NutriSense CGM Review: Improve Your Blood Sugar Levels With A CGM
Use code 'PCOSORACLE' for $25 OFF.
I think you will agree with me when I say monitoring your blood sugar with a glucose meter can be a pain-both figuratively and literally. It’s tiresome having to prick your finger every morning, before and after each meal to check glucose levels. One of the amazing things about the world we currently live in, is the extraordinary technology around us. Due to such incredible advances in technology, we have various health tools at our fingertips. A health tool that has quickly gained popularity in the world of diabetes, but has also sparked interest among non-diabetics, is the continuous glucose monitor (CGM).
This NutriSense review explains how their program, which combines a CGM device, health tracking app and one-to-one support from a registered dietitian, can help you understand your glucose levels and optimize them. In the review, I will be sharing my experience using the continuous glucose monitor and NutriSense app. I will also show you some of the incredible data the app provides. I want to give you enough information so that you can decide for yourself if the NutriSense program and continuous glucose monitor is right for you.
Scientifically speaking, glucose meters use electrochemical test strips to measure levels of glucose concentration in the blood. The test strips contain an enzyme called glucose oxidase that reacts to glucose in the blood to create gluconic acid.
Gluconic acid then reacts with ferricyanide, a chemical found in the test strip. This chemical reaction creates ferrocyanide, which results in the meter running an electrical current through the blood sample on the test strip. The digital number that appears on the meter corresponds to the strength of the electrical signal. In other words, the more glucose present in the blood sample, the higher the number on the meter.
Glucose meters are, however, only a snapshot of time. The number shown indicates only what your glucose level is at that moment in time.So, while glucose meters are helpful and accurate, they do not give you a complete picture of your blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, a CGM provides a wealth of time-series glucose data. With a CGM, you can analyse in real-time how your blood sugar levels respond to food, exercise, stress, and sleep. The smart health tracking system liberates you from the hassles of finger pricking to monitor glucose levels.
Now, you might be wondering, well why does this all matter. Why should I be informed about my blood sugar levels throughout the day?
Researchers report that about 50% to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. This is a condition where the cells don't respond to insulin's signals. As a result, there is a build-up of sugar in the bloodstream.
Failure to treat insulin resistance increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that more than half of women with PCOS develop Type 2 diabetes by the time they reach 40 years of age.
PCOS is a metabolic disorder, meaning the root of PCOS and its symptoms is metabolic dysfunction. To improve the symptoms of PCOS, you must restore your metabolic health.
Blood sugar management is one of the simplest and most effective ways to address the root cause of PCOS and improve your hormones. It’s normal for blood sugar to fluctuate slightly throughout the day. However, frequent blood sugar swings (peaks and dips) over time causes chronic inflammation and damage to the body's blood vessels and nerves.
So given that diet and lifestyle influence glucose and insulin regulation, the continuous glucose monitor can help you understand your glucose levels. You can visually see and analyse what foods and lifestyle factors cause blood sugar spikes and crashes.
Here’s the deal.
Regular blood sugar monitoring is critical for diabetes management, but it can also be a great preventative tool. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is something that should concern everyone.
When blood sugar levels are stable, energy levels, mood, appetite, memory, and concentration improve.
Now I do not have diabetes, but I have always wanted to learn more about my glucose levels and see if I need to improve my diet and lifestyle (there’s always room for improvement!). I have previously used a glucose meter to monitor my blood sugar to gain insight into my fasting, pre- and post-meal glucose levels. But I found it all a bit tedious. I can only imagine how tiresome it must be for diabetic patients. So, when NutriSense reached out to me to use and review the continuous glucose monitor and their app, I was super excited!
I was thrilled with the opportunity to visually see how my blood sugar responded to my diet, exercise and overall lifestyle throughout the day and night. Let me tell you now, it is all very eye-opening. The CGM provides an immense amount of insightful data and the support provided by the dietitians is fantastic too!
So, you now know why blood sugar monitoring and balance is super important, let’s delve into what a continuous glucose monitor is and how NutriSense can help you optimize your glucose levels.
