FUDiabetes

Your Most Accurate Dexcom Sensor Site


#1

i was on the Dexcom G4 and G5 a couple of years back (maybe 3 yrs ago??). i had too many problems with it, though. i did stick with it for about 1 &1/2 yrs. i tried different sites, but i just couldnt get it to work for me. i am very lean and could not use my tummy, but not for lack of trying. i dont have that 1 inch to pinch up to insert the sensor. i kept hitting capillaries and nerves. i had terrible inaccuracies that were not only unhelpful, but disconcerting as well. i ended up using more test strips than before i went on it, b/c the alarms were constantly going off, and i would have to do a finger stick. also, i was very frequently getting the “?” icon for hours on end. i spent a lot of time on the phone with their tech support team members and getting replacement sensors. (they were, i must say, delightful, helpful, respectful,etc.) if one did stay on and i got any accuracy at all, the most days i would get out of 1 sensor was about 3-4. i was astounded by others who were talking about getting 14+ days out of theirs. anyway…i gave it my all and after a year and a half, i decided to go back to finger sticks and put the dex back in its box and up on a shelf in my closet.

now, however, Medicare is paying 100% for the Dexcom, so i figured i have nothing to lose to give it another whirl. it arrived in the mail 2 weeks ago, and i am seeing both my endo and cde this coming friday (july 13th). i’m going to get a refresher course on insertion of the sensor, talk with my doc, and then go on my way with any perscriptions i may need (and any free samples of insulin they will give me :wink: )

my question to all of you is: are any of you lean and have found success with the Dexcom? do any of you have preferred sites? any sites that you find more accurate than others?

any suggestions, advice, etc. all is welcome and very much appreciated!
thanks in advance,
DM

PS: wish me luck and please keep me in your prayers :sunny:


#2

Hey, DM, I have been using my upper right arm for a long time now. I wear it on the lateral side of my arm, not all the way to the back (bad results) or on the bicep, and get good results. In fact, I just restarted the current sensor. :smiley_cat:


#3

I’m lean. Only good spot for me these days is low back “love handles” if I can call them that.


#4

i tried one out on the upper backside of my arm when i did a test run with my endo. (between the shoulder and the elbow) and i got the WORST results. no accuracy whatsoever. ARGE :cry:


#5

thats the spot i was think about trying, too. they are not really love handles, but there is the most flesh there that i can pull up. do you get decent accuracy ?


#6

Fantastic accuracy as long as they don’t hit a blood vessel. I can test just 4x a day if it’s accurate. When I have the rare dud spot, I test 15-20x a day. But I’m on a hot streak, knock on wood.


#7

thats awesome. i’ll knock on wood for you as well. :wink:


#8

All the way around the back of my arm just doesn’t have a nice consistent fat layer for me to use a sensor there. I have to pinch around to find the “good” spots!


#9

I am lean and I use my arms as well. I too just have to pinch around a bit to look for a good spot I can pinch up, usually ending up on the outer/back part of the arm somewhere.

My current one is on my abdomen, but up a little ways, kind-of at a 45 degree angle up from my belly button, but low enough that it’s not on the lower ribs at all. Not sure if that makes much sense? I don’t have much fat there but I can pinch the skin enough that I thought I’d give it a try, and it’s working well.

The love handles are one area where I do have a little fat, and ironically I didn’t feel like it was as accurate there - it felt like it was bouncing around too much, lol.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s helpful for you! :crossed_fingers: Might as well try it if someone else is paying, haha. And if it doesn’t work the way you want his time around, at least then you’ll know. Good luck to you!


#10

In the early days I had dreadful results with my arms, and also found insertion a pain in the neck.

Now I exclusively use the abdomen, an area parallel to the navel and about 5 inches out from it. Very reliable numbers and long-lasting sensors (30 to 40 days). I’m no longer lean in that area (:cry:) and it is also on the edge of decades-old pump bumps, which Dexcom says I should avoid.

I find there’s still plenty of room for my pods.


#11

I have been using my abdomen, alternating from left to right, for my Dexcom since Dexcom has been around. I’m not fat, but I’m not lean either. Never had an infection or irritation, and sensors last about two weeks. I can count on one hand the number of bleeders I’ve had (three in a row once!)

But, like all things diabetes, YDMV.


#12

I also use my abdomen. My right side for Dexcom and my left side for omnipod.


#13

I rotate between arms and inner thighs, and sensors last 14-20 days. So each location gets a good rest between sensors.

May have slightly better readings from arms, relative to food or exercise causing rise or drop trends, (my impression, not factually verified by meter BGs ).


#14

thank you so much.


#15

I generally prefer thighs for best readings, but several days ago I tried my forearm. So far the most consistent readings yet - <5 pts off meter readings at any given time.


#16

DM, I’m lean-ish and have had the longest sensor life on my upper arms (both). Hard to describe exactly but on the outside lower part of the upper arm. Tried my belly a lot and could not get the sensors to last 2 weeks there, so for now I am exclusively using my arms. As far as accuracy goes for the G5, I think sensor location does not matter as much as your calibrations. You can really throw the G5 off with one hasty calibration.

Best thing to do is read up on this site and Tud for people’s suggested calibration routines and stick with those. Like any BG measurement, watch out for those times when you know your BG is rising or falling rapidly, that is not the right time to calibrate. Wait until you’re convinced (from fingersticks over about 15 minutes) that your BG is steady.

I have found that it misses peaks when you have a big BG spike but it settles right in when you get back in BG range. For me, I want it to be as close as possible for the lows and I don’t care if it is inaccurate on a high. If Dexcom says 190 I don’t care if I’m really at 160 or 220, I am going to do a correction. But if it says 60 I want it to be as accurate as possible. For that reason, I try to avoid calibrating when I think my BG is rising out of range.


#17

My sensor locations used to be more flexible, but on this iteration of the Dexcom I’ve only gotten reliable readings from one location despite following best practices for calibration. I seem to be unique in this regard, but this generation of Dexcom has behaved much differently on my arms than the prior generation. To the extent it’s almost useless to wear it on my arms anymore. Low back for me for now! I’ll be curious if I run into a similar phenomenon on the G6.


#18

the more i read these posts, the more confusing it gets. each pwd has a different story and experience with the dexcom. some use their arms, some the arms definately DONT work for them. some like their tummy, some their thighs.

i guess b/c YDMV, its going to have to be a trial and error experience before i try it and call it quits. ugh :persevere:


#19

i’m familiar with the calibration “rules”. i also know that their is some lag time with dexcom bg readings v. finger sticks. my issue is location/placement. i cannot use my tummy b/c there is just nothing there but skin covering muscle. i cannot pinch up anything there. so, the best locations i have are arms, “love handle” area, tushy, hip/upper thigh. my favorite location would have to be the upper arms. i am trying to figure out which spot would be most accomodating for wearing my swimsuit and/or clothing. also, i know i dont want to be sleeping against it b/c then i end up getting false low alarms throughout the night.

after reading everyones posts, though, each of you has completely different experiences, so no matter who i ask, i am just going to have to figure this out on my own. trial and error.


#20

I think you’re right. I just threw my anomalies out there as another possibility for what you might run into. I kept thinking that better calibration or this or that would make different sites work for me, but I’ve concluded I just have some areas that work better than others. Hope that is of use.