Just wondering if there is anyone out there that uses both!

I’m about to start the OmniPod on Tuesday (I have it, just have to go through “training”) and I have been hearing about this CGM that works well.

It seems the OmniPod is difficult enough to get used to on its own and then throw in a CGM in there and seems to be a lot, but worth it if they work well, especially together.

Problem is, for the OmniPod, you have to test on the PDM it comes with so how would that work?

Any Advice is greatly appreciated!



Here's my two cents.

I use both. I started (Dexcom) CGM about a month before I started using the OmniPod pump. As soon as I saw the demonstration of GCM, I knew that it was for me. I primarily use CGM to warn me when my BG is low because I am hypoglycemic unaware. I am usually in the 40s or 50s before I realize something is wrong.

Before I started the OmniPod pump, I was very out of control (A1C 9-11). I think it was a combination of bad carb counting and my long-acting insulin not covering my basal needs.

Why use CGM?

  • Alerts (low, high, fall, rise) that vibrate and beep. This lets me and my family sleep at night knowing that if I go low, the alert will wake me up so I can treat it and wake up in the morning.
  • Identifying BG fluctuations between meals, especially when sleeping. There are posts on this forum that talk about finding out that the poster had hypoglycemia overnight. The numbers before bed and at waking up were fine, but in between there was hypoglycemia.
  • Identifying what the affect of certain foods are on BG. It is very helpful to see for example, what a slice of pizza or some Chicken and Broccoli does to your BG. I determined that I need to program my OmniPod pump to give my bolus for Chicken and Broccoli over 2 - 3 hours. Otherwise the insulin kicks in before the food and I go hypoglycemic. I treat the hypoglycemia, and then the food kicks in and I go hyperglycemic.

I use the tests from the PDM to calibrate the Dexcom CGM. I have the Seven Plus model and it is "open", meaning that I can use any glucometer to calibrate. I think a prior Dexcom model required calibration with a specific glucometer, but that is no longer the case.

Regarding the difficulty of getting used to, I would suggest that you do not start using both devices at the same time. Also, with your OmniPod, expect some highs and lows until you and your medical team determine the correct settings for the pump. It usually takes a while to determine the correct ratios.

Congratulations on starting the pump. I don’t use an OmniPod, I use an Animas Ping. When I decided to start on an insulin pump, my CDE and Endo also wanted me on a CGM. We decided that the Dexcom 7+ was the best choice. I am insured by BC/BS and they would not pay for me to do both pieces of equipment at the same time. Their requirement was that there be two months between the start of each device. So, I started my pump and then the Dexcom. Once I started the pump, I realized that, for me, they were right. I needed to get use to pumping and settings before starting something else. Good luck. You’re in the right place for information and great support.

Hi Danielle,

My son, Caleb, uses both.

I found getting used to OmniPod to be a little more intensive. There are many variables and for Caleb, he was newly diagnosed so we were still figuring out his insulin sensitivities. Starting DexCom though was more like “plug and play”. There aren’t many variables, though there are some nuances to get used to.

We haven’t found fingersticking with OP and calibrating with DexCom to be an issue. It will be lovely when they are integrated, but I guess not knowing any difference now, it’s not a big deal.

Good luck with both!

Hi Danielle - like Brad i just offer my “two cents”. I was on both, and you definitely dont want to take them both on at the same time. Can make you “numbers crazy”. Also, both devices can be a bit “goofy” at times, and having too many variables would make adjustment impossible. I stopped using the Dex, because of the midnight alarms, which were making me( and my wife) crazy. I tried just making the boundries way out of the possiblity of happening so the alarm wouldnt go off, but I realized that was actually stupid and counterproductive. My bg’s tend to go low in the night, and I had the alarm set to go off at 80, and the upper limit at 200, which was difficult b/c it leaves little room for movement…but that is the point. insnt it? anyway, excuse my rambling, good luck and PEACE.

I also use both. I started the omnipod about 6 weeks prior to the dexcom (gotta love insurance red tape!). I am very happy with them both.

I agree with Lorraine - the OP (actually, any pump) definitely has a learning curve, but the cgm is not difficult at all to figure out!

Side note on the test strips: my previous meter was a one touch mini. I was able to use up all of my old strips in my old meter and manually enter the number into the pdm. I did this BEFORE using the pdm as my meter (so that I wouldn’t be spoiled by knowing anything else and wouldn’t feel like it was a huge burden). Once the old one touch strips were gone, I switched to the Freestyle…oh, and I love that feature!

Lorraine & Kate,
It is interesting that you found the OmniPod to be more challenging than the Dexcom 7+. For me it was the other way around. Even after 2 years with the Dexcom 7+ I still find it challenging. It is an art to figure out when to trust the readout and when not. The OmniPod just works as it should. The difference in perception might stem from the fact that I got the Dexcom 7+ half a year before the OmniPod.