A continuous glucose monitor is a small wearable device that allows you to measure your glucose levels 24hrs a day. With a simple glance at your phone, you can see in real-time how your blood sugar levels respond to meals, exercise, sleep, and stress.
The first continuous glucose monitor was developed over 20 years ago for people with Type I diabetes. But now, there are a handful of personal continuous glucose monitor devices on the market available for the mainstream population without prescription.
NutriSense is an artificially intelligent (AI) powered personalised nutrition coach that helps users find a diet that works with their unique physiology. The company was founded in 2019 by Alex Skyrl to help people discover and reach their health potential.
Alex was interested in discovering how the foods you eat affect your body internally. He wanted to develop a program that would allow you to visually see and analyse your body's response to your diet over time.
In an interview with TastyTrade, Alex says that he wanted to use the data received through the continuous glucose monitor but develop an app that non-diabetics can use to show the user how different foods are affecting them.
So, Alex wanted to create a program that merges the continuous glucose monitor with personalized nutrition-and this led to the creation of NutriSense.
NutriSense offers the Freestyle Libre CGM device in their program, but they have developed a separate app. They offer personalized nutrition by leveraging state-of-the-art continuous glucose monitoring and machine learning technology. NutriSense strive to build a diet uniquely tailored to the client.
So, you now know what a CGM is, who NutriSense are and what they do, you might be wondering:
To understand how it works, you must become familiar with three components that make up the continuous glucose monitor: the sensor, the transmitter, and the receiver.
The sensor is a thin wire or filament, less than 0.4 millimetres, that goes just beneath the skin. An applicator that uses a small needle helps with the insertion of the sensor. The needle is part of the applicator and only used for sensor insertion.
The application site of the Freestyle Libre CGM sensor is the back of the upper arm. However, this varies depending on the manufacturer's recommendations. There is a sticky backing that helps keep the sensor affixed to your arm.
The sensor takes readings every 60 seconds and saves them every 15 minutes to display your long-term trend data. All sensors last for 14 days. After 14 days the sensor is disposed.
How Does the Sensor Measure Glucose?
The CGM sensor measures the glucose level within the interstitial fluid as opposed to blood glucose levels measured by glucose meters.
Interstitial fluid is the solution found around the body’s cells consisting of water, sugars, amino acids, fatty acids, salts, hormones, and coenzymes. Measuring the interstitial fluid glucose levels is what makes the continuous glucose monitor so practical.
Both glucose sensors use similar detection methods despite the difference in the area where glucose is measured. Just like glucose meters, CGM sensors are electro enzymatic. On the tip of the sensor, there is the enzyme glucose oxidase. Glucose molecules diffuse from the interstitial tissue through the outer membrane, and they react with glucose oxidase to create a signal that the CGM can measure.
The transmitter is attached above the sensor and acts as a middleman between the sensor and the receiver.
With the Freestyle Libre, users must wave the receiver over the transmitter to get the glucose level information. To do this, users must place the area of the phone (receiver) with the NFC near the CGM device (transmitter) and hold it there for a second. Users must do this at least once every 8 hours in order not to lose data. For this reason, the Freestyle Libre is known as a flash glucose monitoring (FGM) device. An FGM is a device that measures blood glucose levels continuously but displays the measured values in the app only when users scan the sensor with the receiver.
The receiver displays the information the sensor has captured.
When you scan your phone over the sensor, your glucose level readings are sent straight to the NutriSense app. The CGM is partnered with the app to provide you with a range of features, including graphing, trends, and the ability to seek expert advice on how to optimize your diet for better health.
Now you might be wondering:
The test your doctor does is considered a more accurate glucose number than any at-home device.
But here’s the thing:
Glucose monitoring products you use at home, like meters and FreeStyle Libre’s CGM go through clinical trials to test for accuracy. Industry experts compare all product results to the equipment you find at your doctor's. They do not compare the results to each other. As a result, the meter and CGM values will be different, but they should be close.
