In partnership with Veri
Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are often used to help people with diabetes track their blood sugar and manage their condition. But, if you don’t have diabetes, are there still benefits to monitoring your glucose levels? What information can a CGM provide about your health that other tools can’t?
Glucose & Insulin: Partners in Metabolic Health
To answer these questions, it’s important to take a step back and look at glucose and insulin, two key pieces of the metabolic health puzzle.
Glucose, a simple sugar derived from carbohydrates, is your cells’ preferred form of energy. It powers all the chemical reactions in your body that keep you alive. Put another way, your body’s ability to absorb and utilize glucose efficiently is critical to ensuring your metabolism and the systems of your body function properly.
The key to healthy glucose utilization is the hormone insulin. Your pancreas releases insulin after you eat carbohydrates and your blood sugar begins to rise. Insulin brings your glucose levels back to normal by unlocking your cells so that glucose can enter and be transformed into adenosine triphosphate, or ATP (energy).
When your cells aren’t responsive to insulin, your blood sugar levels stay elevated for long periods of time — affecting everything from your energy levels and mood to your appetite, hormones, and metabolic function. Left unchecked, chronically elevated glucose levels can lead to conditions like insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
But how exactly can CGMs help you monitor your glucose levels and insulin sensitivity, and why is it more important than ever for non-diabetics to use them?
Metabolic Health is a Spectrum
You may have heard that we’re in a metabolic health crisis. Approximately 88% of adults in the U.S. are considered metabolically unhealthy, and 4 in 10 non-diabetic adults under the age of 44 have insulin resistance. In general, poor metabolic health increases your risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, and is associated with inflammation, PCOS, fatty liver disease, and more.
The problem is that metabolic health isn’t black-or-white — it’s a spectrum. In other words, you may not have diabetes or appear overweight, but that doesn’t mean you’re metabolically healthy.
Some conditions, like insulin resistance, don’t always have visible symptoms or warning signs, making them hard to detect. To compound this problem, our current healthcare system only offers treatment to those with pre-diabetes or diabetes. Unless you’re aware of what to look for, you may be on the road to developing insulin resistance without even knowing it.
This is where a CGM and mobile app like Veri become a powerful tool in your health journey. Unlike glucometers, hemoglobin A1C tests, and glucose tolerance tests — all of which are tools that monitor glucose — only CGMs let you see your blood sugar levels in real-time and capture your glucose variability, which measures how much these levels fluctuate in a 24-hour period.
Your glucose variability shows you where you fall on the metabolic health spectrum. High variability (i.e., glucose curves that resemble jagged mountains rather than gradual, rolling hills) is linked to insulin resistance and other metabolic health conditions, whereas low variability signals healthy insulin sensitivity and glycemic regulation.
Using continuous glucose monitoring to make better choices for your health
Your glucose response is unique and based on factors like your genetics, microbiome, and lifestyle. A CGM can provide you with data about your glucose levels, but how can you use this information to make empowered diet/lifestyle choices and build sustainable habits? Here are some concrete ways a CGM can help you achieve your metabolic health goals.
1. Prevent & Mitigate Insulin Resistance
A CGM provides a way to identify insulin resistance in its early stages, allowing you to make changes to your diet and lifestyle before it progresses into conditions like pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Even if you have healthy HBA1c levels, which capture a three-month average of your glucose levels, a CGM will show you real-time spikes that may indicate issues with insulin signaling and sensitivity long before it meets the threshold for pre-diabetes.
2. Optimize Diet & Nutrition
Blood glucose responses to meals can vary significantly from person to person, and even day to day for the same individual. A CGM provides insights into how your body reacts to different foods, including the time of day you eat them. When paired with an app like Veri, a CGM can empower you to make personalized nutrition choices that help stabilize your blood sugar. Veri’s unique Meal Score feature assesses and scores the foods you eat based on their nutritional quality, glycemic index, and level of processing, allowing you to make actionable changes to your diet.
3. Identify the Effects of Lifestyle on Glycemic Control
Nutrition isn’t the only factor that affects glucose — your sleep quality, stress levels, and even the types of exercise you do can all impact your glycemic regulation. Likewise, CGMs don’t just provide information about your diet. They act as a window into your body, allowing you to connect the dots between glucose patterns and specific lifestyle choices or behaviors. For example, you can see how a night of bad sleep affects postprandial (post-meal) glucose levels the day after, or the effects of eating a snack before and after a workout.
4. Support Weight Loss & Metabolic Health Goals
High blood glucose variability can trigger hunger pangs, affect your energy levels, create brain fog, and make you crave sugary, processed foods — all of which can make it harder to maintain a healthy weight. Insulin resistance can also make weight loss difficult since elevated glucose and insulin levels promote fat storage in the liver, which triggers the release of additional glucose and insulin into the blood — starting the cycle over again. To lose weight you may have gained due to insulin resistance, you need to address the root cause (insulin resistance) first. A CGM can help you lose weight by fine-tuning your diet and lifestyle choices, which can improve your insulin sensitivity and keep your glucose levels within range.
5. Improve Your Health Span
We’re living longer lives than ever before, but the quality of those lived years hasn’t increased. One of the primary outcomes of using a CGM is improving your health span, or the time you spend free from disease, pain, and illness. Unlike lifespan, the goal of improving your health span is to empower you to be capable of doing the things you love, for longer — especially as you age.
Unlocking Optimal Health with Personalized Strategies
A CGM paired with Veri is like having a personalized metabolic health coach helping you decode your biological data and discover what’s happening inside your body. Integrating it with genetic testing and a custom care plan from Wild Health can give you an even more well-rounded view of your bioindividuality. Wild Health’s comprehensive health analysis can help you understand the role your inherited traits play in your glucose response, as well as what foods and exercise plans can support your optimal health — which you can then corroborate with data from Veri.
So whether your goal is to find your optimal diet, reverse insulin resistance, or feel more energetic throughout the day, you can feel empowered to work with your genetic makeup and take control of your health with Veri and a CGM. To get started on your metabolic health journey, sign up for a Veri membership at veri.co. And if you’re a Wild Health member, be sure to use your exclusive member perk for a discount!