Published recently in European Endocrinology, the peer-reviewed journal from touchENDOCRINOLOGY, David Price & Tomas Walker discusses how self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is now recognised as a core component of diabetes self-management. However, there are many limitations to SMBG use in individuals with diabetes who are treated with intensive insulin regimens. Many individuals do not test at the recommended frequencies. Additionally, because SMBG only provides a blood glucose reading at a single point in time, hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia can easily go undetected, limiting the user's ability to take corrective action. Inaccuracies due to user error, environmental factors and weaknesses in SMBG system integrity further limit the utility of SMBG. Real-time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) displays the current glucose, direction and velocity of glucose change and provides programmable alarms. This trending information and 'around-the-clock' vigilance provides a significant safety advantage relative to SMBG. No published clinical studies have evaluated outcomes when CGM is used as a replacement for SMBG; however, recent in silico studies support this indication. This article reviews the limitations of SMBG and discusses recent evidence that supports CGM-based decisions as an effective approach to managing insulin-treated diabetes.
The full peer-reviewed, open-access article is available here:
Disclosure: David Price and Tomas Walker are employees of Dexcom, Inc.
Note to the Editor
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European Endocrinology, a peer-reviewed, open access, bi-annual journal specialising in the publication of balanced and comprehensive review articles written by leading authorities to address the most important and salient developments in the field of endocrinology. The aim of these reviews is to break down the high science from 'data-rich' primary papers and provide practical advice and opinion on how this information can help physicians in the day to day clinical setting. Practice guidelines, symposium write-ups, case reports, and original research articles are also featured to promote discussion and learning amongst physicians, clinicians, researchers and related healthcare professionals.