Home Blood Sugar Management Steps, calories…blood?The Wellness Industry Is Trying to Cater to Our Sugar Levels | Well, Actually

Steps, calories…blood?The Wellness Industry Is Trying to Cater to Our Sugar Levels | Well, Actually

by Adrienne Matei
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Monitoring your steps, calorie intake, and sleep cycles has never been easier. Currently, the trend in personal data is in blood sugar levels.

Biotech companies like Zoe, Cygnos, and NutriSense are offering continuous blood sugar monitors, disposable devices with tiny needle-like sensors, to people without diabetes who want to know how their bodies process food. I am selling a certain CGM.

CGMs tout their superiority in optimizing personal health, but are these devices truly useful tools for understanding and improving health, or are they simply a new trend among concerned people? Is it just a trend?

How do continuous blood sugar monitors work?

Rather than directly measuring sugar levels in the blood, like a finger stick test, CGM devices measure sugar in the interstitial fluid around cells. As a result, blood sugar readings can lag 5 to 20 minutes behind real-time blood sugar readings, which can be problematic for people with diabetes who need to respond to sudden changes, but for people without diabetes. This is usually not a big problem for .

CGM companies typically offer subscription plans. For example, a 3-month subscription to Nutrisense costs: $299 Signos, on the other hand, offers a similar plan on a monthly basis $229. Subscribers receive two CGMs per month. These devices are affixed to the outside of the arm, secured with a waterproof bandage, and remain functional for 14 days. In addition to the hardware, users have access to a companion app that displays blood sugar fluctuations in near real-time. Some companies offer personalized diet and exercise information to help users reach their health goals.

How are blood sugar levels related to our health?

People with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels. This is because the body has a harder time producing or using insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that helps cells absorb sugar from the bloodstream. For people with diabetes, controlling blood sugar levels through a careful daily routine, including diet, physical activity, and insulin injections can help minimize the risk of serious complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and blindness. Extremely important.

CGM marketing often suggests that even if you don’t have diabetes and your blood sugar levels are relatively stable, further stabilizing your blood sugar levels will improve your overall health and promote weight loss.

Cygnos’s Website “Avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar levels as much as possible.”

It says, “The body needs to keep its glucose in tight control. If the balance tips in either direction, it can be bad news.” post On Zoe’s site.

Although the spike in blood sugar levels after eating a large dessert or carbohydrate-rich lunch can cause immediate effects such as fatigue and difficulty concentrating, the occasional spike in blood sugar levels is not a problem for most people. Not a cause for concern. However, it is true that uncontrolled and frequent hyperglycemic spikes can cumulatively contribute to the development of insulin resistance in anyone. When blood sugar levels spike, the pancreas has to produce more insulin. Consistent spikes over a long period of time (usually several years) can eventually impair the body’s ability to use insulin effectively and may even slow insulin production. This can lead to prediabetes, a reversible condition in which blood sugar levels rise above normal. Without intervention, these repeated spikes can gradually lead to type 2 diabetes.

What are the benefits of monitoring blood sugar levels for health? Who doesn’t have diabetes?

2018 Stanford University study A study of healthy people using CGM shows that blood sugar dysregulation, characterized by excessively high blood sugar spikes, may be more common in healthy people without diabetes than previously thought. It turns out that. “We’ve seen that some people who think they’re healthy are actually misregulating their blood sugar levels, sometimes to the same severity as people with diabetes. But they are completely unaware.” write Michael Snyder, professor and professor of genetics at Stanford University, is the study’s senior author. If your CGM reveals that your body is having trouble controlling blood sugar levels, that information may be relevant to your health.

But not all doctors and scientists agree that CGM can help truly healthy people become even healthier. Robert H. Schmerling of Harvard Health, written There are currently no unbiased published studies linking the use of CGMs to improved health or weight loss in people without diabetes, and further research is needed to prove the value of these devices. I am.endocrinologist To tell Healthy people are unlikely to see any significant changes in their blood sugar levels. Because healthy people’s bodies process sugar efficiently, these monitors serve more to satisfy personal curiosity than to meaningfully improve health.

Nevertheless, some may find value in using CGM to observe how traditional health knowledge is applied to their bodies in real time. Kaveri Dasgupta, a diabetes physician at McGill University, says watching your blood sugar rise after eating a piece of chocolate cake may be more impactful than reading about how cake affects your body. He said he could not. “Companies are using this self-monitoring to help people reach the conclusions they have personally reached in the literature, which is that physical activity and eating whole foods are good for overall health,” she said. Ta.

But for people who aren’t diabetic and tend to stay within a healthy range (typically less than 140 milligrams per deciliter of blood after meals), this kind of information can be hair-splitting. “As long as you keep your sugar levels below a certain threshold, you don’t really need to worry about sugar fluctuations,” says Nitai Gelber, an Ontario-based family physician. “Blood sugar levels can rise to [140mg/dl] It is safe even after meals. There’s no need to try to flatten your levels further when your body is already doing a great job. ”

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Can CGM help prediabetics?Or is it insulin resistance?

Posted by Justin Richard (52) from Toronto TikTok content About using CGM to monitor your body’s response to different foods. Richard said that throughout his 40s, he noticed a loss of energy, tingling in his hands and feet, and generally felt unwell. After learning that he had a family history of diabetes and was a bit of a “junk food addict,” he went to see a doctor, only to be told there was nothing wrong with him. Despite this, Richard suspected he was insulin resistant because the condition causes neuropathic symptoms such as tingling.

“Over the years, I’ve declined,” Richard said. 2019 study It turns out that large gaps in physician knowledge in prediabetes diagnosis and treatment planning can allow some patients to slip through the cracks. Prediabetes may be asymptomatic. ”tranquility” Condition; 80% of prediabetics I don’t understand they have it.

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Richard said he started using a CGM over a year ago to monitor his blood sugar levels so he doesn’t “automatically slip into type 2 diabetes” due to lack of medical intervention, as happened to his mother. He has not yet been diagnosed with prediabetes by a doctor. He realized that if he could keep his blood sugar levels within a healthy range, he would feel better and have more energy.

“Awareness keeps me in check,” he says. “When you eat something and your blood sugar goes up, it’s a reminder that, ‘Oh, if I keep eating this kind of food for a long period of time, I could be damaging myself.’ Diabetes doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not something that just happens. It’s been decades in the making.”

Are there any downsides to using CGM if you don’t have diabetes?

CGMs are expensive and may not provide users with dietary insights not available elsewhere for free.

Dasgupta cautions that CGM users who don’t work with their doctors to interpret their data may miss how other factors, such as stress and sleep quality, affect blood sugar levels. Masu.

Additionally, CGMs can cause users to focus too much on blood sugar balance. “When you’re doing that kind of self-testing, there’s definitely a risk of getting sucked into it,” Dasgupta says. For example, users may worry about normal blood sugar fluctuations after a meal, even if they are within a healthy range, or become fixated on their body’s reaction to certain foods.

While not a downside per se, increased CGM use among non-diabetic people is unlikely to meaningfully stem the surge in diabetes rates.Researchers believe that just under 500 million people life with Diabetes is on the rise worldwide, with numbers predicted to increase by 25% by 2030 and 51% by 2045. Diabetes is most prevalent in high-income countries, where lower-income people experience diabetes. higher price This means that the people who need CGM the most may not have access to it.

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