Can a Dexcom sensor become occluded?

I have experienced several Omnipod occlusions over the years – usually when it’s on my upper arm and I sleep on it. I’ve learned how to not sleep on an Omnipod, because getting woken up by that alarm is no fun =8-0.

I’ve been using the Dexcom G5 for a couple of months; can the sensor get occluded if I sleep on it, or put pressure on it for too long?

When I sleep on my “dex arm”, I can get falsely high or usually low readings which go back to normal once the pressure is off the sensor for ~15 minutes. Since then I’ve found better spots on my arm (more towards the front than back) where even when I’m on my side, it doesn’t put pressure on the sensor which has helped quite a bit.

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It wouldn’t be an occlusion…as far as I know the sensor is actually a wire with coating and it’s the outside of the wire that chemically reacts to sense glucose, not some interior tube. I could be wrong though.
There are indeed compression lows but I think those have to do with pressure issues more than “occlusions”


I do not know if it is an occultation, but I have had one bleed. Far more common is to wake up in the middle of the night with one hurting. I use my arm and it is no doubt a problem that I sleep on my side.

I’m a fairly disciplined sleeper… So I tend to stay on my back or on one side most of the night. What I do is “rotate” Dexcom sites from side to side, so that I can switch which side I sleep on from sensor to sensor. I keep my pump sites on the same side as the Dexcom, so that I don’t get occlusions there and avoid those “pressure lows” that I get if/when I do sleep on my sensor.

Has worked for me, so far, though every so often I have to think carefully before doing the next site change… :slight_smile:

The only thing I’ve seen that “clogs” the Dexco sensor, is acetaminophen – The one time I had to use it when on Dexcom, my Dexcom gave me wild results for 48 hours or so. It settled back down after that. Not too much of a problem for me, as it was the first time in 5 years or more that I’ve taken acetaminophen (BAD tooth or sinus pain and Vicodin was the only strong option on hand…).

Thas, there is so much I love about you: your perpetually bare feet, your intelligence, your humor, your compassion, your beard. Gainfully employed. And a nice Jewish boy to boot! Add to all this the fact that you are a “disciplined” sleeper. You, sir, are what I consider an excellent catch. If your wife ever tires of you, do please consider looking me up. :wink:

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Thanks for all the great answers, folks. I appreciate it.