Moreover, the FDA has allowed CGM devices and glucose meters to have up to a 15% variation from what you would receive when you visit your doctor for a full lab draw.
The difference in where glucose is measured means that when there is a sudden change in glucose within the body, levels in the blood will respond much faster than the glucose found around the interstitial fluid. Typically, there is a 5–15-minute delay between blood glucose and interstitial fluid changes. Because of this Freestyle Libre CGM results can never be 100% accurate.
NutriSense reveals additional factors that may affect the accuracy of the CGM readings include:
- Dehydration can affect ISF levels and, therefore, sensor glucose readings.
- High caffeine intake may also dry out the interstitial fluid and cause falsely elevated readings. Stay hydrated after drinking caffeine, as this may correct any ISF-related dehydration.
- Certain supplements and over-the-counter products can influence glucose readings. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), in any form, can falsely elevate your glucose readings depending on the amount and frequency you take.
- Consuming salicylic acid (aspirin) in any form can falsely decrease sensor glucose readings.
- Products containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) should not affect the sensor glucose readings. However, regularly taking large doses of acetaminophen may slightly elevate your readings.
Consult your pharmacist or doctor if you take any prescription or over-the-counter medications to fully know the ingredients and how they may affect your glucose readings.
Several metrics can assess the accuracy of a continuous glucose monitor. One metric that has emerged as a way to characterize sensor accuracy is the mean absolute relative difference (MARD) of the ISF sensor readings when compared to blood glucose reference samples.
Experts indicate a low % MARD demonstrates better sensor performance. Researchers explain a MARD score of 10% represents the level of accuracy required for safe use of CGM readings to make insulin dosing decisions, without the need for an additional self-monitoring blood glucose reading.
A study in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology evaluated the analytical performance of the FreeStyle Libre CGM System compared to blood glucose reference. The results revealed that the percent of sensor results within ±20%/20 mg/dL of blood glucose reference were 93.2% and 92.1%, and MARD was 9.2% and 9.7% for the adults and paediatric participants respectively.
So, as you can see, the FreeStyle Libre CGM has a MARD score of 9.2%, which shows its accuracy. You can find out more about Freestyle Libre accuracy standards on their website.
A continuous glucose monitor is for anyone looking to understand and optimize their glucose levels to meet their health goals. Of course, a CGM can be of great benefit to a diabetic patient who is looking to learn more about their body and diabetes. But, as I have previously mentioned, a CGM is an excellent device for preventative health. Essentially a CGM offers you a way to monitor what’s going on and it gives you a chance to change your habits before insulin resistance or diabetes develops.
Ultimately it benefits anyone who wants to use advanced and accurate technology to improve their health. If that sounds at all like you, then the CGM and NutriSense app is for YOU.
When you sign up for the NutiSense program, there is a questionnaire that you must complete. The NutriSense team uses a questionnaire to screen all applicants to see if they qualify and are suitable to use the continuous glucose monitor.
NutriSense does not recommend the CGM for pregnant women. The reason for this is because glucose responses differ widely during pregnancy and do not accurately reflect your baseline health status. The NutriSense team recommends monitoring glucose levels postpartum to get a better picture of overall health.
The program may not be suitable for those suffering from eating disorders or disordered eating tendencies. Due to the vast amount of data collected, the focus on diet and lifestyle can trigger disordered thought patterns and behaviours.
OK, now that we have covered what the continuous glucose monitor is, the science behind it and how NutriSense are using the device to help people optimize their health. Let’s look at the steps to get signed up on the Nutrisense CGM program.
The process to get started with the NutriSense CGM program is straightforward and seamless.
Check this out:
In just 5 simple steps, you can begin learning about your glucose levels and optimizing your health.
- You begin by completing a short sign-up form and selecting a program that fits your needs.
- Submit your health questionnaire to determine if you qualify.
- A Nutrisense network of doctors will review your questionnaire. If you qualify for the program, you will receive two 14-day sensors in the mail every month.
