CGM training could increase motivation to exercise in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes

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A pilot study finds that giving a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes can motivate them to exercise more.

CGMs are a non-invasive way of measuring blood glucose levels. They work 24 hours a day and track blood glucose using a sensor placed under the skin. The results then display graphically on a wearable device.

Assistant Professor Mary Jung, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, Canada conducted a small eight-week pilot study that taught people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes to self-monitor and self-regulate their exercise.

The participants were divided into two groups: the first group were provided a CMG and educated about goal-setting, self-monitoring and how exercise affects blood sugar levels; the second group were given general health care tips including foot care and stress management.

Jung reported that the CGM-wearing group were vigilant in sticking to an exercise program during the study period. They were still found to be exercising one month after the study period and were significantly more likely to sign up for exercise programs compared to the non-CGM group.

Jung said: “We found those receiving self-regulatory skills training and provided with the CGMs were more confident in their ability to stick with exercise, were self-monitoring more, and had built exercise goals into their lifestyle.

“It was encouraging to connect with them one month later to see so many had signed up for more exercise classes and were still sticking with exercise.”

Exercise is essential for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes because it can regulate blood sugar levels, and Jung adds that the combination of counselling and CGM usage should be considered by clinicians as a future treatment option.

The study was published in the Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics journal.