Hello everyone, I'm considering a CGM and I'd like to know what influenced your decisions to get a CGM and how you think about them now. I'm concerned about the device hurting a lot when inserting it and I'm concerned about how reliable it is. Currently I check my blood sugar about 15+ times a day will I be able to check less with the CGM? I'm considering it because as my blood sugars are becoming more and more stable I'm noticing I don't feel my lows much anymore. I'm concerned because I'd like to have a baby that when breastfeeding I'll crash unaware and or during pregnancy as well. So my husband and I think that the CGM would be a good device for piece of mind at least. I look forward to hearing all your comments, and tips.
I’ve lived with D for over 30 years now. When I pay attention to it’s needs, I can do well and stay safe. As you are well aware, problems can arise while you’re paying attention to family, friends, sports, and especially social interactions and not giving attention to your immediate glucose status. I don’ t like to label these things as distractions because they’re what comprise things that bring meaning to our lives.
As a user of CGMs since 2009, I have found that they add immeasurably to my safety and quality of life. I use Dexcom CGMs.
They generally don’t hurt but can if you insert too close to a nerve/blood vessel. The sensors cause much less trauma to the site than an infusion set cannula. My sites stay in for 14 days and they heal more quickly than a pump site.
Some people don’t like the idea of getting too much data. I guess it depends on your personal preferences. My CGM has prevented/diminished hypos and hypers. I would not choose to live life without it.
If your are considering pregnancy, I would think that your choice would be easy.
Hi LTH: I use the Dexcom G4, and I highly recommend it. When I first got it, I was overwhelmed by the amount of data and a bit stressed by it. But that quickly passed and now I can't imagine getting by without my Dex. It's helped to refine my care in ways I never thought of; I never knew how much a cup of coffee affects BG! I do actually test less now--once I know that my Dexcom is tracking accurately (it is usually within 5% of a fingerstick), I don't test as much. The Dexcom has been especially helpful for catching hypos early and for exercise.
I did use the Medtronic Guardian years ago, but that was extremely painful and so inaccurate it just had no value to me. My endo now only prescribes the Dexcom because its accuracy is superior.
I would think that a CGM would be really excellent for pregnancy.
Hope this info helps! Melitta
I started using a CGM because my BG was very unpredictable at night, the combination of a insulin pump and the data collected by my CGM enabled me to develop a basal profile that keeps my BG predictable when sleeping. Using a CGM also changed the way I control my BG, making corrections much sooner, correcting at a 130ml/dL instead of 180mg/dL or higher. The CGM enables me to stay in target range for many many more hours out of each day.
Having a CGMS completely changes the way the BG game is played...you can see around the next curve...you know when something is going to happen before it happens and this knowledge is a real game changer....
wow thanks for all the honesty guys it sounds like a CGM is really the best option. I will try to get the Dexcom G4 since it is very reliable and checks every 5 minutes. Thanks again for all the info :)
I tried one(dex) after diagnosis and it didn't work for me, it was painful and I had a lump and itchy rash- it was also grossly inaccurate. I'm trying just a sensor now and this one has had minimal problems so far. Today, day 5 I had enough itching that I considered taking it off but it resolved. I would ask if you can try the sensor out first and put it on the back/tush/hips area with the most fat. The arm and stomach were terrible for me. This is still not something I think I would ever want all the time even if I get a new one and it turns out to be accurate, but I think for a pregnancy if it is accurate and doesn't bother you too much it would be worth it. With my other one I never trusted it and always did a finger stick. Many people do treat with only cgm data though as it has been very reliable for them.
I was dx T1 at 60. Did MDI with standard 8-10 BG sticks a day and thought I did well to bring my A1C down to the low 7’s from the 11s I had at dx. Then as soon as I was insurance eligible I went for both a Dex G4 and a tslim. Wound up with the dex for 2 months before pump start. Those 2 months were huge!
The amount of info I was missing with just time points vs every 5 minutes allowed me to alter how I dosed vs when I ate. Let me see how the foods I ate spiked me in ways I could not see with just the usual finger sticks. I thought I was keeping my post meals under 140 but the dex showed me when I was missing the spike and was already n the way down at post meal FS.
It let me get my basal rate dialed in prior to pump start and work out my I:C ratio, correction factor and duration of insulin activity.
It has helped me get my A1C down to mid 5s with out lows.
Combined with the tslim it lets me fine tune my numbers - see and adjust for my new onset of dawn phenomenon, set my I:C rates for time of day, adjust my basal for different activity levels depending on day of week.
