes (or other blood sugar problems) to start out monitoring their blood sugar.

CGMs use small sensor wires, or filaments, that pierce the skin to repeatedly and simply measure blood sugar levels. The filaments stay in place, often on the upper arm or abdomen, secured with adhesive patches. The results are displayed on the receiver or sent to the user's phone.

While CGMs required a prescription up to now, the recent FDA clearance of over-the-counter CGMs may encourage healthy people to start out using these systems with no specific medical reason.

Where is the health profit on this?

Already, a lot of us monitor our weight, heart rate, or day by day steps – so why not monitor blood sugar? And, is there any evidence of profit for healthy people without diabetes to watch their blood sugar levels repeatedly with a CGM? There is little published research to assist answer these questions.

gave Best read I could find. Nothing particularly surprising was found: Of the 153 individuals who didn’t have diabetes, blood sugar levels were at or near normal about 96 percent of the time. In fact, lots of the unusual levels were regarded as implausible or a mistake. Another short study Looked at sedentary individuals without diabetes who were chubby or obese. Participants accomplished a counseling session in regards to the effects of physical activity on blood sugar and used a CGM device and an activity tracker for 10 days. Afterwards, they reported more motivation to exercise. Another evaluation of CGM use on account of rare conditions less There was no evidence of a health profit for blood sugar in children.

But I couldn't find any published studies suggesting that monitoring translates into higher health for healthy people without diabetes or other blood sugar problems.

Therefore, until further studies prove the worth of CGM in people without diabetes, we is not going to know whether the price and time involved in installing one in every of these systems is being gained or not. Just the newest attempt at health surveillance and a waste of cash.

Speaking of cost, CGMs aren't low-cost: they’ll cost several thousand dollars a 12 months. And it's unlikely that health insurers will cover CGMs for people without diabetes, at the very least until there's compelling evidence that they really help.

Blood sugar monitoring offers undeniable health advantages for individuals with diabetes.

For individuals with diabetes, therapy has a significant goal Blood sugar is near the normal range.. It helps prevent symptoms and complications, delay life and improve quality of life.

Development of CGM devices that may ceaselessly and simply monitor blood sugar levels. without Fingersticks have revolutionized the care of hundreds of thousands of individuals with diabetes. In addition to providing blood sugar level results, some devices have alarm settings that alert the user or others if blood sugar becomes dangerously low or high. And some systems can deliver results on to the user's doctor if desired.

If knowledge is power, why not monitor your blood sugar?

So, why a one that doesn’t Do diabetics want to watch their blood sugar? Possible causes include:

  • Detecting pre-diabetes. In prediabetes, blood sugar is barely high, but not high enough to satisfy the definition of diabetes. For healthy people, blood sugar testing is usually beneficial every three years or so. If prediabetes is diagnosed, more frequent retests are beneficial, at the very least annually. CGM can allow early diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes. It could also be especially helpful for people at high risk of diabetes on account of family history or other aspects, and those that can have elevated blood sugar.
  • The concept of “optimizing” blood sugar for peak mental or physical performance. Not surprisingly, some CGM manufacturers suggest that knowing your blood sugar can enable you to make changes to maintain it in an “ideal range” that permits you to perform at your best. It will help prevent diabetes, or otherwise improve health. For example, you possibly can change what you eat or while you eat it. None of those marketing concepts have been proven, and even well studied. And guess what—even for a one that doesn't have diabetes, the perfect blood sugar range is uncertain.
  • A way of control. Knowing more about your body can provide you with a way of control over your health, even should you don't take immediate motion.
  • Curiosity Let's face it, it's tempting to gather details about our bodies that is perhaps interesting (even once we're unsure what to do with it).

But really, useless, worthless, or mistaken knowledge doesn’t make you powerful! It will also be harmful. For example, if a biologically minor drop in blood sugar leads you to eat more breakfast (“to avoid hypoglycemia”), you might gain weight and truly shed extra pounds. increase Your risk of developing diabetes. If the monitoring system sometimes provides misinformation or false alarms, unnecessary worry, calls or visits to the doctor, visits to the emergency room, and even inappropriate treatment can occur.

The bottom line

Unfortunately, manufacturers of CGM systems are usually not waiting for some solid research results to bring these devices to healthy people. Therefore, consumers and marketing professionals – not researchers or doctors – can eliminate the increased demand for the product.

Any recent technology has a scientific learning curve to determine when to make use of it. In my view, we’re on the very starting of the training curve for home blood sugar monitoring in people without diabetes. Before we buy into what may very well be the following trend in health monitoring, I believe we’d like to learn quite a bit.

There is wisdom within the teachings of one in every of my favorite professors in medical school: “Just since you can do Measuring something doesn't mean you. Should

Follow me on Twitter. @RobShmerling