Is wearing a Continuous Glucose Monitor legitimately going to help my health?
This was an actual question from a friend a while back, and a recent media article on the science behind the general pop using continuous glucose monitoring devices. So it sparked my curiosity to offer our perspective on it.
For the diabetics in the room, this device is probably one of the most important discoveries of the last 20 years. For the everyday person, I’m essentially rolling my eyes out of my head RN!
MANY startups in the “health” space are selling the absolute sh*t outta them atm, using influencers to market them as biohacking miracle devices. Coining them as data collection support for weight loss, fasting, energy levels, sleep and more (please, note sarcasm)!
For those new to these devices, according to Diabetes SA: “A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a small wearable device that measures glucose levels continuously throughout the day and night”. There’s a sensor which sits under the skin (normally on your arm – where it pricks your skin) to measure your glucose in the fluid around your cells, a transmitter then sends the info to your smartphone and usually there’s an app that provides you with data about your blood glucose levels across your day.
Now this is AWESOME for diabetics, where this information is super helpful, as it can sound alarms when your glucose spikes or drops in order for the person to provide themselves with life saving interventions.
But for the “average” non diabetic person, do we need to continuously (see what I did there) measure this data for our health? We wrote down our thoughts:
A few thoughts:
👉 we already know the GI of foods, we don’t need a continuous glucose monitor attached to our body to understand that. Yes every person responds slightly different to each food but generally speaking- if you’re not a diabetic or pre-diabetic we know that oats have a lower GI than white rice. There’s literally entire databases with this information readily available.
👉Also, just because something provides us with more data about our bodies doesn’t mean it’s helpful! Data overload is legit a thing! If you go to the doctor annually and get your full bloods done, you’ll typically pick up anything sinister without continuously (get it) worrying about data that this device is taking from you!
👉 Our blood glucose levels aren’t the be all and end all measure of our health (again, unless you are diabetic, they’re an important indicator to monitor!!). For the everyday person, they are 1 single measurement, so I wouldn’t be making drastic lifestyle or dietary changes based on this data anyway!
There’s a paywalled article over on Unherd about some of the newer diets around the trap that utilise continuous blood glucose monitoring and how we may need to reassess the ‘science’ being used to market them to the everyday person.
We hope this has helped clear up some of the confusion around continuous glucose monitoring. If you’re looking for a fun way to look after your physical & mental health through food, that doesn’t involve meticulously analysing micro pieces of data from smart devices- check out our WIRL app. You’ll get a 7-day free trial and all!