The latest continuous glucose monitoring system from Dexcom makes a bold promise: accurate blood sugar readings without calibration or fingersticks. That sounds wonderful… but does it deliver?
To find out, we sought advice from the reigning diabetes queen of YouTube, Diabetic Danica. Danica (who has type 1) has been vlogging about her experiences with diabetes since 2011, and her practical advice, encouragement, and funny stories have been an encouragement to people with diabetes all over the world.
Danica is now a registered nurse and diabetes educator, but she says that the Dexcom G6 is a “literal dream come true for my teenage self.”
Why? After two months of using the new system, she’s actually convinced it can work without fingersticks. At first, she kept checking herself with fingersticks as often as usual to make sure the sensor was accurate. Her tests showed that the G6 was consistently within 10 to 15 points of her meter, and it eventually earned her trust.
Now Danica just does a blood sugar check with her meter before going to bed. “The thing I wanted most in a CGM is actually here and happening,” she says.
The sensors with the G6 last for 10 days instead of seven, and they simply require a two-hour “warmup” period before they start giving blood sugar readings—no calibration required. It also has an acetaminophen blocker, which means, unlike the G5, taking medication with acetaminophen (like Tylenol) won’t affect blood sugar readings.
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Danica appreciates the G6’s ability to personalize alerts, but thinks that the built-in “urgent low soon” alarm ought to be scheduled differently. The alarm sounds when a wearer is heading for an urgent low (55mg/dL) within 20 minutes, which she feels is too late.
Other slight drawbacks are that Danica has trouble keeping the CGM attached and and needs to use skin grips to help, and a wearer cannot restart the sensors that go with the G6. Some G5 wearers would restart their sensors after its seven-day lifespan was up in order to reduce costs.
Overall, Danica prefers the sleeker, slimmer G6. “The accuracy and no fingersticks alone is enough for me to just be like, yay!”