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Continuous Glucose Monitors are The New Wearable Tech

Woman hiking with a continuous glucose monitor on her left arm

Smart watches, smart glasses, health rings, and now continuous glucose monitors? Initially intended to monitor blood sugar for those using insulin, wearable or implanted continuous glucose monitors such as the Dexcom, FreeStyle Libre, and Eversense are becoming more widely used for those wanting to gain more insight into their blood sugar trends to optimize their health.

What is Continuous Glucose Monitoring?

A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a small non-invasive device that is placed on the back of your arm or abdomen for 10-14 days and measures your glucose at all times. These devices transmit your glucose value to a transmitter unit and to your smartphone's app. These CGM devices were initially intended for individuals with diabetes who use insulin therapy and need to frequently monitor their blood glucose values. The CGM allows users to no longer obtain their blood sugar value with a finger stick, although this is recommended time-to-time to check accuracy. The sensor measures your interstitial glucose levels, which is the glucose found in the fluid between your cells. With frequent monitoring, diabetics using insulin can significantly reduce episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. 

What If You Are Not Diabetic?

We are now seeing new company ads pop up on our social media feed for companies like Zoe, Signos, and Nutrisense. These companies are using either the Dexcom or FreeStyle Libre CGM and have their own independent applications that will offer information on your glucose values, nutritional support, exercise recommendations, and support for stress reduction. These monthly subscriptions are targeted at non-diabetic users looking to improve their overall health and reduce insulin resistance. These subscriptions can get pricey fast with monthly subscriptions costing around $400. Are they worth it? 

The Cost of a Month's Supply 

The FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor is about $140 on GoodRx for a month's supply (two sensors). The Dexcom G6 is about $390 on GoodRx for a month's supply (three sensors). If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, your insurance may cover the cost of a continuous glucose monitor (check your benefits). If you have a health savings account (HSA)  or flexible spending account (FSA)  you may apply those funds toward the cost of your sensors. 

Should You Subscribe? 

You might be the type of person who needs direct feedback on your glucose values to implement a change in diet or lifestyle. If you are that person, these subscriptions may be supportive to improve your health. Working directly with your naturopathic provider or registered dietician would be a great alternative. If you are interested in obtaining further insight into your glucose values that go beyond your fasting glucose or hemoglobin A1c, finding a provider proficient in continuous glucose monitoring may help to navigate what options are best for you. 



  3. Clifford J. Bailey, James R. Gavin; Flash Continuous Glucose Monitoring: A Summary Review of Recent Real-World Evidence.Clin Diabetes 1 January 2021; 39 (1): 64–71.
Nichole Shiffler, NMD Dr. Nichole Shiffler is a naturopathic primary care physician and medical director of Be Well Medical Primary Care. Dr. Shiffler focuses her practice on women's and pediatric medicine. Dr. Shiffler also has an extensive history of treating irregular menstrual cycles, thyroid disease, menopause, acne, PCOS, and diabetes. She utilizes nutrition and herbal medicine to deliver an effective treatment plan to her patients. Dr. Shiffler is available for patient care at Be Well Medical Primary Care. Call (480) 219-9900 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shiffler.

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