How Often Should You Test Your Blood Sugar
How often you test your blood sugar depends on which type of diabetes you have, your blood sugar range and what kind of treatment your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will provide guidance on how often you should test it. If you have type 2 diabetes and take insulin to manage it, your doctor may suggest you test your blood sugar two or more times per day, usually before meals and sometimes before you go to bed. If you use noninsulin medications or manage your type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise, you may not need to test it as often.
Comparison To Other Devices
The FreeStyle Libre is referred to as a flash glucose monitoring system. Unlike other CGMs, like the Medtronic Guardian 3 and Dexcom G6, the FreeStyle Libre checks glucose levels every minute rather than every five minutes. It can also be worn for 14 days as opposed to seven days for the Medtronic Guardian 3 or 10 days for the Dexcom G6.
The FreeStyle Libre system does not require fingerprick calibrations. And, because there is no transmitter, the system costs less than other CGMs.
Whereas other CGM sensors can be placed on the belly and buttocks, the FreeStyle Libre is only approved for use on the back of the arm. If placed in other areas, the sensor may not work properly.
A newer CGM called the Eversense system offers continuous 90-day glucose monitoring. But sales of the device were halted in 2020 due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic but also to the fact that the device has to be implanted by a doctor.
Getting Accurate Blood Sugar Readings From Your Dexcom G6
For the first 2 weeks of using the sensor, you should check your childs blood sugar with a glucose meter anytime a high or low alert goes off. This will help ensure you arecomfortable with how the sensor is working.
For lifetime use of the Dexcom G6:
- Always check your childs blood sugar with a fingerstick if their symptoms are not consistent with the Dexcom G6 sensor reading.
- A fingerstick blood glucose meter reading should be used to make insulin dose decisions if the Dexcom G6 is not showing both a glucose reading and a directional arrow.
- Do a fingerstick blood glucose if the CGM reading is not rising 20 minutes after treating a low.
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How Do You Get Gestational Diabetes
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Blood Glucose Testing For Type 1 Diabetes
The 2015 NICE guidelines recommend that people with type 1 diabetes test their blood glucose at least 4 times per day, including before each meal and before bed.
Your doctor should also support you to test more regularly to ensure you test at the following times:
- Before driving and at least once every 2 hours on longer journeys
- Before, during and after exercise
- Testing more regularly during periods of illness
- During pregnancy or breastfeeding or when planning pregnancy
- If you are having regular hypos
- If you have an impaired ability to spot hypo symptoms
- If you are not achieving the target HbA1c of 48 mmol/mol
- If taking part in high-risk activities
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Need Additional Help With Your Dexcom G6 Contact Dexcom Care
The Dexcom CARE team of trainers and certified diabetes educators are available tohelp you learn more about your childs Dexcom CGM system. They provide live, interactive support as you discover the value of CGM. They can provide advanced learning education at your convenience.
You can call them using their toll-free phone number: . They are available to assist you Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST.
Do you still have questions about your childs Dexcom G6? Contact the diabetes team at Childrens Diabetes Center, Childrens Hospital & Medical Center at for more information about managing your childs blood sugar levels with Dexcom.
Are Dexcom G6 Readings Accurate
The accuracy of the Dexcom G6 has been extensively studied. Based on the findings, we may say the device is one of the most accurate systems currently available.
For example, a 2021 study concludes that the Dexcom G6 CGM is a dependable tool for hospital use in people with diabetes.
Likewise, another 2021 study on children after surgery to remove the pancreas notes that the device produces clinically acceptable values to make reliable clinical decisions. The Dexcom G6 system has also been shown to increase users time in range by 15% compared to non-users.
CGMs use a data metric called mean absolute relative difference . Lower MARD values indicate higher accuracy. Generally, CGMs with MARDs below 10% are considered accurate.
According to Dexcom, the G6 has an overall . For reference, Abbott FreeStyle Libre has a .
Interested in finding out how else the Dexcom G6 fares against the Abbott FreeStyle Libre? Then check out this in-depth comparison article.
