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Continuous Glucose Monitor for Type 1 Diabetes: Dexcom

type 1 diabetes dexcom

Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease characterized by absolute insulin deficiency. It manifests usually as an acute medical emergency in the form of DKA.

Some patients can have symptoms lasting for weeks to months before they are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Patients with Type 1 diabetes are usually younger however older individuals can also develop Type 1 diabetes.

Insulin is the only treatment available to treat Type 1 Diabetes. However, the method of insulin administration may vary.

Newer automatic insulin delivery devices are now available, however, because they are very expensive, they are only available in the developed world.

Since insulin is an injectable medicine, individuals with Type 1 diabetes have to inject insulin into their skin or via automated insulin delivery systems. In addition, they have to check their blood glucose frequently which adds to more needle pricks.

Just like newer insulin delivery systems, continuous glucose monitoring systems are also available nowadays which can check your blood glucose without the need to prick your finger.

They also provide dynamic data that helps in better controlling blood glucose. One such device is Dexcom.

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Dexcom (Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system) for Type 1 Diabetes:

The Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system/device known as a Dexcom continuously monitors your blood sugar levels throughout the day and night.

The dynamic data generated by Dexcom equipment allows you to better control your diabetes and adjust your diabetes medications.

Depending on the CGM model you pick, some continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems allow people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes to get round-the-clock glucose readings with fewer or no finger pricks.

This type of prompt feedback enables patients and healthcare experts to make better-informed treatment decisions that help in lowering A1C levels.

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Dexcom G6: One of the latest CGM for Type 1 Diabetes:

The most recent continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system from Dexcom is called the G6. This CGM device is factory calibrated, thus no finger sticks are necessary, in contrast to earlier models.

Patients aged 2 years and older can use the Dexcom G6. You may effortlessly insert the small, water-resistant Dexcom G6 sensor just below the skin and wear it for 10 days.

The sensor monitors glucose levels precisely. Every 5 minutes, data is sent from the sensor to your compatible smart device or receiver by a transmitter that is placed above the sensor.

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Components of Dexcom G6 CGM:

The Dexcom G6 CGM System consists of the following components;

  • Dexcom G6 sensors
  • Dexcom G6 transmitters
  • A smart device

Glucose sensor:

A glucose sensor is the main component of Dexcom. It is put under the skin to measure your blood glucose levels.

Working of glucose sensors:

A glucose sensor is connected to a transmitter, which wirelessly transmits your glucose data to your CGM system receiver or a compatible smart device.

This allows you to track your glucose highs and lows over time and make more educated decisions about your diabetes care.

How to use it?

Dexcom G6 sensors can be placed on the upper buttocks or the belly. The location of the sensor is crucial, and you should switch up your insertion site for every sensor.

Using the same area too frequently could prevent the skin from healing, leading to scars or skin irritability. Therefore, it is suggested to pick a place according to the following directions;

  • The site must be at least 3 inches away from any injection or infusion set for an insulin pump
  • It should be away from bones, irritants, scars, tattoos, and waistbands
  • Unlikely to be moved while sleeping, pushed, or placed on.

How to operate the device?

To use the Dexcom G6 there is no need for fingerstick or calibrations. Enter a code into your display device when you start a new Dexcom sensor.

When initiating a new sensor, make sure you carefully adhere to each onscreen instruction. The adhesive patch’s back is printed with a unique code for each sensor.

Never make up a code or use a code from another sensor. If the sensor code is lost, you can calibrate the Dexcom G6 with fingersticks.

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There is no need to calibrate if the sensor code was entered during setup. Although it is optional, calibration is not necessary for the system to function.

To avoid calibrations, you must enter the special Dexcom G6 sensor code that is written on the adhesive label of each sensor during the startup phase.

You can calibrate your system using readings from a blood glucose meter and finger sticks manually if you don’t enter a sensor code.

After sensor warm-up, you will be required to calibrate twice before you start getting Dexcom G6 readings.

Then calibrate again at the 12-hour mark and again at the 24-hour mark. Once every 24 hours for the remainder of your 10-day period, you will be prompted to calibrate.

The system either rejected your most recent calibration or your meter value differs significantly from your G6 reading if you receive a calibration notification outside of your regular calibration intervals.

When the G6 alerts you, you must calibrate right away. Use your glucose meter to decide on treatments until you calibrate your G6 because it may not be accurate if you don’t calibrate when advised.

How to Calibrate?

Use your meter to take a finger stick, then enter the reading into your display gadget. It’s critical to perform a finger stick correctly.

Make care to wash and dry your hands completely just before. Also, always use your finger instead of another site.

Sensor code:

You can use the Dexcom G6 CGM System without calibrations or fingersticks by entering a sensor code.

Each sensor has a unique code printed on the back of the adhesive patch, which you must enter when you start a new sensor.

Never make up a code or use a code from another sensor. If you do, your sensor won’t function as well and can show false data. You can calibrate your Dexcom G6 using fingersticks if you misplace the sensor code.

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Benefits of Dexcom CGM for Type 1 Diabetes:

The following are the benefits of using Dexcom for Type 1 diabetes:

  • Real-time and Dynamic Information:

A CGM offers real-time, dynamic information on the speed and direction of your glucose levels, as compared to a single measurement from a blood glucose meter.

  • Better Glycemic Control:

Dexcom usage results in better glycemic control. You can choose your treatments more wisely if you receive constant feedback from a CGM on your food, exercise, and insulin needs.

When compared to using a blood glucose meter alone, this awareness can result in tighter glycemic control.

  • Quick response:

Dexcom responds quickly and proactively. Every few minutes, glucose readings are taken by CGM systems, which also let you set customizable thresholds and receive warnings when your readings stray outside of the desired range.

This implies that you’ll frequently be aware that you’re out of range before you start to experience symptoms, allowing you to take proactive measures.

  • No finger-pricks are required:

To assess glucose levels close to the skin, CGM devices use minuscule sensors.

These sensors are linked to a transmitter, which sends readings wirelessly to a receiver or a suitable smart device. Your reading is always visible with a quick glance.

Therefore, no finger sticks are required.

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What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
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