Is CGM (continuous glucose monitor) the new Fitbit or are we just chasing the wrong metrics for health?
I have a history on my maternal side for both Type 2 and type 1 diabetes. My wife and I also have a running joke that I have been trying to lose the same 30–40 lbs (13–18kg) for the last 20 years of our marriage. I have had various A1C test results that put me straight into Type 2 diabetes category. I get the kick in the ass, get in “sort of a shape” and then bounce back. Life events or simply life, gets in the way and as you can see by my chart below — every major life event has high correlation with my weight and hence my overall biology.
I think most of you remember the days when the first Fitbit trackers came out and there was a surge of stories how ground breaking it was to be able to compete with yourself on the number of steps one took per day and hence weight loss. And for many people it’s still true but my question is how sustainable that is and what we call in the startup world — “Is this a vanity metric?”
Few weeks back I went to a GP here in Berlin and got yet another huge kick in the ass (see some of my lab results below). Once again I was asked if I want to begin taking drugs and my clear answer was “Heck f-ing no!”
I posted a question on twitter about the best CGM on the market and ended up with Abbott Freestyle Libre — while Dexcom was the most recommended, thanks to Vishal Gulati suggesting that for my needs Libre would suffice.
It was super easy to “install” and while there is lack of integration with platforms such as MySugr but even Healthkit and their portal simply sucks :) it did give me an amazing set of insights into the biology of my body just in the last 5days of wearing it. I am now isolating and testing what each food does to me including my favorite Oat milk latte in the morning (spikes the shit out of my glucose levels). I am drinking a crap load more water, I am running and exercising again, I am no longer snacking at midnight.. And just in the 5 days seeing the direct impact of that on my mood, energy, and already glucose levels. I even learned that my 3:00am spike of 30 points is attributed to my liver producing glucose when my body needs it vs. food induced.. the list goes on..
But the most important learning I have is that as patients #WeAreNotWaiting , but as healthy individuals how do we as a society instill the need and want to learn about our own and individual biology and how it’s impacted by our environment, behavior and social determinants of health.
Will I keep up with my CGM-based optimization and continue the curiosity to my better self: brain, biology and soul or is this just yet another phase in my life? One thing I do know is that I am trying to find the real KPI’s to my health and not the vanity metrics