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How Do I Check My Blood Glucose Level Why Is This Important
Checking your blood glucose level is important because the results help guide decisions about what to eat, your physical activity and any needed medication and insulin adjustments or additions.
The most common way to check your blood glucose level is with a blood glucose meter. With this test, you prick the side of your finger, apply the drop of blood to a test strip, insert the strip into the meter and the meter will show your glucose level at that moment in time. Your healthcare provider will tell you how often youll need to check your glucose level.
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How Long Does The Dexcom G6 Device Last
You can wear the Dexcom G6 CGM on your body for up to 10 days before needing to replace the sensor. However, you may lose the Bluetooth data signal at times.
The sensor can also fail early before that 10-day wear time is finished.
The Dexcom G6 uses a separate transmitter that clicks into each sensor on your body, and the transmitter lasts for 90 days.
Can I Stop Taking Your Blood Sugars If They Are Consistently Normal
Some people do that and they stopped checking their blood sugars. And the next thing they know that theyre in the 200s again. You dont want to do that either. So dont be too obsessed, but also dont be too loose. Just find a middle ground. Yet I would suggest that break the habit if youre checking it every morning and if it is every morning 120 just stop it. Because its not changing. Youre not really discovering anything new. Then your diet is not changing. When you check it at different times a couple of times a week will give you a general idea overall.
Freestyle Libre 2 By Abbott
The Freestyle Libre 2 by Abbott offers 14-day wearable tracking for adults and children as young as 4 years of age. It also features optional glucose alarms to let users know when their glucose levels are too high or too low.
The device allows users to:
- scan through their clothing
- monitor individual glucose trends
- access their glucose levels via the dedicated reader or their mobile device.
According to the manufacturer of the product, the Freestyle Libre 2 has a MARD of 9.3%.
Remote Monitoring Offers More Peace Of Mind
Remote monitoring allows families, loved ones, and caregivers to stay on top of glucose levels from anywhere. For instance, if your child is away on a school trip, you can easily check up on their glucose levels day or night. Or, if your loved one is prone to unexpected highs or lows while they sleep, you can receive an alert and be able to reach out with support as needed. Stay informed of your loved ones glucose levels to help manage their diabetes by learning more about remote monitoring with Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring systems.
Dexcom G6 has a companion Dexcom Follow app which allows up to ten followers to remotely monitor your glucose readings and trends on their smart device. A recent study showed that 89 percent of adult Dexcom users who shared their glucose data with followers reported that the feature had helped give them greater peace of mind and improved their hypoglycemia confidence.11 Similarly, studies have shown that remote monitoring can be especially important for parents of children with diabetes as it allows them to rest easier knowing they can proactively manage serious low glucose levels.12
How Do I Use My Childs Dexcom G6
The guidelines below will help you use your childs Dexcom G6 in order to make decisions about their insulin dosing using the current glucose values and how they are changing. Youll do this by looking at the current glucose value, the direction of the arrows, and the number of arrows that are displayed on the Dexcom G6.
To use your Dexcom G6 for insulin dosing, do the following:
- You can calibrate using a fingerstick blood glucose to ensure the accuracy of the sensor, but this is not required
- Look at the current glucose on the Dexcom G6
- Look at the arrows, which indicate glucose rate of change
- Determine what the expected blood sugar is based on the arrows and the current reading
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Dont Forget To Change To A New Site With Every Sensor Session
Remove any residue from past sensors with alcohol wipes or with an adhesive remover such as Unisolve, Detachol or Tac Away. It may take time for the patch to fully dry and stick since skin types vary. During that time, keep your skin dry and avoid engaging in activities that may make you sweat.If you insert a new sensor before bed, ensure the warmup period is complete before going to sleep.
The G6 System Requires A Prescription And Cost Varies By Insurance
It is hard to say how much the G6 system will cost you, as it will vary under different insurance plans. Dexcom also accepts out-of-pocket payments, and while the company hasn’t revealed the price yet, my G5 costs around $800 up front plus $35 for each sensor, so you can expect to spend a couple thousand dollars a year total.
But I think the benefit of having one outweighs the cost.
