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(15,311 posts)
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 07:11 AM Apr 22

Why people without diabetes use glucose monitors to track their health (WaPo)


Why people without diabetes use glucose monitors to track their health

Advice by Trisha Pasricha, MD
Contributing columnist
April 22, 2024 at 6:15 a.m. EDT


Continuous glucose monitoring has become a major health fad among those who don’t have diabetes but want to use the data to inform their lifestyle choices. Everyday factors like diet, exercise and stress affect your blood sugar levels.

The monitors, which are usually worn on the upper arm or stomach, contain a specialized enzyme that reacts with glucose molecules in your body, generating a tiny electric current. Its voltage is proportional to your blood glucose concentration, which the device calculates several times per hour.

People are often fascinated by the results because everyone reacts somewhat differently to eating. In one study that tracked more than 45,000 meals from 800 people, researchers found a high variability in glucose levels even after eating the same foods, such as bread with butter.

I don’t normally recommend continuous glucose monitors to my healthy patients. But I do appreciate that some people — especially those who feel they’ve already tried hard to get a better handle on their blood sugar — will find seeing that data play out in real-time informative and motivational.


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(4,098 posts)
1. Same issue with pulse oximeters
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 09:12 AM
Apr 22

An Emergency department perspective:

We have more falsely low O2 readings causing ED visits than real ones. If someone is having difficulty breathing, it doesn’t matter what their O2 sat is - they may be compensating or not - either way, we need to see them. If their breathing is fine, then a low O2 reading is often spurious as some degree of training and discretion must be used in interpreting results and getting an accurate reading.

BP is another issue. While it is good to have a home BP cuff and they do tend to be accurate, most patients are ill-informed regarding what constitutes an emergency; however, ED visits for a higher than usual BP must be handled carefully as patients paradoxically do not appreciate being told that they are fine and do not have an emergency once they have opted into an ED visit.

As for glucose monitors, there is essentially no role for them in non-diabetics from a medical perspective. For OCD data collectors, they are probably wonderful for micro-managing I am not sure what.

Elessar Zappa

(14,685 posts)
4. My pulmonologist advised me to buy a home O2 meter
Wed Apr 24, 2024, 05:42 PM
Apr 24

and go to the ER if my oxygen went below 89, even if I were feeling fine, breathing normally.

Wonder Why

(3,797 posts)
2. Same type of people that avoid gluten (grain protein) when they don't need to or follow any number of "fads of the day".
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 10:07 AM
Apr 22

It will pass (pun intended). Just like other food fads.


(14,158 posts)
3. I think this is for the nutrition data nerds among us. You can read how potatoes or rice can spike your glucose
Mon Apr 22, 2024, 11:14 AM
Apr 22

but how does it react to YOU. Does cooling the rice really blunt the post meal spike IN YOU?
We are all just a bit different.
As for the BP machines it's simple to just bring the BP machine with you to the doctor's office. Compare the doctors readings with the readings on your machine and adjust accordingly..
Mine is bang on when done properly. Some med assistants/nurses don't conform with the
AMA procedure to take a correct measurement

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