Dexcom G4 Platinum Users

Hello I would love to hear about anyone with experience using this monitor. I just returned from endo and this is their recommendation. I have had T1d over 40 years.

I love it!

Thanks for the reply, I guess I’ll never know since my insurance rejected it…

I have the G4 and I do like it, but my wife likes it even more, since she now does not have to deal with hypoglycemic episodes. I just wish the sensor adhesive was stronger.

drocket285, I have been T1 since 1965 and I am fortunate that my insurance covers my cgm and pump supplies at 80%. It is criminal that insurance won’t cover the cgm.

We recently purchased the G4 for my recently diagnosed 6year old boy and unfortunately the RCH will not support us with it! Frustrating.
We have the low alert set to 4.2 and I’m wondering what we should be doing when this goes off? I initial imagined that a serve of carbs (eg Ive tried a glass of milk of an apple) would work and stop him dropping further, but it doesn’t seem to help fast enough, even if his levels are going steady. He still drops and seems to end up hypo anyway.

So do I need to still treat him as hypo even though he is not theoretically hypo. when he gets to 4.2 or do I watch and wait until he is 3.9 and then treat him.
The RCH advised I change the low alert to 3.9 and this would avoid any decision making, but then what is the whole point?! Help please.


That blows. Are you able to appeal it? When I went through the process for the pump with BlueCross (Canada) I originally got rejected but in the end they accepted it once I got a detailed letter from my endo and appealed their decision (I ended up getting rid of it 3 months later but that’s besides the point haha).

With Manulife (Canada again) for the Dexcom it took supplying them with the same information multiple times (they kept asking for the same stuff, even though I had given it to them already) and sending a signed letter from my endo outlining the reasons why it would help me (and in the end save them money). The whole process took about 2 months from start to finish but I had to keep pushing them.

Is the RCH where you see the endo?

I used to treat at 4.5 and lower, but now that I’m pregnant and my target is 4-6 pre-meals, I don’t treat until 3.5 and under.

Are you checking his blood sugar before treating? The dexcom isn’t 100% accurate so he could actually be lower and need more to raise his levels up. I find mine will take an extra 10-15mins before it stops beeping that I’m low even if I’m testing above 4 and entering that BG in.

Thanks for the replies I am waiting to hear about appeals. …btw what is the RCH?

So I have experience with Dexcom G4 and the Minimed 530G. I went on the 530G first and it was ticking me off because I was spending way too much money buying and throwing away AAA batteries. I decided to try the G4 because I’d read so many positive reviews about it. Now it is my turn to give a review.

I will be returning to my 530G…in comparing the two is like comparing a Mercedes Benz (530G) to a Pinto/Gremlin/Yugo (G4). What a disaster! The things that I’d expected that I already had with my 530G are not included with the G4. When I want to do a quick analysis/average of say the last 8 days, I get the full analysis ON MY PUMP. Heck, I can see the actual readings on my pump from an hour ago, 20 minutes or whatever review I want within the last 24 hrs, right on my screen. Pictures with dots in color–dont do anything for me–sorry.

Between the two, the 530G is 100% better, with the exception of the battery life—then again, I have to keep the G$ receiver plugged in all the time to keep it charged, so I think the thing that drove me to the G4 is no better.
If you can get the 530G, get it and dont waste your health on the G4. The accuracy is the same with both of them.

I love my Dexcom 4g. I am using it with Nightscout and with that I am able to see my BG at a glance from a smart watch. For the first time in over 40 years I have good A1c’s. 6.5, 7 and 6.2. Having Diabetes still sucks if you ask me but these tools have helped me a lot.

Love the Dexcom platinum G4. I only have to plug it in to recharge about once a week. Sensor sessions last up to 2 weeks - could go longer but the tape starts to come off. If I want to see all the data I just download the receiver to my computer and there are all kinds of graphs to look at, you also can select how many days or months of data to show.

I’ve had the G4 for a couple of years and I do like it. I think my wife likes it more though as she no longer worries about problem lows. I have been T1 for 50 years.