- When you have received your device, you can insert the sensor on your upper arm. On the NutriSense website, there is step by step instructions on how to apply your sensor. It’s also super easy and painless!
- Once you have successfully applied the sensor, download the NutriSense app on your phone. Your dietitian will be there to welcome you and support you on your health optimization journey.
Let’s look at the incredible features you will receive when you sign up for the NutriSense CGM program.
Visually seeing this glucose trend information puts you in a better position to make an informed decision about what to do about your current glucose levels. For example, seeing a rise in glucose levels will indicate whether to reduce carbs in the next meal, go for a walk, etc. to help blunt the spike.
In addition, 24hr tracking allows you to notice patterns in your glucose levels. For example, some people see that they consistently wake up between 1-3 am. Noticing such patterns allows you to analyze and make personalized changes to your diet, exercise, stress, and bedtime routine.
NutriSense health tracking doesn’t end at glucose. Within the app you can track your meals, stress, activity, sleep and habits.
Improvement in your health happens when you are consistent. Staying consistent in your new eating or lifestyle habits can be difficult. So to help you transition and commit to these new habits, the NutriSense app has a 'Habits feature'. It’s a simple calendar that allows you to set weekly goals and check them off every day that you complete them. You can keep track of as many habits as you like and you will automatically see stats and graphs for each new habit that you set up.
With this information, your assigned dietitian will help you set goals and keep you accountable to make sure you are hitting them.
Another great feature to mention is NutriSense report cards. NutriSense has created a simplified scoring system to keep you knowledgeable about your body's needs. But more so, it helps you focus on what is important without getting too caught up in all the numbers!
The daily scores are helpful when comparing one day to another. The following components make up the scores:
- Peak - The max glucose level reached during a day.
- Average- The average glucose level for that day.
- Adaptability- The time spent in a healthy glucose range for the day.
- Variability- The standard deviation of the glucose excursions for the day.
With the meal tracking feature, you can stop guessing and start controlling your blood sugar levels. Find out what foods cause blood sugar spikes, energy crashes and more, without needing to prick your finger pre and post-meal.
The meal scores are super helpful when comparing the glucose response of two meals. The following concepts make up the scores, Peak, AUC, Delta and 2hr Delta. These raw values are converted to a score from 1-10 and combined to make a single total meal score. In the app, you will see that these concepts have much simpler names, they are:
- Peak- The max glucose level during the 2hr interval after a meal.
- Exposure- The area under the curve during the 2hr interval after a meal.
- Stability- The difference between the lowest and highest glucose levels during the 2hr interval after a meal.
- Recovery- The difference between the glucose level immediately before the meal and 2 hours after the meal.
Sleep and Morning Average
In the app's analytics tab, NutriSense has included overnight and morning glucose stats to help you track your fasting glucose levels. The Sleep Average is your average glucose throughout your fasting window (while you sleep). The Morning Average is a point-in-time measurement of your glucose level at the end of your fasting window (just before breakfast).
- Apple Health
Once connected, you can track your blood glucose, activity, sleep and various other health information all in the app. With such a feature, you can become more informed about your health and what lifestyle changes can help.
The app provides tons of interesting and informative information, but understanding all this data can be tricky and a little overwhelming. That’s why all plans include complimentary dietitian support for the first month. They will ensure you understand your results and offer their expert advice on optimizing your glucose to meet your health goals.
Diets are not one size fits all. Your assigned dietitian can support you as you change your diet to discover what works for you and your body.
No matter what dietary lifestyle you follow, the NutriSense trained dietitians will support and work through it with you. If you have questions about your glucose data or need some guidance, reach out to your knowledgeable dietitian right in the in-app chat.