Being able to peer inside your body and know what your blood sugar is 24/7 is amazing feature, and this device allows me to do it more discreetly and with fewer finger pricks. It’s the best CGM I’ve ever tried and I think that you’ll like it too. All this being said â if your glucose alerts and readings from the G6 do not match symptoms or expectations, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions. The Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System will be available in June 2018.
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How Accurate Is The Dexcom G6
The standard measurement of CGM performance is known as the mean absolute relative difference . With this measure, the lower the number, the better the accuracy.
Clinical data for the Dexcom G6 shows it has a MARD of 9 percent with sustained accuracy over the time a sensor is worn. That puts it ahead of all its direct competitors.
However, individual users experiences may vary. Many people who have used both the Dexcom G6 and Abbott FreeStyle Libre 2 report comparable accuracy.
Can Diabetes Cause Hearing Loss
Scientists dont have firm answers yet but there appears to be a correlation between hearing loss and diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, a recent study found that hearing loss was twice as common in people with diabetes versus those who didnt have diabetes. Also, the rate of hearing loss in people with prediabetes was 30% higher compared with those who had normal blood glucose levels. Scientists think diabetes damages the blood vessels in the inner ear, but more research is needed.
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Use A Reliable Meter With High Accuracy
If the meter is more than 2 years old, consider replacing the meter.
- Do not calibrate more frequently than twice per day for a no code session, or once in the initial 24-hour period of a code session.
- Do not calibrate unless the CGM trend arrow is horizontal. BG values are generally more stable before meals. Avoid calibrating right after meals.
- Do not calibrate during recovery from hypoglycemia.
How Often Should I Be Tested For Prediabetes
Your healthcare provider will test for prediabetes using a hemoglobin A1c test, a blood test that measures your average blood glucose level over the last three months. If you fall into the prediabetes range of 5.8% to 6.4%, you will be tested every year. If your blood glucose levels are in the normal range, it is reasonable to be checked every 3 years. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every 1-2 years after your diagnosis. Continue Learning about Prediabetes Videos Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.Continue reading > >
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How The Freestyle Libre Works
The FreeStyle Libre system provides real-time glucose readings every minute, 24 hours a day. There are two systems to choose from:
- Freestyle Libre 14-day system
- Freestyle Libre 2 system
The FreeStyle Libre is a newer-generation CGM that doesn’t require a bulky transmitter. Instead, a small, water-resistant sensor with a tiny probe is placed on the back of the arm using the provided applicator.
The FreeStyle Libre tests the fluid in the space around cells, which is just as effective for glucose monitoring as blood from capillaries .
One hour after applying the sensor, the system is ready to go. The sensor takes a glucose reading every 60 seconds. A separate reader device remotely captures and records the readings on demand. You can then view the results individually or see how glucose levels trend over time.
To get a reading, place the reader within 1.5 inches from the sensor. You can scan the sensor as often as you’d like, but it is recommended that you perform a scan at least once every eight hours. .
The sensor can be worn for up to 14 days and store 90 days’ worth of results. After 14 days, the sensor stops working and needs to be replaced.
Where Can I Test My Blood Sugar Besides My Finger
The finger is the most reliable area for a person to test their blood sugar. However, some monitors may allow for alternate site testing. These alternate sites may include the palm, upper forearm, abdomen, calf, and thigh.
A person should always check the instructions on their blood glucose monitor to check if this is possible before performing alternate site testing.
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When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels
The number of times you should test your blood sugar levels each day and when will depend on lots of different things. It might even change from day to day. In general, most people with diabetes test their blood sugar levels before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner, and again at bedtime.
You may need to check blood sugar levels more often when youre sick or when changes have been made to your medication doses or schedule. You also may need to check more often if you suddenly become more active, like after you join a sports team at school.
People who use an insulin pump or who follow a plan to control blood sugar levels very closely also need to check their blood sugar levels more often. Your diabetes health care team will help you decide how often and when you should check.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels must be checked in the middle of the night for instance, by people who are having problems with hypoglycemia symptoms during the night. And those who have just been diagnosed with diabetes may need more frequent blood sugar level tests to get a feel for how certain doses of insulin or other diabetes medicines affect their blood sugar levels.