Over the past 5 years, I’ve worn a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) over 50 times; not because I am a diabetic or even have pre-diabetes, but simply as a tool that I enjoy using to determine what foods are best for my body. And through my experience I have become very experienced in sourcing a CGM WITHOUT prescription and finding the most affordable way to purchase a CGM, which I’m sharing with you in this post!
What is a CGM
A CGM or continuous glucose monitor is a wearable sensor device that measures glucose, more commonly referred to as ‘blood sugar’. As a wearable device, because it is attached to your body, a cgm system takes glucose readings (aka measurements) throughout the day and night, and you can view the results (with it’s built in transmitter) on a device, such as a smartphone app.
Continuous glucose monitors (CGM device) were developed for people with diabetes to help them monitor and manage changes in blood sugar levels. That could be for diabetes management to control/eliminate high glucose readings or reducing symptoms of low blood sugar, low blood glucose and hypoglycemia in type 1 diabetics as well.
Essentially a cgm is a way to monitor your glucose levels, similar to blood glucose meters without the finger prick only cgm sensors use interstitial fluid instead of blood for similar readings in real time.
CGMS are typically worn on the upper arm or abdomen, depending on the type/brand of CGM you have. The two brands of CGMs that are currently on the market are The Freestyle libre system (what we are referring to in this post) and the Dexcom cgm.
Why should you use a CGM if you are not Diabetic?
Chances are if you have come to this post, you probably already understand the health benefits of keeping your blood glucose levels low and avoiding spikes. However for those of you whom are new to CGMS I’ll give you a very quick and brief overview.
Continuously monitoring your blood sugar can provide helpful information even if you don’t have diabetes. For instance, it can tell you how your blood sugar levels respond to different foods. These responses are meaningful because, over time, exaggerated post-meal blood sugar responses can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
Interestingly, monitoring your blood sugar responses can also be insightful for individuals suffering from certain digestive disorders like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). These conditions can be exacerbated by the consumption of certain foods, often those high in sugar or fat, which can trigger an overproduction of stomach acid leading to uncomfortable symptoms. By using a CGM, you can track how different foods impact your glucose levels, which in turn can provide insights into potential dietary triggers for your reflux symptoms.
If you’re interested in understanding how your body responds to the food that you eat, how it responds to fasting and exercise, or even how your diet could be influencing chronic conditions like GERD or LPR, you can harness this knowledge to find the best foods and lifestyle choices for your unique body. Monitoring your blood sugar is an important piece of the puzzle.
Now, let’s move on to how you can get a CGM!
How to get a CGM
Generally speaking, the vast majority of CGMs are prescribed by your doctor and purchased using private insurance coverage at the pharmacy. This is limited to those with a medical need such as Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes diagnosis, in some cases treatment decisions for prediabetes, PCOS and insulin resistance is now also being covered as well.
If you, like me, are not on the diabetic-spectrum but would still like to use a CGM as a preventative health tool to monitor your glucose trends without traditional blood glucose fingersticks, you can still get a CGM without a doctors prescription.
How to get a CGM without a Doctor’s Prescription
Unfortunately you cannot go directly to the pharmacy and just purchase a CGM unless you have a doctors prescription. Luckily there are now several online companies helping to connect health conscious consumers with CGMs without a doctors note.
And to be honest, I have tried EVERY option there is in my search for the most affordable way to buy a CGM without a prescription!
What is the most affordable way to buy a personal CGM
Of course if you have T1 or T2 diabetes and you are written a script by your doctor, with most RX insurance coverage the cost of a CGM is very affordable. However if you are not diabetic and would like to purchase a cgm they can be extremely expensive when paying full retail price out of pocket.
After years of research and trying many companies, I have FINALLY found the most affordable way to get a CGM without a doctors prescription using Veri.co
Veri has the least expensive CGM program at $159/month using THIS LINK, which includes $30/off
Nutrisense least expensive program is $225/month with a 12 month commitment, Signos least expensive program is $189/month with a 6 month commitment & Levels CGM program includes at $398 membership fee + $199/month – all prices as of February 28, 2023
Affordable CGM FAQ
I’m purposefully leaving this section unfinished and open to answer all of your CGM buying questions. Please feel free to comment on this post and I’m glad to help guide you through the CGM process.