“THE SERVICES DO NOT INCLUDE THE PROVISION OF ANY MEDICAL ADVICE OR TREATMENT BY COMPANY. THE SERVICES ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE AND DO NOT CONSTITUTE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT AND ARE OFFERED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. RATHER, THE SERVICES ENABLE REGISTERED USERS TO ACCESS DIGITAL CONTENT AND HEALTH COACHING TOOLS AND RESOURCES, INCLUDING A HEALTH COACH WHO MAY PROVIDE YOU WITH LIMITED WEB-, TELEPHONE-, SMS-, OR EMAIL-BASED SUPPORT. COMPANY DOES NOT EMPLOY OR CONTRACT WITH PHYSICIANS TO PROVIDE MEDICAL CARE TO YOU - COMPANY’S HEALTH COACHES ARE NOT LICENSED PHYSICIANS OR LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS. WHILE THE SERVICES PROVIDE INFORMATION, COMPANY CANNOT AND DOES NOT DIAGNOSE YOUR HEALTH CONDITIONS OR OTHERWISE PROVIDE YOU WITH ANY MEDICAL ADVICE OR TREATMENT.”
Want to switch up your diet, increase your carbs, see how eating plain oatmeal will affect your glucose levels, try a new pre-workout meal or maybe you want to increase your exercise time and you want to see how your glucose will respond. Try it!
Within the NutriSense app you can run experiments and get quick verification on what is optimal for your body. We are all unique and, as a result, our bodies respond differently. So with this feature, you can test any hypotheses you want.
Test out various workout programs, different macronutrient ratios, or see the response a single food will have on your glucose levels. There is no limit to the questions you can explore in the world of health. Your dietitian may also create experiments for you to reference. So if you notice an experiment you didn’t create, it’s likely from your dietitian!
You can find out more about how to run glucose experiments using the NutriSense app on their website.
NutriSense team of Registered Dietitians work hard to provide an expansive educational library. They have compiled an extensive library of helpful health articles, FAQs, app tips & tricks, and much more.
In this section we will look at how much the NutriSense program costs and what comes inside the kit when you sign up.
- A 14-day option for $175. This is a one-time charge with no recurring charges and no 7-day trial since it is not a subscription
- A monthly subscription. Subscribe 1, 3, 6, or 12 months minimum and renew automatically. Commit plan prices:
- $350 per month for a 1 month minimum commitment
- $250 per month for a 3-month minimum commitment
- $225 per month for a 6-month minimum commitment
- $199 per month for a 12-month minimum commitment
All monthly subscription plans include a 7-day trial. The trial period will begin once you activate your first sensor or 14 days after the shipment of your first sensors. You may cancel your service at any time during the trial period. Committing to a longer-term will give you a lower monthly rate.
NutriSense has kindly provided me with an exclusive promo code PCOSORACLE for $25 off to make it more affordable.
Now you may be thinking, ‘the price of the programs is quite high.’
As I have previously mentioned, a continuous glucose monitor and the NutriSense program is a great preventative tool. The program gives you the chance to change your habits before insulin resistance or diabetes develops.
NutriSense is planning to release a cheaper version in the near future. They explain that their largest operating expense is the CGM device. But they strongly believe that continuous glucose monitor sensor prices will drop over time, and as that happens, they will be able to pass those savings on to you.
Below is everything you get by participating in the NutriSense program:
- 1-2 CGM sensors, depending on the plan you choose
- 1-month of complimentary app-based communication with one of the NutriSense dietitians to discuss your diet, personal health data, and other relevant lifestyle factors that affect your glucose levels
- App-based food tracker to identify which foods are causing you the most problems
- Personal data visualization and analytics
- A report on your blood sugar results and areas in which you can improve
In this final part of the review, I will share my experience and thoughts about the NutriSense program.
As a woman with PCOS, interested in tracking and improving my health, I can honestly say NutriSense is incredibly useful.
Blood sugar optimization has always been something I have wanted to improve. So having a device that allows me to monitor my glucose levels in real-time 24/7 was beneficial.
Of course, as with any new technology/health device, I was skeptical about using the CGM. I questioned its accuracy and reliability. I thought the only sure way to measure blood glucose levels was with a glucose meter and the painful finger prick!
But as I have discussed, that isn’t the case, CGM exhibit a level of accuracy that one can follow and trust. NutriSense has simply made monitoring and optimizing your glucose levels conveniently. It has allowed people to take a more proactive approach in learning about their health.
