Role of Time in Range in Managing Diabetes
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) has simplified the process of tracking glucose levels for people with diabetes. It’s painfree, requires no finger pricks and gives real-time glucose data. In my last post, I shared the benefits of using FreeStyle Libre, a CGM device, in managing diabetes effectively. FreeStyle Libre uses a sensor to continuously measure the glucose present in the interstitial fluid. And the reader can show the current glucose reading, glucose trends, patterns and Time in Range (TIR) data. In today’s post, I will share more about the role of Time in Range in managing diabetes better. And, how achieving a higher Time in Range percentage using FreeStyle Libre can reduce the risk of long-term complications of diabetes.
What is Time in Range or TIR?
Time in Range is the percentage of time an individual’s glucose levels remain within a target range. This target range is typically 70 to 180 mg/dL but it can vary from person to person. Your medical practitioner can help you set your target range. When you use a CGM device, the reader can show you when your glucose has been within the range and at what time it spiked or went down.
Higher Time in Range percentage means that your glucose levels have been in the target range for a longer period of time. On the other hand, a lower TIR percentage would indicate fluctuating glucose levels.
Increasing time spent in range has a positive impact on glucose management and lowers risks of related health issues. In fact, every extra hour in range has a positive impact on your glucose control, and every 10% increase in TIR can lower A1c by ~0.8%. Moreover, spending more TIR can reduce long-term health complications.
Importance of Time in Range in Managing Diabetes
Your CGM reader can show you the exact percentage of time when your glucose levels were in the above/below target range. By utilizing the Time in Range metric you can better understand how your daily activities are impacting your glucose levels. And, in turn, you can take appropriate actions to achieve better overall health.
Time in Range metric can help people in understanding how well they are managing their diabetes.
By using the CGM device you can aim to keep your glucose levels steady and in range, thus reducing the risk of low blood sugar & high blood sugar episodes.
Time in Range and HbA1c
HbA1c test has been considered an important means to determine the average glucose levels over the last 3 months. And, the doctors rely on the results of this test to understand how well their patients are doing in terms of managing their diabetes. HbA1c also helps in diagnosing prediabetes and diabetes.
Time in Range is an important metric that can be used in addition to HbA1c results to take charge of your glucose levels on a day to day basis. By using a CGM device like Freestyle libre, one can get insights into specific fluctuations or patterns throughout the day. People with diabetes can correlate the periods of high/low glucose levels with certain activities; like meals, physical activity, medications, stress levels or even sleep patterns and make changes in their lifestyle.
Reduce the Risk of Complications with FreeStyle Libre
By using a CGM device, people living with diabetes can easily aim to increase their Time in Range percentage.
Achieving and maintaining Time in Range can reduce the risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) episodes. Hence, higher the Time in Range, lower the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.
Since the CGM device keeps you updated at all times about your current glucose levels, your glucose trend and Time in Range, you are always in control of your health.
As soon as you notice the fluctuations, you can take appropriate measures to bring your glucose levels back in the range. Thus, Time in Range empowers you to make informed decisions about your lifestyle choices.
As a caregiver to my husband, who has been living with diabetes, I have noticed how using FreeStyle Libre has made a significant impact on his overall well-being and diabetes management. Understanding and prioritizing Time in Range has been a transformative factor in effectively managing his diabetes.
To know more about Continuous Glucose Monitoring, visit this website.
You can buy Freestyle libre here.
The information mentioned in this document is only suggestive/for patient education and shall not be considered as a substitute for doctor’s advice or recommendations from Abbott. Please consult your doctor for more information.
Any photos displayed are for illustrative purposes only. Any person depicted in such photos is a model.