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How useful is the continuous glucose monitoring device?

Q: My relative is 33 years old. He is suffering from Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and having insulin 3 times a day. He wants to consider using the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device to assess his blood sugar levels. What do you think about the usefulness of CGM and how can someone buy a CGM system in India and how much does it cost?

A:Continuous glucose monitoring device is a very sophisticated device that continuously records the blood glucose from the interstitial fluid and gives the readings every 5 minutes.

The appropriate patients for this device are the ones with very labile blood sugars, frequent hypoglycaemia and hypoglycaemic unawareness.

This device is an expensive device and not readily available, especially in India. The blood sugars still need to be checked by finger stick at home at least twice a day to keep the device calibrated. There is a lag time between the displayed blood glucose reading and the actual blood glucose of the patient at any point of time. These devices are still being improvised for a better accuracy. In essence, this device is appropriate to be used at this time by a certain category of patients only as mentioned earlier. Cost considerations are a definite drawback and it does not completely eliminate the need for finger stick home blood glucose monitoring.

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