I rave about my pump and CGMS. My personal experience is that they’ve enabled me to keep my HbA1c at a very happy level for over 2 years, reduce the range of my blood sugar swings and reduce the number of hypos I experience. And now science agrees with me!
The latest research from JDRF shows that using a continuous glucose monitor regularly (at least 6 days a week) increases diabetes control and enables patients to maintain good control long term. This is exactly my experience.
My consultant never looks convinced when I tell him that I need to wear my CGMS pretty much all the time to achieve excellent results. He seems to think that I should be able to use it occasionally to get an idea of what’s going on, and then fly blind the rest of the time. My view is that CGMS is a tool I use to manage my diabetes day in day out, not something I dip into once a month to see how I’m doing. Now science agrees with me:
“patients averaging at least six days per week of CGM use had substantially greater improvements in HbA1c compared with those who used the devices less often” http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=112539
The other interesting bit from the study is the proof that the behaviour of the patient is as important in this as the technology:
“…the study found that regular use of blood glucose testing prior to beginning CGM therapy was an excellent predictor of regular CGM use and thus of improvement in glucose control” http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=112539
Yes CGMS is a great tool, but it is just that, a tool not a cure. I’d argue that if you were blood testing regularly prior to starting using CGM you’re probably someone who is used to putting the effort in to take control of diabetes. Common sense says a more advanced set of tools like CGMS is going to be most effective in someone who is used to making the most of the treatments available to them. I like it when science and common sense agree, it makes me feel that all is right in the world!
Hopefully this research will really help strengthen the argument for all those who are currently lobbying the NHS or insurance companies to provide them with access to CGMS. Good luck to you all!