March 12, 2024

The Future of Diabetes Management: Why CGM and GLP-1s are a Symbiotic Pair

As a leader in the diabetes supplies industry, I have a front-row seat to the evolving landscape of care. One prominent discussion centers on the rise of GLP-1 semaglutide for type 2 diabetes. While some may see this as a threat…

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Home / Living with Diabetes / The Future of Diabetes Management: Why CGM and GLP-1s are a Symbiotic Pair

As a leader in the diabetes supplies industry, I have a front-row seat to the evolving landscape of care. One prominent discussion centers on the rise of GLP-1 semaglutide for type 2 diabetes. While some may see this as a threat to continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology, I believe the opposite is true: GLP-1s and CGM are not competitors, but rather powerful allies in the fight for better diabetes management.

Here’s why:

CGM: More Than Just Blood Sugar Numbers

While GLP-1s excel at lowering blood sugar and promoting weight loss, they cannot offer the real-time, granular insights provided by CGM. This data empowers individuals to understand their unique glucose trends, identify food triggers, and adjust their behavior. It’s the “why” behind the “what”, enabling long-term metabolic health improvements.

A Synergy for Successman with g7 cgm leaning motorcycle

The beauty lies in the synergy between these technologies. Studies clearly show that CGM use skyrockets with GLP-1 initiation, indicating its value in optimizing treatment. Furthermore, combining CGM and GLP-1s has demonstrably led to clinically significant A1c reductions in individuals with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

Remember, It’s a Holistic Approach

It’s crucial to remember that GLP-1s alone are not a magic bullet. Effective diabetes management requires a multifaceted approach, including lifestyle changes, diet modifications, and exercise. CGM plays a vital role in supporting this, assisting with dose titration, reducing hypoglycemia risk, and motivating behavior change.

Looking Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities of GLP-1s

While exciting, this landscape isn’t without its challenges. Cost and insurance coverage remain significant hurdles to GLP-1 accessibility. We must advocate for greater affordability and wider coverage to ensure this powerful tool reaches those who need it most. Additionally, the high discontinuation rate of GLP-1s due to cost highlights the need for sustainable solutions.

Embracing the Future With Optimism:

CGM and GLP-1s: Woman and child with diabetes talking

Despite these challenges, the future of diabetes management is bright. The synergy between CGM and GLP-1s offers immense potential for improving patient outcomes and achieving long-term metabolic health. By promoting accessibility, fostering collaboration, and advocating for holistic care, we can empower individuals to thrive with type 2 diabetes.

Let’s embrace this exciting future, hand-in-hand with both CGM and GLP-1s, as powerful allies in the journey towards better diabetes management.

 

Bill-Mixon Written by: Bill Mixon, CEO, Advanced Diabetes Supply Group
Shirley DeLeon Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist Clinically Reviewed by: Shirley DeLeon, RD, CDCES

Frequently Asked Questions – GLP-1

What is GLP-1 Therapy?

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists are a relatively new class of medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005 and utilized in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity. GLP-1s are most often daily or weekly injectable medications that help manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

How do GLP-1 medications work?

GLP-1 medications help those living with type 2 diabetes manage blood sugar by triggering the pancreas to release more insulin, slowing digestion to help decrease blood sugar spikes and promoting the feeling of satiety to reduce appetite resulting in less food intake. In addition to managing sugar, these effects also result in weight loss.

 Can GLP-1 therapy alone manage diabetes?

GLP-1 medications cannot treat diabetes alone. As with other diabetic medications, GLP-1 are only part of the treatment for diabetes. The use of these medications along with continuous glucose monitoring, diet and exercise are necessary for long term health and successful health outcomes for those with diabetes.

 How does CGM use complement the use of GLP-1 therapy?

CGM is an accessible and affordable tool that can serve as a companion therapy to other diabetes treatments, including GLP-1. Data shows that the use of CGM in conjunction with a GLP-1 regimen results in clinically significant A1c reductions in individuals with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. CGM can support dose titration for GLP-1 therapeutic regimens and can help lower the risk of serious hypoglycemic events, which is critically important for GLP-1 users who also use insulin.

 Is GLP-1 therapy affecting the use of CGM by individuals with type 2 diabetes?

Data indicates that individuals with diabetes have better adherence to CGM use when also on a GLP-1 therapy. A report from Investor’s Business Daily notes that type 2 diabetes patients who take a GLP-1 are associated with higher usage of CGM. CGM supports an overall healthier lifestyle for individuals with diabetes, providing data and insights that support appropriate behavior and diet modifications and higher therapy compliance needed for long-term metabolic health.

 What are risks associated with GLP-1 use?

GLP-1 medication prescribed along with insulin can increase the risk of hypoglycemia. CGM use allows for glucose monitoring that can guide dose titration. GLP-1 use is also often associated with digestive side effects. Studies are underway to monitor any long-term effects of GLP-1 use. Data sets show that A1c and weight benefits reverse when GLP-1 treatment discontinues.

 Does GLP-1 use prevent prediabetes from progressing to diabetes?

GLP-1 use has been shown to lower the development of diabetes while on the medication. Data suggests that it could also prevent the development of diabetes and reverse abnormal glucose metabolism.

Sources:

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