Better blood glucose meters and more.
From continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to cutting-edge insulin pumps, diabetes technology has come a long way.
Devices are easier to use, less invasive and offer more options so that you can find what works best for you.
Choosing the right blood glucose meter
For most people, a blood glucose meter is just a part of life. That’s why getting it right matters.
There are more choices than ever, from basic designs to more advanced models that have all the bells and whistles. And fancier isn’t necessarily better. Here are some things to consider:
- Ease of use–Can you easily read the numbers on the screen? Some meters are made for simpler operation, whether it’s larger buttons, illuminated screens or audio capabilities.
- Cost and insurance coverage–Meters vary in price, and some insurers limit coverage to specific models. Start by checking with your provider to find out what they’ll cover.
- Information retrieval–Consider how the meter retrieves your information and whether you can download the data to a computer or mobile device to email it to your doctor.
- Flexibility–If you’re tired of finger pricks, there’s an alternative site monitor that lets you draw blood samples from your arm, thigh or the palm of your hand.
Fewer finger pricks with CGM
If you have type 1 or type 2 and just want better glucose control, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) may be right for you. It’s an advanced way to check glucose readings in real-time or monitor glucose readings over a period of time.
The CGM system works through a sensor placed on your skin. It transmits readings to a small recording device that sounds an alarm if your blood sugar gets too high or low. Whether you manage your diabetes with a pump, daily injections, or oral medications, CGM can help you take control.
With insulin pumps, it’s your choice
If you need a break from shots, an insulin pump can bring you relief.
The important thing to know is that a pump gives you options. You can use it continuously or temporarily, like on a vacation or over summer break. You can get a pump, wear it, stop wearing it, restart it—whatever works for you.
Pumps are an extra piece of hardware attached to your body, either with tubing or attached to your skin. They’re programmed to release small doses of insulin continuously (basal), or as a surge (bolus) dose close to mealtime to control the rise in blood sugar after a meal. They work by closely mimicking your body's normal release of insulin.
Is a pump right for you?
If your doctor determines that a pump is a good option for you, it's important to check with your insurance carrier before you buy anything. Most carriers cover pumps, but some don't and it can be expensive. Here are some tings to consider:
- Lifestyle–Pumps can be a great option for people who have active lifestyles. A pump can also work well for women who are planning to become pregnant, or for people with frequent low blood sugar reactions, or those who have delays in absorption of food from the stomach (gastroparesis).
- Commitment–Using a pump doesn’t mean you no longer have to check your blood sugar. And it can take some getting used to, from setting it up and putting it in to managing it day-to-day.
- Safety–You and/or your caregiver should be ready to do what it takes to use the pump safely. Because the pump only delivers shorter-acting insulin, it’s important to check your blood sugar regularly to ensure it’s working right.