Before I delve into my results and what I learned using the NutriSense program, I want to share my goals and the things I was looking to discover about my body. They included
- Assess the macronutrient ratios of my meals
- Evaluate the effect a meal size can have on glucose levels
- See how stress impacted my glucose levels
- The impact eating fruit on its own would have on my glucose levels
- I was interested to see how my blood sugar reacted through the night
- Compare how my glucose responds to processed foods vs. natural/wholefoods
- Evaluate the impact different exercise activities such as cardio and resistance training will have on my glucose levels
Walking post-meal can help blunt spikes in blood sugar. Going for a short walk, around 10 minutes, after eating is often recommended to help with the increased blood sugar caused by a meal.
Fresh vs. Dried Fruit
Eating fresh fruit on its own didn’t affect my glucose level as much as people think it would. It’s common to think eating fruit will significantly spike blood sugar because it’s sugar. But in my case, as you can see below, there wasn’t much of a spike. However, it is always good to pair your fruit (carbs) because it will lead to a gradual glucose response.
I noticed that, for me, dried fruit creates a greater immediate glucose response than fresh fruit. This likely be due to the concentrated amount of sugar. But despite the glucose response, the data reveals that I’m able to process it quickly.
Don’t fear fruit!
Check this out:
Fructose has little effect on blood sugar and insulin. Dr. Ray Peat explains that fructose enters the cell without the need of insulin. Ingestion of fructose increases insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
Fasting levels through the night were sometimes a little high
While we sleep, our body is still working. But for our cells to do all the things they need to do, they need a steady supply of glucose. Of course, we cannot eat while we sleep. But don’t worry, maintaining blood sugar levels is just one of the many functions of the liver
The liver stores glucose in the form of glycogen to keep the body functioning during long periods without eating, for example while you sleep. The liver steadily reconverts the stored glycogen into glucose, through a process called glycogenolysis, and release it into the bloodstream to feed the cells.
When we have enough stored glycogen it keeps our body from having to increase stress hormones like cortisol to break down our own tissue to create glucose (gluconeogenesis).
So if you are consistently waking up between 2-3 am every morning, seeing dips and then spikes in blood sugar this may suggest stress hormones rising to break down the bodies tissues to manufacture glucose.
Now for the liver to be able to store up enough glucose and it’s many other functions, it needs to be healthy. The liver must be regularly provided with a steady flow of glucose, protein, vitamins A, B, C and E.
Eating a small snack, 30 minutes to 1 hour before bed that contains protein + carbs + fat can help sustain blood sugar levels through the night. Bedtime snack ideas include milk + honey + salt.
You can still enjoy a sweet treat
I ran a few experiments to see what the impact of eating desserts would have on my blood sugar. On separate days, I ate one whole homemade gluten-free cookie, dark chocolate, a gluten-free store-bought coconut macaroon and an ice cream chocolate stick.
Homemade gluten-free cookie: I found that eating the whole cookie causes a huge blood sugar spike. Now, on this particular day, I went for a walk pre-eating the cookie. Walking post eating the cookie would have helped blunt the spike because my body would have utilized that sugar.
A few days later, I decided to experiment again with the homemade cookie. This time I had half the cookie and paired it with some goat's milk. Combining the two foods led to a better glucose response.
Dark Chocolate: I usually only eat 2 small pieces of dark chocolate, that’s enough to satisfy me! From the CGM data, I found dark chocolate doesn’t cause much of a blood sugar response. But I know others who eat dark chocolate and see a significant spike in their blood sugar. As with everything, it differs from person to person.
Gluten-free store-bought coconut macaroon: I ate a coconut macaroon on two separate days. On both days, the results from the CGM show that there wasn’t much of a glucose spike. I believe this could have been because coconut has a mild impact on blood glucose levels.
Ice Cream Chocolate Sticks: My glucose peaked fairly high after eating the ice cream and it took my body some time to recover. The spike is most likely due to the sugar content and the minimal amount of protein found in the ice cream stick.