My endo just had the same discussion with me a few months ago. He had a Dexcom that he let me try out for a week to see if it was something I would be interested in. I do not wear a pump, so it was a little funny at first. I felt like I had a button on my stomach lol. I was surprised that it really doesn’t hurt to attach it. I have been struggling to get my A1C down under 8 for a couple of years. I was down to 7.7 after a little over a month of wearing my Dexcom. I love that I can catch my lows before they get dangerous. I set mine to beep at 80. You can also see with the arrow which direction your levels are headed. This is so much more helpful than just a reading of say 80. If I am at 80 and the arrow is going down I know I need to do something about it. I am also able to take a little more insulin if my levels skyrocket. My endo and I have figured out it is about 1 unit of humalog for every 50 on the glucose meter. Everyone is different though. Overall, I feel like I have been able to finally take control of this rollercoaster of a disease much more than before. BTW I am totally used to wearing it now, and I don’t really notice the button as much anymore! My students call me their cyborg teacher! :slight_smile:

Check out a website called I’ve seen T1’s on there trying to raise funds for cgms, pumps, and service dogs!

I agree that application is quite painless. My big complaint is with the sensor adhesive. My sensors start peeling off after 3 or 4 days and I end up using athletic tape to hold down the edges. Just got back from 10 days on the beach in Mexico and I just decided not to wear my cgm so I wouldn’t have to worry about it falling off in the water.

JDJim I have found that using “skintac” (I buy mine on Amazon) really helps the sensor stay put. It is relatively inexpensive this is the link to the kind that I buy, the wipes are a lot less of a hassle than the liquid.

Hope this helps!

I agree that the adhesive does not last as long as it should. I use waterproof bandaids to hold mine on. It works pretty well, but I start looking like a patched up mess lol! :slight_smile:

Hello all - I joined this group and forum to share my findings after my first week with the Dexcom G4.

After 2+ decades of being a type 1 diabetic, I recently found the need to start using a continuous glucose monitor (GCM). For the past many years, I’ve been blessed to be able to manage my glucose levels such that my HbA1C’s have been in the low to mid 6’s, with one time even reaching 5.9.

Like most type-1’s, I’ve had many episodes of hypoglycemia, but rarely did it get “out of control.” Over the past year, however, my numbers started to swing dramatically in both the high and low directions. When I was first diagnosed, the nurse who did the training class with me called this being “brittle.” My brittleness has grown over this past year, and at home and at work it was impacting not only myself but those around me. My endocrinologist suggested looking again at a GCM, and this time I went forward with it.

The process to get the meter was relatively straightforward. My endocrinologist gave me a brochure with the GCM she recommended, the Dexcom G4 Platinum, which had the contact information for the regional representative. I contacted the rep via email, asking if she could provide information about whether my insurance covered the GCM costs at all. These things are pricey, and if insurance didn’t cover at least a portion of it, I wouldn’t have continued forward. The rep replied back with a form to fill out, and two days later an insurance filer from Dexcom contacted me. The GCM was indeed covered, and my out of pocket up front cost ended up being a little over $700, and monthly sensors will run about $60 (obviously, these costs will vary by insurance policy). That is an acceptable cost in my mind – provided the thing works!

I received the Dexcom via FedEx three days later, and on Saturday morning I followed the video and inserted the first sensor and got things going. I was comfortable doing this myself and not going to the doctor’s office to have the Dexcom rep train me in person – though some people, especially those new to diabetes or technically intimidated may want to go to the training in person.

The initial sensor insertion was a little awkward, but easy to do after watching the training video. Once the sensor and transmitter go through the two hour initialization period, you then do a “double calibration” of the sensor by taking two successive glucose measurements with your usual glucometer. These are entered into the Dexcom unit, and then you’re off and running, with the unit taking a reading every 5 minutes. The Dexcom unit will ask for a calibration measurement twice a day thereafter, prompting you with a blood drop symbol on the screen. For my first week’s run, the calibration numbers were never largely different from what the GCM was reading, which really gave me a sense of confidence in the unit.

