As I’ve mentioned many times before on podcasts, I’ve been using something called a “continuous glucose monitor” (CGM) at various intervals throughout my life for about 4 years or so.
Considering that, as I write about here, I regard glycemic variability (which is exactly what these CGMs track) and inflammation (which is a bit more difficult to measure as it typically requires a visit to a lab) to be my top two key biomarkers for health and longevity, my use of a CGM has given me some very valuable data on how my body responds to certain foods, supplements, exercises, lifestyle practices, and even emotions.
But how does a CGM work, exactly?
What does the really tiny “filamentous” needle actually measure?
How do you get yours to “stick” for long periods of time, or in water?
How does the phone gather data from the sensor, and is EMF a concern?
Does the sensor have to be calibrated to a blood glucose reading due to the fact it is recording interstitial fluid vs. blood?
Is this type of thing, from an insurance standpoint, that is only available to diabetics?
What do you do about activities that cause high glucose excursions, such as exercise/sauna/coffee, etc., which wind up decreasing the metabolic score when, long-term, those are all glucose stabilizing/insulin-sensitizing activities?
Are there certain supplements or herbs that do the best job controlling blood glucose?
I explore these questions and many others in this podcast with Josh Clemente. Josh is a rocket scientist who worked at SpaceX for 6 years, managing the team that designed the life support systems in their space shuttles. Over time, he started to notice extreme levels of fatigue and experienced volatile spikes and crashes of energy throughout his day. For someone who worked out consistently and followed the guidelines for what he believed to be healthy practices, it didn’t seem to add up.
After experimenting with glucose monitoring, he realized that he was pre-diabetic (borderline full-blown diabetic) and that the foods he was eating were having a significant impact on his performance. It was this discovery and struggle to derive actionable insights from his glucose monitoring that led him to start Levels.
Today, at Levels Health, Josh and his team are revolutionizing the way people think about their metabolic health. And why is metabolic health so important? Before Levels, an average person had no way of understanding how efficiently or inefficiently their body was producing energy. Levels enables you, using a new CGM system, to access and understand this information in real-time—so you can start making better diet and lifestyle choices to avoid those energy peaks and valleys.
During this discussion, you’ll discover:
-How Josh became a rocket scientist…8:50
- Josh was homeschooled and experimented a lot with engines as a child
- Studied mechanical engineering in school
- Became enamored with Tesla’s electric cars
- This led to a career with SpaceX
-How Josh became interested in blood glucose management…32:05
-How a CGM works, what it measures, and how it compares to a blood glucose stick…19:33
- CGM measures glucose molecules via a patch attached to the skin
- Filament in the skin interacts with sugar molecules in interstitial fluid
- Interstitial fluid reading in a CGM may vary slightly from a blood glucose monitor reading
- Calibration estimates where the blood levels are compared to the interstitial fluid
- Important for people with diabetes who need to monitor blood glucose quickly
- Interstitial fluid monitoring is preferable from a general wellness point of view
-How the Levels app calibrates with the CGMs on the market…24:00
-Gold standard location for placement of the GCM on the body…30:45
- Libre was tested in the upper arm
- G6 tested in the ab location
- Upper arm is the more comfortable location
-How to keep the CGM on your body for long periods of time…31:00
-How to obtain a CGM without faking you have diabetes…37:50
- All devices currently available are prescription only
- Levels platform includes physician consult and prescription
- Insurance doesn’t recognize a CGM as a legit use without diabetes
- Approximate out of pocket cost – $399 first month, $199 thereafter
-Whether it’s necessary to wear a CGM in perpetuity…39:15
- It’s up to the individual and their own goals or need for accountability
- “What gets measured gets managed”
- Feedback on one’s lifestyle greatly influences our decisions
- Oura Ring
-What a “metabolic score” is…45:15
-What an “activity response” is…56:15
- All activities have metabolic implications
- Assumptions made on whether a meal is good or bad for you
- A meal with or without a post-prandial walk affects the activity response
- “Compromise” when variables such as sleep are lacking
-How to keep blood glucose stable throughout the day and beyond…1:01:00
-Glucose disposal agents that may be outside the norm…1:06:45
-Josh’s personal practices to stabilize his glucose levels…1:11:45
-And much more!
Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.
Resources from this episode:
– Josh Clemente:
– Podcasts and articles:
– Gear and supplements:
– Other resources:
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