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Understanding the Difficulties of Using Continuous Glucose Monitors

Understanding the Difficulties of Using Continuous Glucose Monitors

With their ability to provide real-time glucose monitoring and insightful analysis of glucose trends, continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs, have revolutionized the treatment of diabetes. CGM users must overcome many obstacles and problems despite the devices’ many advantages. Healthcare professionals can give more effective support when users have a better understanding of these challenges and can better control their expectations.

Technical Difficulties of Continuous Glucose Monitors

Insertion of Sensor

The act of inserting the sensor is one of the initial difficulties in using Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs. In the upper arm or abdomen, usually, users must place a tiny sensor beneath their skin. Despite being minimally invasive, the procedure can nevertheless be painful or uncomfortable, especially for people who are needle-sensitive. To guarantee accurate readings and prevent issues like infections or sensor displacement, proper insertion technique is essential.


Regular calibration of many CGM devices using a conventional blood glucose meter is necessary. To match the sensor’s results with the user’s real blood glucose levels, calibration entails taking a fingerstick blood glucose reading and uploading it into the CGM system. This procedure may cause the user inconvenience and add one more step to their everyday schedule. Inaccurate results from incorrect calibration may jeopardize the management of diabetes.

Accuracy of Sensors

Although the accuracy of Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs has increased over time, they are not perfect. Several variables, including the location of the sensor, the user’s hydration state, and individual physiology, may affect the accuracy of the data. Users may notice differences between typical blood glucose measures and CGM readings, particularly during times when glucose fluctuates quickly. This may cause uncertainty and make it difficult to decide on quick treatment.

Physical Pain and Modifications to Lifestyle

Skin Angst

The glue used to hold the CGM sensor in place may cause allergic reactions or skin irritation when worn continuously. This may cause rashes, irritation, or even discomfort. Though they alleviate some of these problems, choosing the appropriate adhesive or barrier materials complicates the usage of CGM even more.


For CGM users, participating in strenuous activities like sports or exercise can present difficulties. Sweat might reduce the adhesive’s effectiveness and cause sensors to become loose or broken during vigorous activity. To make sure the sensor stays in place, users must take additional safety measures, such as applying more adhesive patches or protective covers.

Sleep Interruptions

Some users may find it hard to sleep with a CGM sensor, especially if they move about a lot when they’re trying to fall asleep. If the user rolls over the sensor, it may cause pain or perhaps come loose. The CGM’s alarms and alerts can also interfere with sleep, which lowers quality of life in general.

Difficulties in Emotion and Psychology

Alert Fatigue

Alarms on Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs notify users when their blood sugar levels are too high or too low. These alerts can cause alert fatigue even though they are necessary to keep glucose under control. Regular alarms can be stressful and anxiety-inducing. They can also lead users to ignore or silence them, which can be harmful.

Overloading Data

Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs give a never-ending supply of data, which can be both an asset and a liability. Although the data provides insightful information on glucose changes, people who are not familiar with data analysis may find it overwhelming. Anxiety and tension can arise from the constant barrage of information, particularly if users are confused about what to do with it.

Social Distress

Wearing a visible CGM sensor can make you feel self-conscious or embarrassed since it can attract unwanted attention and questions from others. Because they may feel different from their classmates, children, and teenagers may find it especially difficult to deal with this social stigma. In time, this stigma can be lessened by raising public knowledge of diabetes and CGMs and educating the public about them.

Explore More Accuracy of Continuous Glucose Monitors: How Reliable Are They?

Challenges Related to Finances and Accessibility


For many users, the expense of Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs can be a major obstacle. Even with the expansion of insurance coverage for CGMs, out-of-pocket expenses can remain significant, particularly for individuals without full-scope health insurance. It can be expensive to purchase sensors, transmitters, and other equipment, which makes it challenging for some people to afford to use CGMs consistently.

Protection From Insurance

Insurance coverage for CGMs might be difficult to understand and navigate. Insurance companies’ coverage rules differ greatly from one another, and getting approval for CGMs frequently requires a lot of paperwork. It may be more difficult for users to access this technology overall if they have coverage delays or denials.


Not every diabetic person has access to Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs. Socioeconomic and geographic differences can restrict access to these devices, especially in rural or low-income areas. Ensuring equitable access to this life-changing technology requires efforts to expand the availability of CGMs and offer financial support to those in need.

Challenges in Technology and User Interface

Problems with Connectivity

Wireless connection is necessary for Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs to function between the sensor, transmitter, receiver, and smartphone app. There may be problems with connectivity, which cause data gaps or missing readings. These disruptions can be annoying and may make it more difficult for the user to properly monitor their blood sugar levels.

Interface User

The complexity of CGM systems’ user interfaces varies. The technology may be confusing to some users, especially those who are not tech-savvy. Encouraging user interfaces and thorough training are essential for maximizing the potential of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices.

In Summary

Continuous glucose monitors, or CGMs, have transformed the way people manage their diabetes and have many advantages, but they also present some drawbacks. Users of Continuous Glucose Monitors or CGMs must overcome many challenges to properly manage their condition, ranging from psychological and financial difficulties to technological and medical problems.

Developing a comprehensive strategy to tackle these issues calls for enhanced device design, enhanced user education, raised public awareness, and more equitable access to CGM technology. Healthcare professionals may help patients get the most out of their CGM devices and ultimately improve their quality of life and diabetes outcomes by being aware of and addressing these challenges.