CGM and Stress Experiment

Dec 8
Insights

With a growing interest in the blood glucose field, we have tested out the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems in the scope of stress. Testing stress reactions with CGM systems is just the first step of a more comprehensive series of research experiments.

The team is looking to expand their study into social stress, phobias, and panic attacks. This research opens plenty of possibilities to link the outcomes to fatigue, over-exercising, and restricted eating habits.

Stress and blood glucose

Our team has been working on various experiments to understand blood glucose issues better and confirm or refute different hypotheses. We conducted an experiment to determine the direct relationship between stress and blood glucose with CGM systems.

Rather than just getting a snapshot of blood glucose levels from a single meter reading, a CGM device allows individuals to see the fuller picture. With a CGM system, you can monitor your current glucose level at any chosen time. It allows you to know which direction and how fast it’s going. The sensor measures glucose levels every 5 minutes and sends those readings to the monitor.

The chemistry is clear and is almost always the same. However, there is still a big difference in response to stress exhibited by men and women. For men, it is characterized by the “fight-or-flight” reaction, whereas for women, the “tend-and-befriend” response occurs.

Later on in the investigation, we can dive deeper into the dysfunctional HPA axis. This axis is associated with manifestations of psychosomatic and psychiatric disorders. But the great thing is that this analysis of stress and blood glucose levels can help shift the management of social phobias, panic disorders, or anxiety. You can monitor the effectiveness of the medical and/or psychological intervention and not rely on subjective self-observation.”

How did stress change glucose levels?

This experiment involved 4 individuals monitored with CGM devices for their blood glucose levels over 10 days.

On the final day, the individuals were invited to play a game of “Crash.” This is an online gambling game where a multiplier graph increases. At any time in the game, the multiplier could “crash,” and those who did not “cash-out” would lose their bet. Each individual had a budget of 100 euros and took part in this alternative way to induce stress artificially.

The test results were fascinating. All participants had an average increase in blood glucose of 15% during gambling and a 36% heart rate increase overall.

I see it as a small step toward a big plan we have in mind for Kilo Health. Imagine if it could help to exactly differentiate what kind of stress a person experiences, and accelerate each individual treatment process.

Adapting the findings to wider angles

The experiment ties in closely with the Kilo Health philosophy of offering personalized treatment. A standard one-size-fits-all treatment plan does not reflect the reality of individual cases. It might even cause more harm than good.

At Kilo Health, with all of our products, we look into each individual’s background in detail to understand their triggers. We adapt meal plans, fitness plans, supplements or medications based on what works and what doesn’t. For instance, the foods that may be considered healthy in general can be precisely what crashes your energy levels and increases weight gain.

Knowing the metrics of individual body reactions in relation to stress and adapting these metrics in diet enhancement is a big leap for healthcare. With objective data, individuals will find the missing piece to their puzzle by identifying what they need to chang, based on real-time metrics.

How to use these findings

CGM is a powerful tool in optimizing health data. It can help to detect the relationship between stress, diabetes, or already established health issues. This new technology is a powerful analytical tool to foresee and prevent health issues before they form.

Our work is an important development in stress, healthcare, and personalized treatment fields. We are putting it into practice while developing Tyler Health.

Check what it looked like:

Kasparas Aleknavicius
Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health
Medical doctor turned health futurist who finds joy in chess, jogging, and open-fire cooking.

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