ALERT: CGMs Can Give Inaccurate Glucose Readings

Keeping your blood sugar in check is critical for a longer, healthier life.

It used to be if you wanted to watch your blood sugar for hours at a time, you’d have to go to a lab and be hooked up to an expensive, complicated machine.

But now, anyone can get a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) at an affordable price.

CGMs are a boon for people with blood sugar problems. They allow them to monitor their glucose closely.

But if you’re using a CGM, there’s a fly in the ointment you NEED to know about.

As valuable as CGMs are having access to that continuous stream of data and watching your numbers fluctuate, can trigger some anxiety. Especially when you’re working hard to manage your levels, but your numbers STILL aren’t cooperating.

But here’s the thing, although few doctors warn folks, various things can cause your CGM to give you inaccurate readings.

Following are the seven most common culprits…

  • Pain Killers: Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, could cause falsely high glucose readings on your CGM. If accurate readings are a priority for you, consider alternative pain relief methods, such as gentle stretches, CBD, fish oil, or turmeric.
  • Vitamin C: The antioxidant vitamin C is essential for healing and fighting free radicals. However, high levels from supplements can lead to false high glucose readings on your CGM. To avoid this, get your daily dose of C from whole foods like Brussels sprouts, kale, zucchini, and lemons, or choose a supplement that contains a gram or less.
  • Aspirin: If you take aspirin regularly, be aware the active ingredient, salicylic acid, can trigger slightly lower glucose readings. Skincare products containing salicylic acid may also have an effect, although more research is needed.
  • Sensor Compression: Sometimes, false lows can occur due to pressure on the sensor, known as a compression low. This can happen if you sleep on the arm wearing the CGM or lean against something for a long time (like a sofa arm while watching a movie). To minimize this, try placing the sensor on an arm you don’t typically sleep on, and be mindful of any pressure on the sensor area.
  • Temperature: Extreme temperatures can also impact CGM accuracy. Most devices work best between 50- and 113-degrees Fahrenheit. So be cautious when enjoying a cold plunge or sauna session. Humidity and sweat can also interfere with the sensor’s performance.
  • Medications: Prescription medications, such as hydroxyurea, lisinopril, atenolol, and albuterol, may affect CGM readings. If you have concerns about your meds impacting your glucose readings, discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Also, keep in mind that readings may be less accurate during the first 48 hours of wearing a new CGM sensor as the device calibrates. Also, be sure to change your sensor according to the manufacturer’s instructions to maintain optimal performance.

Now that you’re aware of these potential influences on your CGM readings, you can make the MOST out of this invaluable tool.

Remember to always have a backup method for measuring your blood sugar. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your CGM or blood sugar readings.

P.S. Check out this potent NATURAL trio that reigns in rising blood sugar.

Source:

Heinemann, L. (2022). Interferences With CGM Systems: Practical Relevance? Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 16(2), 271-274. doi. org /10.1177 /19322968211065065

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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