People with type 1 diabetes struggle with blood sugar control despite CGMs

November 19, 2019

Some continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) alarm features and settings may achieve better blood sugar control for people with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

The most common way to check blood sugar is the finger prick method. This test is done between 1-6 times per day and is difficult for most people. Using a CGM allows patients to check blood sugar automatically, even while they're sleeping. This frequent monitoring can lead to better outcomes when managing diabetes, but patients with type 1 still face challenges with avoiding high and low blood pressure daily.

"Managing type 1 diabetes is a constant battle between high and low blood sugar levels, and many patients using CGMs continue to struggle to find a balance," said the study's corresponding author, Yu Kuei Lin, M.D., of University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah. "Our study pioneeringly demonstrated that some CGM alarm features and settings may achieve better blood sugar control for patients with type 1 diabetes."

In this study, researchers examined data from 95 patients with type 1 diabetes to better understand the associations between CGM alarm settings and blood sugar levels. They found different CGM blood sugar thresholds for high and low blood sugar alarms were associated with various hypo/hyperglycemic outcomes, and suggest adjustments to these thresholds could lead to better management of hypo- and hyperglycemia.

"Simple adjustments on the CGM alarm settings can inform patients about high or low blood sugar events early, so they can be head of time for treatments when needed," Lin said.
Other authors of the study include: Owen Chan, Anu Sharma, Simon J. Fisher, Michael W. Varner, Man Hung of University of Utah School of Medicine; and Danielle Groat, Ramkiran Gouripeddi, and Julio C. Facelli of University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The study received funding support from the NIDDK/ Washington School of Medicine Diabetes Research Center, the University of Utah Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

The study, "Alarm Settings of Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems and Associations to Glucose Outcomes in Type 1 Diabetes," was published online in the open-access journal.

Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.

The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.

The Endocrine Society

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