Starting today

My Dexcom 7 plus arrived an hour ago and is charging up. I’m going to start using it later today. (I think!)
I’m excited but also nervous. I think the alarms are going to go off a lot, especially the high alert as I have been frightened of hypos for 20 years and always run high. Hope it doesn’t drive me bananas.
Never used a CGMS before.

Is it really necessary to wash my hands every time I calibrate, what if I can’t get to a sink?

Also, do I need to use alcohol wipes before inserting a sensor, I’ve never used them for pump sets?

I’m in the UK

Congratulations Dee. You’ll love it. You will learn how to set the alarms so they become useful tools rather than frightful sounds. Take time to read, re-read the manuals and all the posts in TuDiabetes on Dexcom CGMS. I think all your questions have already been asked and answered. I use alcohol to clean any oil from my skin, then a Smith Nephew skin prep wipe (you’ll find it online) before i apply the sensor. The sensors last for 2 weeks for most of us so you want the skin prepared so the adhesive will last that long. The best hint i learned from TuDiabetes users was not to calibrate (enter a BG value) when my BG is rising. That means plan on fasting for the couple of hours before and after you implant your first sensor. If it asks for a calibration BG and you know you’re rising, delay it till you are stable, either hi or low. I found this to be critical for accuracy. Also, anything with Tylenol in it will cause inaccuracies. Be patient and don’t dose based on the Dexcom. Always confirm its reading with your meter. You soon see the trends and be able to fine tune your basal rates. Good luck and share your experiences with us. We all have lots to learn.

Thanks David, I’ll try to remember those tips. My diabetes nurse said that Paracetamol affects the readings, is that the same as Tylenol?

I have just inserted my first sensor, now waiting for the two hour start up period to end so I can calibrate. It should coincide with my pre-dinner reading, so i’ll not have eaten for about 5 hours.

Have set the “high bg” alarm at 12.2 for now (sorry UK units!) - 219 US units.

Should be an interesting evening!!!


Paracetamol = acetaminophen = tylenol. So yes, your nurse was correct that it can affect the readings.
I use a freestyle navigator instead of the Dexcom, but I would agree w/ David that cleaning the skin prior to inserting the sensor is a must if you want it to stick so you can utilize the sensor as long as possible.

Also like David said, read the manual front to back and then read all of the posts you can about your CGM, and you’ll be “a pro” from the first sensor on!

Congrats on getting the system–I think you’ll enjoy it and be able to make improvements to your basal rates, etc, which is obviously a win-win for you. Good luck and please share when you get the chance!

You don’t need to wash your hands before calibrating, just make sure they’re clean. Definitely clean the insertion site thoroughly.

The other advice given here is excellent. Read, read, read and read some more. And share, share, share.

One thing to avoid, though, is ‘chasing’ your meter reading by calibrating frequently just to get the numbers to match between the CGM and meter. The CGM is for watching ups, downs and the speed of changes. The meter is for getting an absolute number. If there’s a 20 point difference, but the trend line on the CGM is solid and legible, don’t sweat the difference in values.

Also - and this is extremely important - don’t put your receiver in the washing machine. I’m just saying. . . .

Good luck,



Congratulations !!!

The Dex will ask you for 2 bg samples after startup. My first 2 bg samples were 96 and 136. This shook me up. I had never doubted my bg meter before. When Dex and bg meter don’t agree during calibration I retest. Many times the second bg sample is much closer to the Dex. I then enter the value that is closer.