Are you a healthcare professional who takes care of people with diabetes? Visit

Regístrese para aprender más

How Is A CGM Different Than A Blood Sugar Meter?

You will know your sugar level and where it is headed.

A blood glucose meter shows your sugar level right now, but does not tell you if it's about to change. A CGM shows if your sugar is about to change and this keeps you safe from going too high or too low. This can also help when you exercise or eat - because you will be ready with a CGM!

These devices save lives and as horrible as I find it being constantly tethered, it has saved me from overnight lows, prolonged highs, and has helped me stay active with very little risk and fewer finger sticks. (I still finger stick a lot).


How Does A CGM Attach To My Body?

Push a button and the CGM is in place.

Each type of CGM comes with a special inserter. You push a button or squeeze the inserter, and a small needle inserts the CGM's tiny sensing wire under your skin. The needle comes out and the tiny wire stays in. Some CGM types are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be inserted in the abdomen or upper arms, but many people have tried them all over the body with success.

I used to use my stomach for my continuous glucose monitor. Now, I use my forearms, and I like the profile when I wear clothes because I don't have this weird bulky thing on my stomach. It's more out of the way.


How Does It Actually Work?

Magic! Just kidding - amazing technology.

CGMs are small devices that work by inserting a tiny wire under the skin and an adhesive patch holds the external transmitter in place. The tiny wire is less than 1/2 long, and you can't feel it once it is in place. A small transmitter connects to the wire and sends real-time data to the a receiver. Many people use their cell phone to receive the data using an app.

How Much Will It Cost? Does My Insurance Cover It?

Cost depends on insurance, and it's worth knowing.

All of us with diabetes wish it wasn't so expensive to take care of diabetes. Some sensors are cheaper than others, and more insurance companies are covering them. Planning and knowing the cost can help make decisions about whether it is possible to get a sensor.

This is not the equivalent of buying the next best phone. This is medical care. For me, it's a no-brainer to spend more on supplies if it means I'm going to be healthier in the long run.


Do I still need to prick my finger?

You don’t have to (but you might want to)

While it’s important to have your meter onhand for backup purposes, using a fingerstick-free CGM like the Dexcom or Abbott Libre gives you the freedom to go without a meter on occasion. It’s still good to keep a meter and double check if what you’re feeling doesn’t match up with the reading on your sensor.

How much will it cost? Does my insurance cover it?

CGMs are cheaper than they used to be

All of us with diabetes wish it wasn’t so expensive to take care of diabetes. Some sensors are cheaper than others and if you have insurance, there is a very good chance it is covered. In the How to Get a Sensor Guide there is a section about cost and insurance that has some helpful tips and info.

Your health and well being and quality of life is priceless so if you can afford it, it is worth it


Which one is right for me?

It depends.

The CGM that is right for you depends on where you want to put it on your body, whether you want alerts when you are going too low or too high, and weather you want it to communicate with an insulin pump. For example, if you do not feel your lows or want an alert that tells you when you’re low (or will be soon), then choose one with alerts (Dexcom or Medtronic). If you do not need alerts and can feel your lows, try the Abbott Libre. Our device comparison and check-up questions can help you decide what is right for you.


Casi sin pinchazos en los dedos
¡Dos de los tres sensores disponibles no requieren pinchazos en los dedos! Aún querrá tener un medidor con usted, por si acaso, pero no lo necesitará tanto.

Evita los altibajos antes de que sucedan
Un MCG te muestra en qué dirección se dirige tu nivel de azúcar en la sangre y qué tan rápido. Algunos tipos emitirán una alarma durante el día o la noche para ayudar a alertarte cuando tengas un nivel alto o bajo de azúcar en la sangre.

Observe patrones y ajuste la insulina
Tener datos del sensor te brinda la capacidad de ver patrones que suceden con el tiempo. Puedes consultarlo con tu médico para ajustar las rutinas de insulina, alimentación y ejercicio.


Alertas y alarmas
Algunas personas se sienten abrumadas con demasiadas alertas que suenan desde sus dispositivos. Puedes personalizarlos para que se ajusten a tus necesidades y deseos, o apagarlos por completo (excepto la alarma baja de emergencia).

Conexión a dispositivos
Usar un MCG significa que tendrás un dispositivo en tu cuerpo en todo momento. Todos son resistentes al agua y muy duraderos. Algunos MCG tienen receptores y otros se pueden conectar a un teléfono inteligente, lo que puede reducir la cantidad de dispositivos que tienes que cargar.


El trabajo requerido para mantener un sensor día a día es mucho menos complicado y doloroso que chequear con un medidor.


Mira tus números cuando quieras o necesites. Si tu sensor necesita una punción en el dedo para calibrarlo - eso sucede 2 veces al día.
Lo mejor es calibrar por la mañana o cuando el nivel de azúcar en la sangre no suba o baje rápidamente.


Cambiar sensor
Esto es algo que debes hacer cada semana, 10 días o 2 semanas, según tu sistema MCG. También hay algunos consejos y trucos que podrían ayudarlos a durar aún más.

3 Meses

Pide un Nuevo Paquete de Sensores
ALa cantidad de sensores que recibas dependerá de tu sistema MCG y de tu cobertura de seguro. Pero recuerda, si uno se rompe o se daña antes de lo que se supone que debe terminar, llama para obtener un reemplazo.

6 Meses

Pide un Nuevo Transmisor
Al transmisor se le termina la batería después de un cierto período de tiempo.