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Glucose Sensing Beyond Diabetes: A Tool for Smart Health?

In today’s fast-paced world, prioritizing health has become more important than ever. Whether you’re managing a chronic condition or simply striving for overall wellness, having access to advanced health monitoring tools can make all the difference. Enter the Stelo by Dexcom, the first FDA approved Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) that can be purchased over the counter without a prescription, making it a versatile device that’s not just for intensive diabetes management but can benefit others seeking to regulate their blood sugar levels.

Understanding CGM:

CGM technology, initially designed for managing insulin-dependent diabetes, has evolved into a multifaceted health monitoring tool. Most CGM devices use a small sensor no thicker than a piece of hair that inserts painlessly under the skin to measure glucose and transmit that data to a nearby smartphone. By continuously tracking glucose levels in real-time, this device provides valuable insights into how various factors influence our body’s glucose levels.

Benefits of Over-the-Counter CGM:

  • Valuable insights: Users may gain insights into how lifestyle choices such as exercise, stress, diet and sleep might impact glucose levels. This improved awareness can help with:
    • Fitness Optimization: Helps optimize performance and recovery by tracking how diet and exercise impact glucose levels.
    • Stress Management: Offers insights into stress-induced glucose fluctuations, aiding in stress management for overall well-being.
    • Dietary Awareness: Provides immediate feedback on the impact of food choices on metabolism and food cravings, aiding in dietary decisions and weight management.
    • Sleep Quality: Reveals how sleep patterns affect glucose regulation, helping identify factors that disrupt sleep quality.
  • Early Detection: Wearing a CGM may also help users identify if they are at risk of developing chronic conditions such as diabetes, and in turn may help prevent or delay the progression of such conditions by encouraging optimal blood glucose control.

Is Over-the-Counter CGM Right for You?

CGM may not be for everyone—it depends on individual factors, including health needs and lifestyle. While CGM offers insights into glucose fluctuations for better diabetes management, its benefits for those without diabetes are relatively new and yet to be fully understood. Also, experts have raised concerns that wearing a CGM without proper supervision may lead to anxiety around or unhealthy relationships with food. Consult with your health care provider to help determine if CGM aligns with your health goals.

It is estimated that Stelo will be available OTC in summer of 2024.