Your Level2 CGM Journey Explained
A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) is a device prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes to help them better understand how food and other factors affect their bodies, and just like your other prescriptions, if your doctor determines that you no longer need it, your prescription will be adjusted and you won’t continue to wear it.
That’s right. You won’t have to wear a CGM forever. As you work toward putting your type 2 diabetes into remission, you will gain knowledge, skills, healthy habits and routines that will help you return to a healthier normal you – and you may not need a CGM or most diabetes medications when you get to that point.
We’ll explain in more detail what that means.
Progress in Level2 and Your CGM
As you progress through Level2, your CGM use will change based on how well you are doing. Here’s a breakdown describing three crucial periods:
CGM: Your First Weeks in Level2
When you first join Level2, a CGM is a very important part of your experience as a member. You wear it constantly and monitor frequently. When you are new to CGM, you’re learning what works – and doesn’t work – for your body. It is a time when you can carry out “experiments” – like what does your CGM data show when you have cereal and orange juice for breakfast versus bacon, eggs and strawberries for breakfast? Or what happens when you go for a long walk after lunch every day?
After you observe your CGM data as it relates to nutrition, movement, sleep, stress and more, you begin to have a better understanding of how to prevent your glucose from spiking and are able to stay in range more frequently.
Middle Stage of Progression in Level2
After you learn from your CGM what works and doesn’t work for you, and you learn how to consistently stay in range, you will also notice other great changes. Your A1C will likely be lower. You may lose weight or inches from your waist size. You will be adopting healthy new habits that you will use more consistently.
By this time, you will have worn your CGM daily and consistently for many weeks or even months. Although you might still be checking it frequently, you probably no longer have to. This is the time when we want you to think about wearing your CGM intermittently.
At this point your prescription for your CGM may change – most likely from a 90-day daily refill to a 30-day refill over a period of 90 days. You are able to choose when you wear the CGM, too. For example, some members choose to wear it two weeks on, and then go two weeks off. Or some members plan around a beach vacation when they know they don’t want to be encumbered with a device on their stomach. They may take vacation week off, and then wear the CGM again for another few weeks.
During this time, you are tuning in to your body in new ways. Some people learn from their CGM how far they can push less-healthy habits – for example, maybe a light beer just gets you to 140 mg, the upper-most end of your range. Although it’s OK to sometimes “cheat” a little bit, it’s even better to avoid things that push you to the very top of your range. If you are not wearing a CGM, that becomes even more important – and you will recover more quickly as a result of not pushing your limits.
Final Stage of Progression in Level2
In your final stage with your CGM at Level2, you will be accustomed to intermittent CGM wear. Although you will use the CGM and check your data from time to time, you won’t be as reliant on it to know where your blood glucose levels are because you already know that you’re consistently staying in range. You will know what actions might take you out of that range.
The CGM at this point becomes more of a “back-up check” – just to make sure things are where you think they are. You might go without it for four weeks, and then wear it for one week to check and see that levels are as you expect. You will just check your data once or twice a day, or you’ll look back on your day and see where your glucose levels were raised. When you see any raised or lowered levels, you will know why because you know what works for you. (To be clear, we would not take away your CGM. It’s still an important tool.)
You will have also become an expert at tuning in to the signals your body is giving you. Are you feeling more energetic? Make a note of what you’ve been doing and keep on doing that. Or are you feeling sluggish and tired? Make a note of anything that you’ve done that might be contributing to that feeling – and then try to make a change.
You can get to the American Diabetes Association’s definition of remission, which means you are maintaining an A1C of 6.5 or less and no longer taking diabetes medications for a minimum of three months. You also will no longer need to rely on a CGM to tell you what your glucose levels are all of them time. The training wheels are off and you’re able to move on your own into a new, healthy future.
How do people know when they are ready to wear their CGM intermittently?