Do you check your blood more while hooked up to CGM?

Hey, I have been on a MM CGM since the middle of May and have become slightly obsessed with checking my blood. I know checking my blood more often is not in itself a bad thing, but sometimes I feel like it is not necessary. Sometimes it is, like when I am making sure my blood sugar is stable for a calibration. But on top of that I am constantly looking at my sensor readings and checking my blood to see if it is accurate. It is frustrating because I feel that if I wasn’t using a CGM and checked my blood every hour I would greatly improve my A1c and not spend all the extra time and money on the CGM.

Anyone else do this? Any tips on how I can not be so caught up in checking my blood? Or is checking my blood this much even though I’m on the CGM okay?

You do not need to check it so often. I have a feeling though this will wear off around August when you start to ‘trust’ the CGMS a bit more. I mainly check about the same amount as when I did not have a CGMS, but if I get alarms from CGMS, I do confirm with a finger stick check. When I first got mine a little over a year ago, I did check more. Marveling at the new gizmockus on my ab.

Also, remember the two results (CGMS and meter) will occasionally be together, but the CGMS result is from u to five minutes before your finger stick. It is also from interstitial fluid and not from direct capillary blood.

The CGMS is best for seeing trends (Are you on the way up or down type of thing) but is not alone advised for dosing/eating decisions. You’ll become more ‘trusting’ of the CGMS as time goes on.

I still check 12+ times a day with the CGMS. I thought I would test less too but I find that my control is better if I use both tools together. I no longer wake up at 2am or 3am to test, so that is progress! I still don’t trust the CGMS enough to test less. Sometimes it is perfectly on for days and then it is WAY off. My plan is to start to cutting back on post pradinal tests soon. If I cut post pradinals, I will test 3 to 4 times less a day. So you are not weird with testing like crazy, sounds like you just like to be sure where your BG is, like me.

I test less (only for calibration or if I feel different from the CGM reading) but I check more often. I find myself looking at my CGM readings even if I’m not thinking about my BG. But unless my sensor looks like it’s going bad, I only test for calibration purposes.

Thank you! I’m still working out a lot of trust issues with this thing, and I have cut back on my night time testing. As I understand this machine better, I think I’ll cut down my testings. Some days are better than others. It is just frustrating not knowing if I’m nuts or not. :slight_smile:

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who checks even more now (LOL!) The first day I got hooked up to Dexcom Seven Plus, I checked with a glucometer 18 times (that’s one day only). I sometimes check with 3 different fingers on glucometer in one sitting (within 7 minutes time) as I’m finding each of my fingers give different levels (the pinky fingers are usually the lowest blood glucose compared to the other fingers) and that’s even after washing my hands with soap and water! I guess I still test at least 7 times a day but there are some days were I go kinda overboard testing with a glucometer to make sure my Dexcom sensor is working right.

Another reason for my insanity over testing is that I sometimes don’t feel a certain level that Dexcom is saying that I am. Dexcom will give a number and I’ll think… NO WAY! How can I be at that level? I don’t feel like that.

I don’t have my own CGM yet but I did a Medtronic Guardian Trial at the beginning of this month for 3 days. My sugar checks went from an average of 5-6 times a day to an average of 14 times a day for those 3 days. One day I had 20 glucose readings on my meter! That said I assume that this was because 1) I was new to the CGM, 2) I was at a conference and my food and activity levels were different, and 3) Because I really wanted to know how reliable the CGM was. But I can say that my checks definitely went up significantly for the limited time I was on CGM.

When you first started using the CGM did you test more until you got used to it? Then tested less?

Yes, at first I went crazy with the testing to see how accurate the CGM was. In my case the first couple of sensors were so accurate that I didn’t even believe the literature saying it could be up to 20% off. If my meter said 120 my CGM said anything from 119 to 121. That’s when I decided to test less, but check more often. During the “dying” days of my sensor I will start testing more often again.

At first I tested more with the CGM but that’s because I made the mistake of trying to get the numbers to match all the time. Now that I’ve learned to read it properly - for trends, as Jenny points out - I only take a finger stick when I’m ready to eat or when it looks like I need a correction. That means six or seven a day.


Same here. I test on average 9 times per day with my CGM, even though the number usually matches. Any time I am going to eat or take insulin, I test. I use the CGM to catch rises, falls, and trends. I don’t use it for bolusing, ever.

Before I got the dex I tested 10 times a day and always felt that it was not enough. A lot can happen in half an hour. I always worried about how to space the 10 tests over the 24 hour period. I missed pretty bad highs because I guessed my bg in order to save a strip. When I got the dex 6 weeks ago my main goal of testing was to see how accurate the dex was. On my very first calibration I was asked to test twice. I thought “Nonsense, BG meters are so good, let me just enter the same value twice and save a strip.”. But then I realized that because of the dex I would need less strips and decided to follow the ‘stupid’ procedure. What an awakening! The 1st test was 134, the 2nd 96. This was the first time that I realized that I cannot trust my BG meter. I switched BG meters just in case but the results with the new meter are no better. When I now calibrate the dex and there is a big difference between the dex and the BG meter I retest and often find that the 2nd test is much closer to the dex. I am a little unnerved by that. These days I use an average of about 5 strips a day. I wish the dex would keep count of how often I use it to check my bg. I guess 50-100 times a day. I don’t see a downside to this obsession. Since I am on shots I am not as dependent on the accuracy. Going through my low alarm at 80 means “Eat”. Going through my high alarm at 120 means “You ate too much, eat less the next time around.” I try to avoid corrections since I am very bad at that game and almost always end up on a roller coaster.

I’m wondering how it is that so many folks have such great accuracy with the CGM. Melissa, it seems like you don’t rely on it, or certainly use it for “clinical decision making”, but mine is not generally that precise. Am I doing something wrong with insertion or calibration? (BTW, which CGM are you using?)

I have read many accounts of MM CGM users who switched to Nav or Dex and were delighted by the accuracy of these CGMs. This is not to say that the MM CGM does not work for anybody. There are also many happy MM CGM users out there. Consider test-driving the other CGMs.

Thank you everyone for your input. It has put my mind at ease about how often I test. I now test around 8-10 times per day as opposed to around 15. I finally got my first A1c since being on the MM CGM and I went from a 7.5 on May 13 to a 6.3 on Aug 13!!! :slight_smile: This partly has to do with a greater number of lows I have had since, but still, a great improvement. I have finally (for the most part…) figured out how to make the MM CGM work for me nearly as well as I would want it to. But despite this I am seriously considering giving the Dex 7 a test run. I have heard much better things about the Dex results. Does anyone know how I can test out the Dex? Do I have to go through my endo? Or just call Dex and figure something out?

Dexcom has a 30 day money back guarantee but as far as I know no free trials.

I’ve been thinking about the Dex, as well, so it’s a point well taken… any thoughts on how insurance companies respond to folks saying, “thanks for footing the bill on this expensive tool. now I want a different one.” ?

My doctor set up a free Dexcom trial for me. Have them contact the area representative.