Sensors

Learn How Sensors Have Improved


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“It helps me enjoy the sport more, be more confident, and go to cool places.there are some costs, but there's also a whole lot of gain for me. It helps me live and do more of the things that I want to.”


Dan
Motorcyclist, Outdoorsman, Software Nerd


HOW SENSORS HAVE CHANGED

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Fewer Finger Sticks

Freestyle Libre and Dexcom do not require fingersticks. But it is still good to have backup.

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Connected

There are about 4 systems that allow sensors to connect to pumps in order to adjust insulin.

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Improved Insertion

All 4 available CGMs have new and improved inserters that many say are less painful and last longer!


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WHAT OPTIONS ARE OUT THERE?

Currently there are 4 options for CGMs. They have all significantly improved in the last few years - they have gotten smaller, more accurate and you can customize the alarms that are right for you.

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Dexcom G6
Released June 2018

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Medtronic Guardian
Released March 2018

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Abbott Freestyle Libre
Released October 2017

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Eversense
Released June 2018


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I customize the alerts and alarms?

Yes, you can!

For CGMs by Dexcom or Medtronic, you can customize the alerts to go off when you are high or low. You can also have those alerts shared with friends and family. If you find the alerts to be too bothersome, you can turn them all off and just check your phone when you want to find out your BG.

“When CGM became available, I tried early generations but was frustrated with their inaccuracy and the disruption of all the alarms. So, I only wore them occasionally. The new one that just became available in the US is highly accurate and does not alarm, so I love it. I wear it 24-7.”

Julie


Do I still need to prick my finger?

You don’t have to (but you might want to)

While it’s important to have your meter onhand for backup purposes, using a fingerstick-free CGM like the Dexcom or Abbott Libre gives you the freedom to go without a meter on occasion. It’s still good to keep a meter and double check if what you’re feeling doesn’t match up with the reading on your sensor.

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How much will it cost? Does my insurance cover it?

CGMs are cheaper than they used to be

All of us with diabetes wish it wasn’t so expensive to take care of diabetes. Some sensors are cheaper than others and if you have insurance, there is a very good chance it is covered. In the How to Get a Sensor Guide there is a section about cost and insurance that has some helpful tips and info.

“YOUR HEALTH AND WELL BEING AND QUALITY OF LIFE IS PRICELESS SO IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT, IT IS WORTH IT”

Georgi


Which one is right for me?

It depends.

The CGM that is right for you depends on where you want to put it on your body, whether you want alerts when you are going too low or too high, and weather you want it to communicate with an insulin pump. For example, if you do not feel your lows or want an alert that tells you when you’re low (or will be soon), then choose one with alerts (Dexcom or Medtronic). If you do not need alerts and can feel your lows, try the Abbott Libre. Our device comparison and check-up questions can help you decide what is right for you.

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WISDOM FROM OTHERS WHO USE CGMs


PROS

Almost fingerstick-free
Two of the three sensors available don’t require finger sticks! You still want to have a meter with you, in case, but you won’t need it hardly as much.

Prevent lows and highs before they happen

A CGM shows you which direction your blood sugar is headed and how fast. Some types will alarm during the day or night to help alert you when you have a low or high blood sugar.

Notice Patterns and Adjust Insulin Having sensor data gives you the ability to see patterns that happen over time. You can look at it with your doctor to adjust insulin, food and exercise routines.

CONS

Alerts and alarms
Some people get overwhelmed with too many alerts sounding from their devices. You can tailor them to fit your needs and wants, or turn them off entirely (except the emergency low alarm).

Attachment to devices
Wearing a CGM means you will have a device on your body at all times. They’re all waterproof and very durable. Some CGMs have receivers, and others can be linked to a smartphone, which can reduce the number of devices you have to carry!


ROUTINE

The work required to maintain a sensor day-to-day is a lot less hassle and pain than checking with a meter.

Daily

Look at your numbers when you want to or need to. If your sensor needs a fingerstick to calibrate it - that happens 2 times per day.
It is best to calibrate in the morning or when your blood sugar is not rising or falling quickly.

Weekly

Change Sensor
This is something you have to do every week, 10 days, or 2 weeks depending on your CGM system. There are also some tips and tricks that might help them last even longer..

3 Months

Order new Sensor Pack
The number of sensors you receive will depend on your CGM system and insurance coverage. But remember, if one rips off or gets damaged before it is supposed to be done, call to get a replacement.

6 Months

Order new Transmitter
The transmitter runs out of battery after a certain amount of time.