Helmut, you raise some good points. I agree. Once you learn OmniPod, you’re done. It’s not complicated to understand the technology. Our learning curve was more related to therapy. Caleb was newly diagnosed and switching from NPH/Novolog to pump therapy was a rather drastic change. But that is not at all specific to OmniPod, just pumping in general. DexCom is indeed finicky and learning its personality quirks can be an ongoing process. :slight_smile:

I found the dex especially helpful with the basal rates. My basal rate was too high at the beginning which meant that the dex readout was trending down. I reduced the basal rate until the dex readout was flat. I never once got up at night to test my BG. The dex made it fun to determine the rates and ratios. I read in ‘Pumping Insulin’ about the recommended battery of BG tests. It sounded like torture.

lol It does help quite a bit with basal programs. Trying to figure out IC ratios, CFs and basals all at the same time on fingersticks alone I would definite put in the torture category!

Hey Helmut, I find your comment very intersting! I think I have been very “lucky” with my dexcom (rarely get the dreaded ???, only had one fail before a full week, minimal adhesion issues, numbers are within 20 of a fingerstick). I know that this is not true for everyone. For me, I just pop a sensor in and go.

Now, getting the receiver to tell me what I want…that’s another story! But I believe that’s more the omnipod’s job, not the dexcom’s. I also get some strange periods where my absorption at the sites is less than stellar and I haven’t figured out why yet (only been on the pod for 5 months).

I also do not lean heavily on the dexcom. Now don’t get me wrong - I would give up my pump before I gave up my cgm! But, I always treat off of a fingerstick and never rely soley on dex. Helmut, I think I recall you posting that you lean on the dexcom more heavily than that (with great success!). I believe our difference of expectations may be at the root of our difference of opinion?

You are spot-on. Our experience seems to be the same but our expectations differ. I always bolus without testing and typically fingerprick only twice a day for calibration. I observe variances in insulin effectiveness too. I am not sure that it is always related to absorption. I noticed the same patterns when I was on shots. This is the reason why I don’t blame the OmniPod for that.

I recently heard from my trainer that the FDA is working on a trial version of the OmniPod and Dexcom in one. So OmniPod paired up with Dexcom’s 7 and they are working to put out a pump with the CGM in it…something that like.

I will have to wait, due to all of your advice, until I get this omni pod figured out!

Thank you!

I use both and love it. I have had the omni pod for about six years, in the past year I got the Dex. I think the two work very well together. As far as checking on the PDM, it is a breeze. Just insert the strip as if it were any other bg meter and the screen prompts you as to what to do. What I like best is it does all the calculations for you. So, if your BG is high, and your going to eat, it calculates your correction along with the meal time bolous. The dex is helpful as well. I like to see the trends on my dex so I can pinpoint highs and lows and just what caused them. I also like how it alarms when I am going low, this has been a life saver. I think that if you are technically savvy, then it will be easy to use both the dex and the omni pod. I think people may make it seem harder than it is. I use both with ease and love it. Also, there is an omni pod group here, you should join if you have further questions. Good luck!!

Hi Steve~~ Do you use the omnipod still?

I’ve had the Omnipod for about a year now and the Dex for only a few months. I’m currently pregnant and the Dex is great at giving me a snapshot of where to adjust my basals, which foods I need to extend boluses with and how to extend them properly and when my Omnipod is not working properly! I had an occlusion a few weeks ago and had my BG jump from 106 to 360 in just 45 minutes (just eaten breakfast) and the pod had not yet alarmed to alert me that it was no longer delivering insulin but my Dex alarmed like crazy. As long as you view your Dex as a tool and don’t rely on it for it’s accuracy in BG readings than you’ll love it…such an eyeopener!

Wow! I love all the responses, its very helpful! Now that I have been on the OmniPod for a month, I want to look into the Dexcom. I totally have the hang of the OmniPod, I think I’m a fast learner. My doc said if I’m ready for it; go for. Its already very expensive for me as a college student on the OmniPod so I doubt I can afford the Dexcom but we’ll see what the insurance says. I’m paying 30% of the Omnipod, so I’m thinking that will be the same for the Dexcom.

As for adjustment issues; NOW my main concern is college. I made a quick and spontaneous decision a couple weeks ago and I’m not moving half way across the country for college to live in a dorm for the first time (It will be my junior year though). I’m nervous because of a busy lifestyle to start something new ontop of everything else. But maybe I’m thinking the opposite; maybe it will help me keep my BG in check during a hectic lifestyle. Any opinions?