Enlite Sensor woes

So, I have been using the Enlite sensors for about 5 weeks now. I am so frustrated I could scream. I don't know if I am doing something wrong..or if I am just not "sensor compatible". the first sensor worked fabulously- it was within range the whole 6 days, and I was absolutely loving it. 2nd sensor, by day 2 was giving me Lost Sensor and Cal Error's ALL NIGHT LONG. I would turn the sensor off, wait a while, turn back on and STILL terrible. I called Minimed and the shipped out a new sensor and told me that if the wire bends too much that it will cause them not to work, so I needed to make sure I wore it in an area where where it wouldn't get kinked or bent... That's all great, but the problem is, I am trying to lose weight, and I also have taken up studying martial arts. My ABS are moving CONSTANTLY. Medtronic only reccomends your stomach and close to your hips... 3rd sensor, no errors, except it was not accurate at all. I calibarate the sensors 3-4 times a day, and still..it woudl tell me I was low when I was 140. It would tell me I was 104 after a high carb meal, when I was actually 190. 4th sensor... Error, Error Error. pulled it out, and it was a little bit bent, but not bad. 5th sensor- 24 hours in, I was getting great readings, then all of a sudden BAM, lost sensor... reconnecting never helped- pulled it out, and the thing is straight as an arrow... Am I misssing something? does anyone put their Enlite sensors somewhere else besides their stomach and get great results?
am I doomed with the whole sensor thing?

Sorry you are having troubles with the Enlite sensors. I only have experience with the G4 sensors and have found the most accurate, comfortable place for me is on my upper thigh. I have also worn them on my arms and love handles. My current sensor is on day 12 without any loss of accuracy or communication errors. Is the Enlite system incorporated with your pump ? You may not be doomed to the whole sensor thing, maybe the Enlite ones are not right for you ? For the record - Dexcom also only recommends wearing the sensor horizontally on your abdomen but I have only used my abdomen twice since getting the G4 in November 2012. I find it a lot more accurate and long lasting in other locations.

Thanks so much for your insight! I will try using my legs and other areas instead of my abdomen.. hopefully that works. :)

You are not doing something wrong. It is the sensor that is not working right. Can you get one of the Medtronic nurses in your area to come to your house and work with you. If not, do you have a diabetes nurse. They often have insights about the sensors because they work with lots of patients. I share your frustration about what places in your body work the best. Basically, the sensor works best if you lie flat, don't move, don't wear clothes, don't stay in water too long, etc., etc. I realize there are still some kinks to work out, but it is so frustrating to get this expensive piece of robotic equipment and get so many errors. Do keep calling Medtronic so the company knows about these problems and do insist that they send you replacements for the ones that you have to pull out because of inaccuracies. GOOD LUCK. Keep up the fight.


I am curious about your choice of body sites. I have to ask a personal question, first. Are you slender? I ask because I do not have much body fat anywhere except my abdomen where there is more tissue available. I would like to try the thighs and arms, though. By thigh, do you mean the front of the thigh below your panty line? By arms--where on the arms? On the love handles, do you mean the stuff above your belt line? If so, isn't it difficult to bend around to get to those areas? I KNOW these are probably stupid questions, but I hope you can help me identify more sites for the sensors. Thanks.

Hi Donna, I am 5' 7" tall and 137 pounds. So I guess I would say I'm slender, and I too do not have a lot of fat.
By thigh I mean upper thigh towards the outside. If I put my hand in my jeans pocket I can just feel the top of the sensor. On my arms I put it vertically just like the girl in this video I put mine a little bit higher on my arm than she does but I haven't worn an arm site in a very long time since starting an Omnipod pump.
If I really want to put the sensor on my love handles - above the belt line, I ask my husband to give me a hand. But lately 9 times out of 10 I have the sensor on my thighs.

I always used my thighs for the sof sensors. Like Clare, if I put my hand in my pocket I could feel the sensor. It was always more towards the middle than the outer thigh. However, I find that the enlites work best in my abdomen. The sof sensors never worked well there.
One thing I found about the enlites - they work best if you do not cover them with extra tape. I use two of the tapes that come with the enlites. The first goes on the sensor as described in the insertion instructions. The second gets cut in half. The first half goes over the sensor but covering more skin so it secures it better. the other half goes over the tape close to where the end of the transmitter will sit. this helps hold down the tape and keeps the transmitter from being lifted up.

I feel your frustration. I don't have alot of experience with them, because I only used the sample box that came with my pump package. I did however find them finicky and it was extremely helpful to have training from my nurse and Medtronic rep. Being well hydrated was a good tip for me. I felt like it was something that would take some getting used with a little trial and error (too bad the sensors are so darn expensive). I hope you can get them working for you.

Ah, I'm going through the exact same thing right now! I'm on week 4 of my sensor and I've had NOTHING BUT Trouble!! I was using the Sof Sensor for almost 3 years so the fact the Enlite isn't working is super frustrating. Medtronic wasn't helpful at all. They told me only to use my tummy and avoid scar tissue but I've got a lot of scar tissue on my stomach since I've been using a pump for 18 years (and only ever used my stomach for infusion sets). I need somewhere new to put the sensor. Did you ever experiment with a new spot? I'm thinking arm?

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Kokoro, It sounds as though you are experiencing many of the same problems I had when I first began using the Enlite. I am now on my 6th month and things are usually much better. Some things I have noticed that might apply to your situation, especially with the stomach sticks. I, too, have less success with that area because I am active and found it moved more. A Medtronic rep (a woman) said I should put it in a radius 3" away from my belly button so I moved the sensor above to my trunk area, although not always 3" away. I ALWAYS put on extra tape using the tape they send. I put a diagonal tape across the bottom and top, but never over the transmitter. That seems to anchor it better. You could experiment with other tapes to anchor it better. Also, I try to calibrate ONLY if my glucose readings are in the 70-175 max. If I am out of that range, my readings don't seem to reflect my glucometer readings. Now, I often have synchronized readings in the 10-15 pt. range, which I think is great. On those days, I do not worry as much about having hypoglycemia. I always call Medtronic help line, if my sensor gives out before the 6-day limit. Even though I have to listen to the programmed litany of "shoulds and should nots", they send me a replacement sensor. SO CALL Them and report the problem so they will have a record and, hopefully, make improvements over time. It WILL get better. Hang in there.


I agree that we need to just keep calling in these issues, even though it takes time on our part and is probably annoying for them to have to keep sending replacements. CGM is still an experimental technology and we have a long way to go for everyone to be able to reliably use it week to week, so this feedback should be helpful for them. I’ve heard some say that Dexcom is better, but I’ve heard the opposite as well. Bottom line is I tried Dexcom years ago and hated shlepping two devices around, so it’s Enlite or nothing for me. The race is on between these companies to work out the kinks (no pun intended) in this system!

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I’m having awesome luck with accuracy and nice ISIG’s wearing Enlites in my arm. I can go well past 6 days with them with the ISIGs remaining, for example, above 25 for an SG of 100. When I get high (rare) the sensor follows the true bg reading right up with ISIG’s in the high 40’s+. I don’t have good luck with abdomen placements.

at the moment, SG is 85 and ISIG is 21.60. how cool is that! :slight_smile: