If our BG finger sticks can be up to 20% off our true number, our SGs are likely lagging, and now our A1cs are up for questioning, where do you turn to track improvement?

I test my fingers a disturbing amount of times everyday because it’s the only number (just below most of the time) I can trust. My SG… I won’t start… I’ll just say my SG is at BEST unreliable, and that’s not because it’s never right. It’s just wrong enough that it’s my boy who cried wolf… and bear, and lion, and shark, and that one time it called squirrel when it was actually a t-Rex.

My A1c has always been the standard. It reflected improvement, it reflected pee pee-poor decisions. It meant you were doing right during pregnancy or were on the fast track to disaster. I like that kind of number. I can do something about it or not, but I can’t erase it from my mind once it’s there. And it had meaning, a LOT of meaning, pitted up against the one before. Now I hear this number is losing its power, no longer really something to lean on or work toward. I hear it’s “time in range” that’s the real gem… which brings me back to my 20% off BGs and unreliable (when not actually deceiving!) SGs… and I think… time in WHAT range???

I can’t help but feel I’ve got a lot riding on these numbers and would like to be able to pin down just ONE of them as a good measure. “You’re doing all right, kid” it might tell me or maybe “straighten up and fly right”. But when I have my pick over which one to believe, then I don’t trust myself to not handpick the one that I want to hear.

Any thoughts? I think there may have been a question in there… though it looked more like a spewing of frustration.


SG ?

“… can be up to 20% off …”

Does not necessarily mean “… IS 20% off …”

ie - all meter strip technology is far from being created equal.

Also I believe the 20% off was an older standard.

Totally understandable. My viewpoint is (analytically-minded or not) managing our diabetes-related health forces us to become analytical. There are so many numbers, equations, graphs, data points to review…lots of problem resolution…lots of surprises.

I used to try to focus on particular data points, but over the years watched focus change from a generalized ‘keep your BG’s in range’ to ‘focus on bringing your A1C below / above yadda yadda yadda’ to ‘avoid high / low excursions and keep excursions to this percentage out of range.’

Now I use all of those pieces to get the proverbial bigger picture. All of the data points affect each other; if excursions are in range, if my finger pricks and CGM cals are in harmony, and if my percentage in range is … in range :slight_smile: my A1C should be… where it needs to be. :smile:

Everyone has their own way of gathering and putting information to use, I hope you find something useful and meaningful. :wink:


Sensor glucose value… is that not what it’s called on the Dexcom?? My SG makes me want to commit hairy scary.

Yes, this I know, but I’m still frustrated. I also know that the closer my number is to normal, the more accurate the meter reading. The higher I go, the bigger the margin of error. Still frustrating. I used to test with 2 strips at every reading. There was plenty of justification in continuing to do so, but my fingertips got tired.

They just changed their guidelines in late 2016 (I think). The last time they made a change it took them like 15 years to get all of the outdated testers off the shelves and wherever else they were. Maybe we’re using the newest 15% testers, but maybe we’re not.

I’m pretty upbeat this particular Sunday afternoon. Sorry. :slightly_smiling_face:

Absolutely true. Makes a big difference which meter/strip somebody chooses to use.
(My belief is the vast majority of the technology is in the strip.)

We use the Contour Next One meter/strips. I believe this is far more accurate than the currently required minimum FDA standards.

I just call it the cgm data or the Dexcom or something like that.

In the Medtronic world it was very important to distinguish between SG and BG because they could be strikingly divergent.

I think lots of folks running Dex CGM can use the SG as if it is the BG because it’s normally trustworthy and sufficiently accurate to keep us out of trouble. That’s kind of the foundation for the insulin dosing approval from the FDA. Sometimes the Dex isn’t to be trusted, but that’s generally apparent from clear anomalies in the graph, such as jitter, or abrupt changes to fast trends. Granted, some individuals find that the Dex just doesn’t seem to work well for them; I think that’s an atypical experience.

