I had an interesting inquiry from a KAATSU user regarding the use of a Continuous Glucose Monitor with KAATSU. Our user wrote:
The other day I put on an arm band so that I could position my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) correctly. When I had it in place, I made sure that it was securely attached. I was amazed the the sensor felt like it had a film on it that I had never felt before. When I took my hand away I noticed my hand was bloody then my husband advised me that I was bleeding out from under the sensor. We had to take the sensor off to stop the bleeding.
My question is, by having the band on, could that have caused an increase in pressure when I put on the CGM? Is there any issues going forward, wearing the arm bands while using a CGM. Will I need to only work on one arm at a time, for 14 days, until I change to the CGM to the other arm?
The short answer is: yes.
KAATSU Air Bands modify the venous flow of blood from the limb back to the heart. More blood enters than is leaving, causing the limb to become engorged with blood. Since the CGM sensor has a small needle piercing the skin, the engorgement and increased pressure will likely cause some blood to leak out.
The solution to this is to use single-limb KAATSU, placing the Air Band on the arm that does not have a CGM sensor. CGM sensors are designed to remain in place up to 14 days. When your CGM sensor is ready to be moved, you can switch the arm you use KAATSU on.
Keep in mind that while the physiological effects of KAATSU are largely created distal to the bands (i.e. further away from the body core), the metabolites released by the body circulate through the bloodstream so will have a systemic effect.
I want to thank our customer for giving me permission to share their experience. People with Type 1 Diabetes who want to use KAATSU should be aware of how to work around issues regarding a CGM. It’s something I hadn’t thought of, but am glad I know about now so I can can let people know going forward.
If you have any questions about KAATSU use, please feel free to contact us or leave a note in the comment section below. Thank you!