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Optimizing Diabetes Management: 3 Layers Of CGM Alerts

Optimizing Diabetes Management: 3 Layers Of CGM Alerts | The LOOP Blog
With diabetes, it’s extremely important to know where your blood glucose is, where it’s going, and how fast it’s getting there. Today, Kristin Baker, a CGM Product Specialist here at Medtronic, joins us to talk about three types of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) alerts to help with that information – Threshold, Predictive, and Rate of Change alerts.

Have you ever had the odd feeling that someone was watching over you throughout the day? The feeling that at just the right moment, someone or something was stepping in at just the right time to help you avoid what could have been a disastrous situation?For those using the MiniMed Paradigm REAL-Time Revel System or the Guardian REAL-Time CGM System, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) can in some cases act as a “Guardian Angel” – monitoring your glucose patterns and trends and stepping in to alert you to potential dangerous glucose events ahead so you can take action sooner.Our distinctive system offers you not one, not two, but three different types of protection from dangerous glucose levels by allowing you to set threshold, predictive, and rate of change alerts.

Threshold Alerts:

Notify you when your sensor glucose readings have reached or moved below or above the glucose limits you have programmed into your device.

How It Helps: Think about when you head out for your morning walk/run to get your day started. Let’s say half way in you start feeling crummy and stop to test. You notice you have a very low blood sugar and stop immediately to take action. When using Threshold alerts, you could have avoided stopping your walk/run short by setting your low threshold alert and receiving an alert earlier on to warn you that you have reached your low sensor glucose limit and should consider confirming the reading with a fingerstick and taking action (i.e. having a snack or taking some glucose tabs).

Other facts about Low and High Threshold Alerts:

  • You may set either the low or high limit or both with guidance from your healthcare team.
  • You can set up to eight customizable Low and High limits for different periods of the day.
Predictive Alerts:

Notify you to oncoming low or high glucose levels up to 30 minutes before they occur.

How It Helps: Let’s say you always check your blood glucose before you get in your car to drive in to work or school, and things looks good. But during the drive, as you sense it, you experience a low blood glucose and have to pull over to treat it. How could you have known earlier? Well, when set in your device, predictive alerts could have alerted you 30 minutes before that low glucose level occurred, allowing you to confirm the reading with a fingerstick and consider taking action before you step in the car.

Other facts about Low and High Predictive Alerts:

Rate of Change Alerts:

Notify you about how fast sensor glucose values rise or fall outside your glucose rate of change limits.

How It Helps: Its lunchtime and you are having a great conversation with friends about your plans for the weekend. Suddenly, the break is over and you rush back to work or class, but you realize you forgot to give yourself a bolus for your meal and now you are concerned about high glucose levels later that afternoon. What do you do? Give your meal bolus and use the rate of change alerts on your CGM device to help you closely monitor the trends of your glucose levels. It will alert you of rapid changes in your glucose levels so you can have more information for further action.

Other facts about Rate-of-Change Alerts:

  • You may set a Fall Rate, Rise Rate, both or neither with guidance from your healthcare team.
  • The Rate of Change Alerts can be set from 1.1 to 5.0 mg/dL/minute.
  • Alert displays as single or double arrows on your screen

Now, we can’t promise that the Medtronic CGM devices are going to step in and act as your guardian throughout all aspects of your life, but it can offer some additional support when it comes to managing your diabetes. If you have one of these devices and aren’t using these alerts and are interested in experiencing the added protection, ask your doctor about them at your next appointment.


– Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
– Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

– Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
– Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems

– The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
– Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

Please visit for complete safety information.

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