CGM.. WHHhaaa?

Ok, so I've only been on he Omnipod since last summer .. my endo has recently introduced the idea of getting a CGM.. I sorta get the idea.. it's supposed to track my BG's every 5 minutes and I'd still have to calibrate it with finger sticking...

I just wanted to know if anyone out there has this device and can tell me more about it..

I suppose how it affects one's daily life..
how much supplies you need to bring with you..
what do you do when you travel with it..

The idea of having a CGM sorta freaks me out.



I have a Dexcom CGM and I think it's a very nice way to keep track of how your blood sugar is actually tracking over the course of a day. The calibration is not too big a deal; basically once every twelve hours after the initial two fingersticks when you insert the sensor.

The sensors are rated to last for 7 days. I, and I know other people, wear them for longer, and I get better results in the second week of use as opposed to the first.

The biggest change I have seen to my daily life is a realization of how food intake is affecting my BG. Since I've gotten the CGM, I've made it a point to bolus earlier for meals and to eat lower-carb meals to help flatten out the BGs over the course of the day.

For supplies, you pretty much just need sensors and alcohol swabs. Because I change the sensor once a week, at most, I don't carry around supplies for it. If a sensor fails, I'm just a few hours from being back home to change out the sensor and I can make do with fingerstick testing until then.

I bring once sensor for every week I'll be traveling, and that's normally just to serve as a backup in case I have a sensor fail.

I initially thought this was a great idea; I started with both Omnipod and a Dexcom CGM. Unfortunately it did not work out at all for me, the Dexcom continually failed. It attaches like an Omnipod, though it is a lot smaller, unfortunately it never worked for me (i.e. I never had a Dexcom pod that worked correctly), so I sent the whole thing back and got my money refunded.

Other people have more success, however it's not of much use for telling you your blood sugar, rather it tracks changes and can alert you to fast changes (sometimes, in my experience, it gets this wrong and this is about when the device fails.) You need to do a finger-stick test to confirm anything it tells you and it isn't reliable enough to judge meal boluses.

I guess if your blood sugar goes up and down unpredictably it's potentially of use, that's why I thought it might be useful, but I suspect I'm just too active (too much BS variation) for the software to work correctly. It seemed at the time I was trying it that it was of most use for very young children, who aren't old enough to decide they need to test their blood sugar! Indeed my insurance company was unwilling to prescrive one and required extensive physician documentation of the reason.

John Bowler

CGEMs are good for tracking changes in BG and low incident alarm. It also gives a sense of security about what is going on, although sometimes unwarranted It is usually quite accurate when your BG is close to normal -between 80 and 120. Sudden spikes or drops and readings above or below normal parameters often give the sensor epileptic fits. It should never be used for calculating insulin dosage. Even using the Dexcom I still test over 12 times daily. It is a good tool if you acknowledge its' limitations.

I love the idea of CGM, but I don't think they are quite up to the task yet. At least not for everyone. I'm sure if I tried one, I might have a different opinion. None-the-less, I'm waiting for Omnipod to work with Dexcom so there is a tie between the units that allows the Omnipod the ability to adjust as needed by feedback from the Dexcom. I hear this is coming, but I don't know when.

Found this good Youtube video review of Dexcom + Omnipod

I've had my OmniPod for about 5 years & my Dexcom since March. I love them both! I was not too keen on getting the Dex at first. The idea of having 2 things stuck to me at all times. But once I got it, I was hooked! I have had great success iwth my Dex. I have gotten my a1c from 8.9 to 7.4 in just the few months I've had it. I don't test my sugars all the time, just the twice per day to calibrate unless I feel high or low. I bolus from my Dex & listen to my body. Most of the time, my Dex numbers are right on target with my glucometer. The biggest problem I've had (beyond a few failed sensors which Dexcom is quick to replace with no hassel) is irritation from the adhesive. I just got osteo-flex-fix (I think that's what it's called? You can read about it on the Dex boards here) & so far so good!

I would highly recommend the Dexcom. When I finally decided to get serious about my diabetes, I decided that the more data I had, the better decisions would be more apparent. At least for me, it’s made a tremendous difference in my treatment. I’ve learned so much about how my body responds to different meals and how my insulin requirements change radically throughout the day. The OmniPod/Dexcom combo gives me the information I need to deliver my Insulin needs appropriately throughout the day.

I think the biggest effect on my daily routine is the 24/7 nanny effect. It’s a great behavioral modification tool for me. I’m always striving for that flat line between 80 and 100. When I’ve got it going, it keeps from that extra snack or that bit of candy that I crave. When I blow it, I know immediately, and I know what’s caused it. It really keeps me in line much better than before and I know that my bad decisions will be recorded.

As much as I’m learning to love my OmniPod,I think I would give it up before I would give up my Dexcom.

Best of luck with your decision,


My Dex has been great. I would say it's very accurate 80% of the time. When you first fire up a new sensor, it takes awhile to settle in but after about a day or less, I get readings very precise to what my finger sticks are showing. I calibrate at least a couple times a day but it has reduced my need to do actual blood sugars by about 50%. My A1c's have been falling, now close to the 6 range. It catches my high's and low's more quickly than the 7 to 8 finger sticks I was doing and of course, I can react accordingly and keep sugars in a reasonable range. No, it's not perfect, but I find it very helpful.It's frequently saved me from low blood sugar crashes. I always get 2 weeks out of a sensor, sometimes even 3 weeks.

Hi Rissa, I've been using the new Dexcom G4 to compliment my Omnipod and have found it life-transforming so would wholeheartedly recommend it. Are you in the States? Apparently it should get FDA approval within the next few months and is probably worth waiting for as it's a big improvement on the Dexcom 7+ and costs the same. It was approved for Europe in June and I got one of the first ones to be shipped over to the UK in early July. It has taken away the worry and danger of not knowing whether I'm high, low, going up fast, crashing down rapidly etc. The alarm that indicates low sugars goes off before I go hypo so I can prevent hypos now. I have to self-fund as it's not available on the NHS here (yet) but, although expensive, it's been worth every penny to me. I was allowed to test it for two weeks before committing to it so perhaps that would be an option for you. Check out the Dexcom G4 webpage. Best of luck.