New to group and looking for CGM information

I am new to your forum and am hoping to get information about CGMs. I currently use a Minimed 722 pump (about 4+ years now) and am looking to get a CGM. I don’t know which one to get nor really how to make the decision. I want to improve my A1c as well as address my increasing hypo-unawareness. This past year I have lost some weight and hope to continue in the coming year. But I find that I am having trouble keeping my basals set properly for my decreased caloric intake and am then required to eat empty calories of candy etc to being myself up from a hypo event. Any suggestions you CGM users can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. And a very Happy New Year to all!

Hi. I got the guardian cgm for hypo unawareness. I personally don’t like it. 1. my numbers are way off. Usually at least 70 off so when I alarmed, I wasn’t really low. Maybe I didn’t have a very good teacher for it. 2. It leaves horrible scar tissue. Not really horrible, but I have bright red dots. Because of the scar tissue I only wore it on my leg since my arms and tummy are for my pods. So, I paid for it, but don’t use it. It irritates me a little that I wasted the money, but you never know unless you try. The diabetic center didn’t have anything but that kind. I heard the dexcom had smaller inserter needles. If you can, I would see if you could just try one out first. The place where I got mine from said I could have rented it for a week, but I opted to just buy it. Good luck to you!

Thanks for sharing your experience Antonia. It was very helpful!

I have used the Minimed CGM and (most recently) DexCom. I’ve found DexCom to be far superior to Minimed in all ways (accuracy, comfort, etc.). My abdomen is now completely useless for pump and CGM sites because of the scarring I got from the MM CGM. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

I also have hypo-unawareness, and the use of a CGM has saved me too many times to count. I’ve also lowered my A1c to 6.1% from 8%.

I know that some folks here like the Navigator, but since I’ve never used it, I can’t really say how well it works.

That’s really good to know, Shannon. Thank you so much for telling me about your experience. After doing research for the past several weeks…and intensely for the past few days…I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a Dexcom. All around it sounds like a better device and will fit my life better. (e.g.: I swim and need something I can wear in the water.)

Thanks again!

I’m new to my Dexcom, but I love it already. My first sensor lasted 3 weeks (and may have lasted longer but I elected to remove it at that point) and left only a small red dot that is healing very nicely at one week. My second sensor is in now, both were painless to insert in my tummy and painless to wear. The adhesive is wearing well, although I did buy some mastisol to keep my first sensor taped down as necessary. One downside is I can’t seem to get very far away from it, but I’m working around the issue and staying close.

I’m catching more lows than I knew I had, and I’m getting a little better at heading off my highs sooner. I’m hoping for an improvement in my A1c eventually.

I did a 6 day trial with the MM CGMS (I also use the MM722 pump) and I found it to be very accurate. I was warned to not calibrate too much and with just calibrating twice a day, it was accurate for me for 5 days- I have never tried another CGMS. I highly recommend getting a trial before buying one.

Good luck!

Thank you for that information, Heather: it was very helpful. I seem to recall recetnly seeing prices for bothe sensors and the device itself that were lower than I am now seeing: did they recetnly hike their prices? I guess with 2-3 weeks of useful life on the sensor, the prices aren’t quite as prohibitive as they sound, but they are pricey and I’m self-pay.

Thanks again for your comments!

Thanks, Kristin. Good advice to try before I buy! Do you recall: did you get your trial unit directly from Minimed or someplace else? Someone else suggested this to me and I’m going to follow up on it this week…but I’m not sure who to contact. I’d love to try the Minimed for a week and then the Dexcom for a week…

Thanks again!

Over calibration can kill the accuracy on the MM system. The Paradigm system is much more accurate than the Gardian.

The MM sensors can be worn in your arm and there they don’t leave a scar. The problem I had in the stomach was that the sensor moved around in the skin because of the flexing in the stomach area. The arm with the appropriate adhesion is working great for me.