Food Quantity/Portion Sizes
It's not just about the food you eat but the quantity. Not eating enough or overeating can both affect blood sugar. While it’s essential to create a meal that combines a healthy balance of all 3 macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat), eating meals that are the right size for you is also something to address.
Every meal you eat should make you feel good. Meaning you should feel energized, alert, warm, happy, no longer hungry and have no cravings. Prepare meals that sustain hunger for 3-4 hours.
Caffeine/coffee helps to reduce glucose levels
I found that drinking coffee after a meal helped to lower my glucose response. Many people may not expect that because coffee is often labelled as this ‘bad food’. But the truth is that, the bad effects ascribed to coffee usually involve taking in large doses in a short period of time but also not drinking it correctly.
Let me explain.
Coffee increases the metabolic rate and because of this, it also raises your need for nutrients.
When you drink coffee, you need to make sure you there is adequate fuel (glycogen) in the tank to meet the increase. If there is inadequate blood glucose to meet the demands of improved metabolism, the stress response is activated. Cortisol and adrenaline will rise to get the extra nutrients. Stress hormones will breakdown your muscles to turn them into glucose, and from your fat tissue through lipolysis.
The common symptom of feeling anxious or shaky/jittery after drinking coffee is from a lack of nutrients, which causes low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Coffee is NOT breakfast
It should not be consumed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Glucose levels are low because you have been sleeping and haven't eaten in 12 hours. So eat food before you drink coffee and add some calories (like sugar, milk, cream, collagen) to it.
To find out more about the benefits of coffee for PCOS, check out my YouTube video.
I’m not much of a drinker, but on certain occasions, I will have some alcohol. Looking at my data, the day I did have some alcohol, which was simply a glass of red wine, was my birthday. To explain the impact alcohol can have on blood sugar levels, I wanted to share the message Molly (the registered dietitian working with me) sent:
“Alcohol can impact glucose in a variety of different ways, depending largely on the amount and type of alcohol, as well as your nutritional state (fasted or fed). Carbohydrate-containing alcoholic beverages, such as sugary cocktails or beer, can lead to an immediate spike after drinking. Liquor or dry wine often have no immediate effect on glucose or can even slightly lower glucose levels. So wine can dilute a glucose response, which is what I will usually see.
If you eat a meal with and without a glass of wine you will probably see a smaller response if it is consumed with the wine. Just wanted to note this because with this meal, you may have had a larger spike had the wine not been involved.
Many people will see a glucose dip several hours after drinking while the body prioritizes breaking down the alcohol over normal glucose production. However, it is very common to observe higher fasting glucose and overall glucose levels the day after drinking due to slightly impaired glucose tolerance (even from just one drink).”
As Molly mentions and as you can see from the graph, my glucose didn’t spike as much, it went from 105 to 141. Now, as this was my birthday meal, I did have a range of food and lots of carbs! So the wine may have helped stop my blood sugar from rising even more. As you can see, my glucose levels returned to pre-meal values within 2 hours, but I also had a slight dip in blood sugar.
My Recovery (2h score on meal card)
From the data, I learned that I generally return to pre-meal values within 2-3 hours after. Meaning my body doesn’t have any difficulty processing glucose.
To find out more about the data presented in the NutriSense app and an in-depth breakdown of my results, be sure to listen to my interview with Molly Downey (RDN, LDN), the Nutrition Manager at NutriSense.
In the interview, Molly and I talk about blood sugar balance, who the CGM device is for, how to interpret CGM readings and much more!
Let’s look at the pros and cons of signing up to NutriSense.
- Convenience-eliminates the need for numerous finger pricks
- Provides glucose trend information (in real-time)
- The FreeStlye Libre CGM is approved to replace self-monitoring finger-prick checks for insulin dosing and treating lows. Also does not require calibration finger-prick checks either
- Notice glucose patterns
- Provides you with an array of insightful data that inform you about how to optimize your diet and lifestyle
- Connected and personalized care from the assigned registered dietitian
- The NutriSense app is clear and simple to use
- Increased confidence and comfort-knowing your diet and habits are keeping blood sugar levels stable.
