Non-Diabetics Are Using Glucose Monitors. What's Behind the Trend?

Watching blood sugar levels is essential for people with diabetes, and it’s becoming a trendy option among non-diabetics as well. A growing number of people are using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices to detect changes in blood sugar 24 hours a day in the hopes of optimizing their diet and metabolic health .

“Continuous glucose monitoring has recently become an area of interest for non-diabetic individuals aiming to understand how different foods and activities affect their glucose levels,” says Barbara Kovalenko, a registered dietician and nutrition consultant at Lasta Inc. 

Content creator and influencer Joslyn Davis recently shared her experiences with continuous glucose monitoring on social media. She said tracking her meals, exercise, and blood sugar levels helped her gain a better understanding of her energy level and how her body reacts to sugar.

Flow Advisor Dr. Piraye Yurttas Beim, PhD and founder and CEO of Celmatix, a biotech focused on improving ovarian health, recommends limiting processed sugars to protect your ovarian health as you age. She says using a CGM (she recommends the FreeStyle Libre) to track her blood sugar levels helps her “stay motivated.”

Only 6.8 percent of Americans have optimal metabolic health, according to recent research. The other 92 to 93 percent are at an increased risk for developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. But is tracking blood sugar spikes for non-diabetics necessary—or even helpful? Here’s what to know about this trend.

Continuous glucose monitoring has two parts, explains Mrinal Pandit, a registered dietitian and clinical nutritionist at Oliva Skin and Hair Clinic. A small sensor is placed under the skin, often in the arm or abdomen, where it contains an electrode to measure how much glucose is in the interstitial fluid (the fluid filling up spaces between cells).

The collected measurements are then transmitted wirelessly to a smartphone that displays data from how your blood sugar looks at a given moment to tracking how your glucose levels change throughout the day. 

“Its data helps in understanding how physical activities, sleep patterns, and stress levels interact with glucose metabolism,” says Kovalenko, who adds that the comprehensive information may empower individuals to make positive lifestyle changes when it comes to diet and exercise. For example, recognizing how specific foods and meals affect blood glucose can guide people to create nutritional plans to lower the risk of prediabetes and boost heart health.

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