What many influencers are saying is in direct contradiction with what medical experts advise.
Wearable technology from fitness trackers to smartwatches, bracelets and rings have become immensely popular, and now glucose monitors have added themselves into the mix.
Many devices worn on the skin have been developed to provide feedback about glucose levels.
That said, as much as these are showing up across social media and influencers are raving about all the data they’re gaining through minute-to-minute glucose monitoring, medical experts are not as excited by this wearable technology trend.
Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) are marketed to healthy people who are neither diabetic nor pre-diabetic. These mainly include athletes who wear them to understand how they need to fuel their bodies for optimal results. They are disposable gadgets that have to be replaced every couple of weeks, so the annual cost to this trend is more than $3,000.
The glucose tracking wearable technology is a large disk that usually pierce the upper arm’s skin.
A sensor within the device detects and measures glucose levels within the space surrounding the cells. Though this type of knowledge – when measured accurately – can be life-saving for a person with diabetes or even pre-diabetes, experts are questioning the benefit for a healthy individual who does not have a disorder or disease relating to blood glucose levels.
People who have diabetes must regularly ensure that their blood sugar levels remain within a certain range. Serious consequences can occur if glucose levels move out of that zone. When they are too low, brain activity slows and accidents, loss of consciousness, seizures, or even death can occur, according to Alberta Diabetes Institute Director Dr. peter Senior. On the other hand, when levels are too high, it can be damaging to the body and its organs. Knowing blood sugar levels guides individuals with diabetes to take actions such as taking insulin, changing physical activity levels, or eating.
Among healthy individuals without such medical conditions, the benefits of keeping entirely stable blood sugar levels – the purpose of using the glucose monitoring wearable technology – are often considered to be myths.
“Many people assume that their blood sugars should be completely stable all the time,” said Senior. “But the reality is that many healthy people, if they eat certain foods, will see a rise in blood sugar, which comes down again.”