FDA Approves New OTC Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) 

A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) has typically only been available via prescription, until now. 

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved over-the-counter (OTC) sales of a CGM known as Dexcom’s Stelo Glucose Biosensor System.

This is good news not only for those with diabetes, but also for those who want to support a healthier lifestyle and make smart food choices by monitoring their blood sugar (glucose) levels. 

At Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology, our team of endocrinology experts often include CGMs as part of the treatment plan for our patients with diabetes.

What is a CGM?

A CGM is a small device that adheres directly onto the skin and uses sensors to track real-time glucose readings.  Having this important information at your fingertips can help you better plan food intake goals and medication or insulin doses throughout the day.  The CGM affords patients the opportunity to live more independently without stopping for multiple tests (finger pricks) every few hours. Additionally, the sensor can send an alarm to the patient or their caretaker if their blood sugar is dangerously low or high to alert them to take action.

Under the direction of your endocrinologist, a CGM can be an effective glucose monitoring tool for patients with either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. 

Our endocrinologists can also access these real-time readings so that guidance on adjusting medications can be made swiftly and with as little interruption to your daily routine as possible. 

The introduction of CGMs has changed the way endocrinologist determine how well controlled a person’s diabetes is by looking at the amount of time the blood sugars stay in a target range. “We now understand that keeping blood sugars controlled all day long, instead of just parts of the day, are better for patient outcomes,” explains endocrinologist Dr. Tira Chaicha-Brom. “We still routinely check hemoglobin A1c but this is a three month average of one’s blood sugars.” 

CGMs for Non-Diabetics 

There is a growing number of people who are not diabetic opting to use CGMs in order to monitor their blood sugar levels. Without a confirmed diabetes diagnosis, it has previously been challenging to obtain a CGM.

“As more and more people are wanting to take control of their health and make smart choices, using a CGM can be a proactive way to use data that supports these goals”, says Dr. Tira Chaicha-Brom. 

The benefits of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels include:

  • Boosting energy and circulation
  • Preventing heart and kidney disease
  • Protecting against vision loss and the development of diabetes

The Dexcom Stelo device is a wearable CGM system that provides glucose readings every 15 minutes and delivers them to an app on your phone. It will be available for widespread purchase this summer. 

For questions about CGMs and successful diabetes management, please contact us here

Contact Us to Help Manage your Diabetes and Thyroid Conditions 

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology and discover how our diabetes services  and other endocrinology therapies can help you lead a full and active life, please contact us at (512) 458-8400 or request an appointment online.  

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