- Able to track your health from one place
- FDA approved
- NutriSense takes care of the medical prescription for the CGM.
- Accuracy-there is a 5-15 minute delay between the change in blood glucose and interstitial fluid.
- The sensor must be scanned at least once every eight hours to see captured glucose data in the app.
- The device does not automatically alert you if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low.
- Data overload
- Can become obsessive/over-reliance
- Would have been great if you could log in and see the data on your computer
When it comes to health, we should be proactive and open to educating ourselves. The NutriSense program offers consumers greater control over their health and the CGM device is an excellent tool for preventative health.
Thanks to the NutriSense program, I discovered how my current diet and lifestyle impacted my glucose levels. The real-time tracking allowed me to make informed decisions right then and there to improve my glucose response. With the support and expert advice given by the dietitian, I was able to optimize my diet and change habits in my life to improve my blood sugar levels.
With all the newfound knowledge I had obtained over the two-week trial period, I began working on my meal density, macronutrient composition, and workout nutrition. Since making these changes, I have noticed an improvement in my body temperature, energy levels, weight and mood.
As I wrap up my NutriSense review, I want to share with you a few key features that I loved.
Convenience and ease of use
In all honesty, I loved the convenience and ease of use of the CGM and NutriSense app.
The convenience the CGM offers over having to prick your finger multiple times a day is amazing.
NutriSense was highly professional and efficient in its processes. I was pleased and impressed with the whole experience. It was truly an exceptional service that I'd happily sign up for again and again.
Reports, data and analytics
I’m a nerd when it comes to data and analytics. I absolutely love running experiments and seeing how the human body responds. It’s all very fascinating!
Now I’ll be honest, as much as I love looking at data, I found it all a little overwhelming at first. But once I read through the information provided by the team in the education library, I felt more confident. Of course, there were still times where I needed some support on understanding my results, so the dietitian was always there to help me out!
The Personalized Advice and Support
The dietitians are very supportive and reassuring when explaining your results. They do a fantastic job of breaking down what all your data means and giving you tips on how to improve things in your life for better glucose levels.
The assigned registered dietitian is such a valuable feature that makes you feel valued and the tailored advice based on the customers’ needs is incredible. All in all, the dietitian's advice and recommendations were all super helpful and very insightful!
The CGM device isn’t something I would subscribe to wear for the rest of my life. But I see NutriSense and the CGM device becoming another tool in my toolbox.
I will be using the NutriSense service now and then to check-in and make sure my blood sugar levels are healthy. As I mentioned throughout my review, this is just another preventative health tool. A CGM device is simply a convenient and highly insightful way to stay on top of your health.
Just so you know: This post includes affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I will get a small commission, with no extra cost to you. It helps me keep my little website going. Thank you for your continued support!
If you enjoyed this post give it a share
Hey there! I am Despina Pavlou, founder of PCOS Oracle, certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. I want to share with you the diet and lifestyle changes I made to naturally reverse my PCOS and achieve hormonal balance. I believe using my holistic approach you too can take back control from PCOS.
NutriSense is an artificially intelligent (AI) powered personalized nutrition coach that helps users find a diet that works with their unique physiology. This NutriSense review explains how their program, which combines a CGM device, health tracking app and one-to-one support from a registered dietitian, can help you understand your glucose levels and optimize them.
Are you looking to get to the root cause of your symptoms, or do you simply want to learn how to optimise your health? One of the most effective ways is finding suitable and reliable health testing. This review explains how LetsGetChecked can help you uncover the reason(s) for your health issues or symptoms and learn how to feel better. I will also share with you my LetsGetChecked experience and lab test results.
Mira is an AI-driven fertility device that tracks your actual hormone levels to tell you exactly when your fertile and infertile days are. The smart health tracking platform has been designed with PCOS women in mind, so it is able to detect the surge in LH above your high baseline.