TL;DR: the Dex folks don’t generally use the term SG because the Dex reading is accepted as if it is BG.

We call it dosing from the meter or dosing from the Dexcom.

Which must be nice…

I just had someone in my group last night tell me that to see a difference of 30 points was common with Dexcom. Is that true?? I wouldn’t think people would be so willing to bolus off of something with that kind of discrepancy. That would be about a unit of insulin for me, and if it were wrong, would definitely lead to a roller coaster.

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As with many things, the Dexcom is not universal in terms of its accuracy or consistency.

It absolutely works better for some people then other people. A number of factors can come into play.

I’m a big fan of Relion… which I know isn’t top of the line. I used OneTouch, but I honestly found there was very little benefit in the way of accuracy or consistency. I was happy to do it as long as the price was still better, but once they jacked up my prescription price by $40, I stopped using them and switched completely to Relion. I really do believe it’s a good quality product, and the price and ability to test as often as I see fit (and can bring myself to) are critical. Oh, I hope no one quotes anything from here to use in providing information to the contrary. Oh, I hope I hope I hope… Please no one tell me Relion is not okay… :slight_smile:

Most people have a preference. If you are satisfied with what you are using that is really the bottom line.

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That’s all very reasonable, and the majority of the time it’s how I operate. Really there’s no way around it. I also understand that when you’ve got it under control, they all align… and problem solved. :smiley: I read your intro and saw that you’ve had diabetes FAR longer than I have, and there’s a certain confidence in your words to attest to that. I developed it late, the transition was hard, and the vast majority of my diabetic life has not been… well aligned. It’s the cruel thing about diabetes, in my opinion, how with better control comes the magical ability to better control, and how once that slips, the less reliable the numbers and the more room for error.

This is the SECOND real downer I’ve posted today. I need a walk or something. Go find a singing bird. :smiley: I see you’re also on the 670. It’s made a madwoman out of me, and I’ve made great progress in understanding my disease and learning how get myself on that “better control” track, but it’s hard for me to see how quickly it slips with the smallest mistake. (My mind flashed to that bag of kettle corn popcorn the other night and realized “mistake” makes me sound so much like a victim and not a ravaging kettle corn-crushing monster, but mistake truly can mean so many things). :smiley:


That is very true for us. We would never consider dosing off of the G5. Perhaps it’s just our sons age and hormones, but if I had to guess, I would say at least 75% of the day it’s NOT within 5 or 10 of his actual BG. And at least 50% of the day it’s more than 30 off from his BG. So although Dexcom advertises that you can dose off of it, we would never do so.

Relion (Prime) is what I’ve used, and it’s spot on with my Libre (most of the time - and when not, it’s the Libre that’s off). I think for the price, it’s a very reliable little meter!

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Confirmation. You’ve made my day. :grin: I’m very curious about the Libre… is it any good??

It’s GREAT when it’s accurate. Usually within 1-10 when I’m between 80-120. It has a bit of a wider spread when I’m low or high, but still fairly accurate - within 20. I do, however, HAVE to place the sensor 24 hrs before activating (and then it goes another 12 hrs before giving readings - I’m in the US), otherwise it won’t be as accurate. I forgot and didn’t put this latest one in until 12 hrs before activating, and so far this morning it’s reading ~30 below my Relion, which is what typically happens when my skin hasn’t had enough time between placement and getting readings; I think it’s inflammation-driven.

The ReliOn is my favorite meter for running.

I’ve been thinking about checking one out. Do you mind my asking about what it runs you a month? And it sounds like you still have to do finger sticks? I’m just trying to figure out the cost vs the benefit… do you have any thoughts??

Just to give you a counterpoint, in my son the Dexcom runs +/- 5 from his finger sticks more than 90% of the time. We bolus off Dexcom all the time. For us, we still do finger sticks, but most of those are around sporting events where knowing your bg every 1/2 inning is critical to performance.