Insertion is similar to an infusion set insertion. You can play with where and what angle you use so you can control how it goes, be sure your going to an area that has some fat padding. Once it’s in I don’t know it’s there. I have tried it on abdomen as FDA approved, but had better luck on back of arms and for now best results when using outer edge of the girls. Since its under my bra band there is no problem with geting knocked or bumped. I restart the same sensor several times and know that for me it will drop dead at about 4 weeks. I have not had issue with irritation, infection since there is no infusion going on. I do use tegaderm as a first layer under the dex, it helps the adhesive, and I do not get irritated from the stickies.
One other important factor is that it lets me see where I’m heading when I’m at work. My job is active, on my feet all day, the temperature and noise level change constantly as does the stress level. I can’t hear the ear buzz, or detect the hot flash that are my signals of an impending crash and burn.
Having the G4 on my belt/waistband lets me check number/feel vibration of the alerts I have set up. I can check with out needing to pull out my pump. Depending on what my activity is for the day I can change up when my alerts trigger so when I’m hiking up Mount Washington I know when I’m behind the 8-ball and can get on top of things vs at work and just need to slow down a bit.
I have been impressed with the accuracy, it’s not always bang on especially in the first day or two of a new sensor or a restart but the trends have always reliable and that info has been invaluable.
I started to use a CGM with my medtronic pump about 4 years ago - and stopped using it because it hurt so bad and due to it being really inaccurate especially when my blood sugars were moving fast.
BUT in December when Dexcom finally made an appearance in Canada a colleague of my mine made a pitch for me to try it out, because I am a nurse and work shift work and was testing numerous times but sometimes it isn't always possible in the ICU. I tried the Dexcom and honestly would not every part with it. The sensor is relatively painless about 4 seconds of pain on insertion, and no other pain. (Sometimes people hit nerves and it will hurt but you can just pull it out). And more often than not the number on my dexcom is within 0.2(or within 4 point in the american system) of the number of my glucose meter.
I honestly think this would be a great tool to add to your diabetes management, especially if you are planning on having a baby those hormones can make your sugars do wacky things!
If I had to choose between my dex and my pump it would be hands down keep the Dexcom. Hoping I'm never forced to make that choice!
Everyone has slightly different reasons but the main generic reason is safety. If you get busy and your mind is everywhere but your BG, the cgm is there to remind you with a beep if you go low or high.
My main reason was safety and security as I have wild BG swings. And, even more now, since I live alone, the Dex G4 helps me sleep.
You are on the younger end of the life spectrum but I would think the baby will give you a real reason for the cgm. I think it is highly recommended during pregnancy and afterwords, you want to be available for that baby. He/she will need to depend on you to have a good BG for his/her safety and security!! Of course, plenty of Moms do fine without the cgm so I am not saying it is a requirement--just a good option if you can get it.
Number of times to test BG: It depends on how compulsive you are about it. Some test the same or more with the cgm. I do not. Repeat. I do not. I do my two recommended BGs for the calibration and then 2 to 6 times a day more depending on my need. Occasionally, i have a wild BG day and check lots more. My endo, who just retired, unfortunately, rarely checked his BG but then he was very, very stable. He uses the Dex G4 also.
Finally, cgms are not perfect. They do not correlate perfectly with the meter. Meters are allowed to be off +/- 20% though many now meet the 15% criteria. So, the meter can also be wrong. The company line is that "the cgm provides trends."
Still, most of us who have them, or at least I do, consider them essential.
Best to you.
I've only had my CGM (Dexcom G4 Platinum) for a couple weeks, but I love it. Equally important, my wife loves it and it gives her peace of mind. She travels a lot and I'm often home alone with our 2 daughters. I've been on a pump for 12 years and haven't had an A1c above 5.5 in 7 years, so it took some convincing to get the insurance company to approve a CGM. Like many others who have posted, I would test 12-15 times per day to stay on top of things. Now, I'm down to testing only 3-5 times. The G4 Platinum has only been off more than 10 points 1 time in just under 2 weeks. I'm not sure if that is normal, but it has been extremely accurate for me. From the extensive research I did before getting the CGM it appeared that most agree that the G4 Platinum is at the top of the list in terms of accuracy. For me, the best thing about the CGM is that it can show me where I am headed long before I get there. I'm able to head off a low or a high much sooner than I used to be able to. In terms of pain, I've only inserted 2 sensors, but neither of them were painful at all. I honest didn't feel either of them go in and haven't had any issues with itching or burning either. My only trouble has been getting them to stick to my skin for a week. Good luck.
Try putting tegaderm down first and then placing the G4 through it. Have less issues with skin irritation from the tegaderm and way better adhesion of dex to the tegaderm vs my skin. I can go for 3-4 weeks with out it peeling off.