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Dexcom G6 – Update

Being a Type I diabetic I often get to do reviews of technology employed to help both Type I and Type II diabetics gain control and safety over their condition.

My focus in this review is on the Type I diabetic. It is a fact that a Type I diabetic must consume some carbohydrates to survive. The KETO diet is possible but must be modified as a low sugar level of 60 and steadily decreasing requires urgent action. There is no way to do this without fast access to glucose and that means the dreaded “carbs”.

However with the Dexcom G6 and it’s ability to set alerts while connected to your smart phone via bluetooth as well as to your friends or loved ones to help you alert to an extreme low or high is priceless and allow you to design your diet accordingly. Add an insulin pump and you are virtually on automatic.

The Dexcom can be purchased with its own monitor, however, using with your smartphone is more convenient and allows alerts to those you choose. Also, not needing monitor can help achieve insurance approval as it greatly lowers the initial startup costs.

The Dexcom is easily inserted in your arm or other convenient area. It takes 2 hours for the Dexcom to work after insertion so timing is critical. Don’t wait until 2 am and then insert one as you will be on your own for two hours and probably sleeping. I plan on a late morning switch out as I am usually in good control of my levels and am alert enough to self monitor and take a manual reading if necessary.

One thing annoying about the Dexcom is the difficulty changing the sensor battery once the sensor is deployed. I find myself trying to second guess if I can go 14 days with current battery or do I up the cost by replacing such battery prematurely. There should be a better way.

Per GoodRx Health and Timothy Aungst, the use of a CGM boils down into four key areas.

  • Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are gaining a lot of attention as a new tool to help people with diabetes track their blood sugar without multiple fingersticks a day.
  • People without diabetes are also using CGMs for overall health or to boost athletic performance, but there’s currently no evidence of long-term benefits for these uses.
  • CGMs can help alert you if your blood sugar is too low and let you know how long you stay in your goal blood sugar range.
  • There are several CGM devices on the market but they differ in how their sensors, transmitters, and receivers work.

What is a CGM

CGM is a new type of blood sugar monitoring machine that works by passively tracking changes in glucose levels. They are called “continuous” because they will check your sugar levels every few minutes and provide dozens of readings each day, compared to only a few SMBG measurements you would get through finger pricks. 

Since blood sugar monitoring is critical in managing diabetes and determining treatment decisions, CGMs can help diabetes providers have more information about how well a person’s diabetes medications are working and if changes need to be made.

by, Sarah Barlow, Field Reporter II, Aimee Janae, Field Reporter I, Richard Berk, Producer