Pathologizing normal responses or protecting future health?
Pathologizing normal responses or protecting future health?

CGMs are established devices often prescribed by doctors to diabetics so that patients can closely monitor and manage their glucose levels. Their use by healthy individuals has also exploded in recent months as they become more widely available through companies like ZOE.

In addition, the topic of blood sugar management is widely discussed and advocated online by influencers such as Stephen Bartlett and Glucose Goddess.

However, there is growing concern that the daily use of CGMs and the “gamification” of blood glucose monitoring may do more harm than good in those without metabolic conditions.

While nutritionists argue that they risk pathologizing normal blood sugar responses and may create unhealthy eating behaviors, industry experts argue that CGMs may provide a preventative tool against future metabolic conditions.

Normal versus abnormal glucose response

Clemons Cleave, nutritionist and founder of Rocket Nutrition, explained that normal blood sugar levels usually range between 3.9 and 7.8 mmol/L.

“But it’s not unusual to experience higher spikes in glucose from time to time due to factors such as time of day, level of fatigue and type of food consumed,” he noted. “These higher spikes would still be considered normal responses.

“However, if a person is experiencing spikes above 10 mmol/L regularly while eating a fairly balanced diet, it may indicate an abnormal response.”

She emphasized that while lifestyle changes can help even out these spikes, they may be symptomatic of an underlying condition and need further medical investigation.

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