If you calibrate the MM CGM when your BG is rising or falling rapidly the system will not be accurate and will not be close in number. All CGM have software that estimate where the BG is at in addition to calculating the BG under the skin and comparing it to the BG entered as part of calibrating. The MM system need stable to BG during the initial calibration to work properly. Also, the software in the MM gets confused when the BG entered and the interstitial sugar are not aligning to often during the 24 hours in the day. Three BGs a day for the CGM work pretty well for me.

It seems from what I’ve read here that some people get their trials through their endos…However, if you’re endo doesn’t particpate in that kind of thing…I’m not sure what you’d do… It might help to just contact the pump company themself…since they’re the ones most interested in getting you as a customer. If they don’t loan it out…they should be able to tell you where to go.
Also if you search the threads here there are several discussions about different cgm systems and people’s personal experiences (things beyond accuracy like how it feels/ does it stay attached) which can help you in deciding which system to go with.

Let me add my voice to those who recommend Dexcom. I have been using Dex since December 2006 and would not want to be without it. I usually get more than 14 days out of each sensor and as I have stated before on this forum I think the Dex customer support is fantabulous.

Thanks for your note. It’s now looking that IF I get a CGM, it will have to be the Minimed one…and I still have several make or break questions the need answers before I move forward on this. I just recently learned that the Dexcom annot be used/calibrated if you take any medications containing acetaminophen…which I do daily. Do you happen to know if that’s an issue for the MM CGM? Also, can you wear you MM CGM and swim?

Thanks again for you help. It is very much appreciated!

I was really leaning toward the Dexcom until I learned that it cannot be calibrated if you have any acetominaphen in your system. Since I take meds that contain acetominaphen daily…it seems to rule out the Dexcom. I’m disappointed but pleased I found out before I purchased one! I will concur: the support I received while doing my research has been excellent. I have had really good luck with MM so far with my pump (~5 years) so I’m not concerned about their level of support…but Dexcom seemed to be quite good. Thanks for your note!

Sorry I seemed to have missed your note. I asked the Dexcom rep if I could try a CGM before buying and she basically said no. She said they had a 30 day money back guarantee and that was how they wanted people to try their unit. I was disappointed to say the least. My endo is going to get me a MM to try so I will be able to give that one a week-- or more --run. As I have mentioned to others here, the Dexcom is out for me for other reasons, but I didn’t know that when the rep said no to a trial. Didn’t seem right to me…but supposedly that’s their policy. Seems counterproductive since this is not an insignificant out of pocket investment …but it’s their unit so they get to make the rules. :wink:

I just finshed using the MM CGM and when I say finished, I mean it. I hated it. I followed every instruction to the letter and it was never accurate. I am also Hypo Unaware and I drop very quickly (Sometimes, like last night, I dropped 200 in 3 hours). The CGM just couldn’t keep up.

Ok, that’s not good to hear. I, too, am hypo unaware and drop quickly at times. I suppose any of us do at some point. Are you giving up on CGM’s entirely or are you going to try something else? If you’re not going to use another, what are you going to do? Just keep testing frequently?

Sorry just saw your reply.

My situation is a bit different because I live in Hungary and I go to the Medtronic in office to pick up my supplies. Here we work very closely with a representative from Medtronic (not sure how true that is in the USA). So I got a free sensor from my representative here and she lent me a transmitter. Here there is NO insurance support for CGMS. So their policy about trials might be different.

But when I did live in the USA, I got a free three day trial of a CGMS through my endo’s office, but a Medtronic representative actually came to the office to meet me there. This was before I was on the Medtronic pump. So I was trying with the Guardian and it was not wireless. Perhaps you can get a trial even with an older model that uses the same technology.

Another unrelated point, is that the CGMS is delayed 15 minutes. When I say that it is accurate, that means that when I take into account this delay it was accurate. This information is still very, very useful. But I think that if you have the expectation for it to read precisely to the minute (especially when your blood sugar is changing rapidly), you will be disappointed.