I placed the sensor on the right side of my abdomen, and generally didn’t notice it too much during the day. At night in bed I would notice it, though it really wasn’t too bad. The sensor injection process didn’t have any more pain than a normal insulin injection, which for a type-1 is hardly noticeable. You have a choice of “profiles” for how the GCM will notify you of out of norm blood sugar levels – I chose the vibrate option, not wanting to have tons of noises, beeping going on. One thing to note is that if you’re running lower than 60 mg/dl the GCM WILL beep, even on silent, if you’ve ignored its vibration warning. This is good and bad. It is good since it definitely will get your attention. It is bad because you will also disturb those around you. My wife was alerted at night, which has those good/bad attributes to it…

The Dexcom literature says that you can shower worry free with the sensor, but I found that after the first time I showered the unit said that it couldn’t read the sensor properly. The user’s manual says that in those cases, wait for three hours for the error to clear up on it’s own. I waited and sure enough it cleared up. During that time, however, you’re not getting any readings out of the unit. I decided that for the rest of the week I’d take a piece of zip lock bag and tape it over the sensor while in the shower. This was a bit of an annoyance, but I did not have any more sensor reading challenges for the rest of the week.

The big question is – how did it work? The answer is great. I was given warnings from the GCM when my blood sugar was dipping and I wasn’t aware of it. In my case, the blood sugar range where my mental faculties can be very slow are actually the 50’s. I’ve had measurements in the 20’s – 40’s where I’m mentally alert and clear thinking. However, there have been times where I know my thinking isn’t clear, but it is so cloudy and slow I cannot always figure out that it is my blood sugar level being low. The GCM flagged me every time I dipped below 60, and there was one instance of the mental fogginess that it certainly helped me get to ingesting glucose sooner than I would have otherwise. The battery life on the GCM is fantastic – since it is a small electronic item I expected cell-phone like battery life, I was expecting to have to charge it every day. It easily lasted 3 days and had a third of battery left when I decided to charge it anyway. I have a great sense of confidence that I won’t be surprised by my blood sugar levels with the GCM system.

Is it perfect? Well, no, but it is really good and has the potential to be much closer to perfection. Some improvements that I think would be fantastic:

  1. On the GCM, there should be an option to have the beep alert on low/high blood sugars disabled. I understand the rationale for not having the option, but there are times where the user should be able to decide. A compromise of “disable the beep for the next xx hours” would be very good.
  2. Another change request would be to allow the user to set the hours when the meter asks for calibration. I have to take my regular glucometer with me to have it available at calibration times the GCM decides – but I’ve found that I’ve entered in manual entries multiple times (the same process that the calibration entry is done) but the unit will still always prompt for a new calibration even if fifteen minutes earlier I entered a value in myself.
  3. The Dexcom Studio software has a ton of useful graphs in it, but some data that will hugely help a diabetic and his medical support team solve mysteries isn’t there. I’m speaking of food intake, health condition/state and exercise. The GCM unit allows for the entry of “events” that have extremely high level versions of that data, but the interface is extremely clunky and slow. There is an Android app that I use – Diabetes:M – that allows entry of all these things, along with insulin dosages. It has a food database that is rudimentary, but does link to the USDA database to query items that are logged there. (You can also build your own database entries, which I do.) Having ALL this data available will allow for better informed decisions and modifications to be made. If Dexcom were to subcontract out to the developer of Diabetes:M to make an app that synced with the Dexcom it would bridge that gap to make a world of difference. (Diabetes:M can import Dexcom csv files, but chooses to only bring in values at a rate of every two hours. I’m going to request the developer consider changing that.)
  4. Speaking of apps, the Dexcom Share app only works on the iPhone, so I cannot speak to it. I do not know if it is a hardware limitation or not, but they say that the low power Bluetooth link was “developed for/with” the Apple infrastructure.
  5. On user forums, I read that people were concerned with the USB port on the GCM being delicate. I can attest that it definitely feels delicate – surely this can be designed more robustly by copying solutions from the cell phone world.

I’m starting my second week with the Dexcom GCM, and can definitely see myself never wanting to be without one - until I’m cured that is! :slight_smile:

I know this is a bit old, but for anyone reading this researching the G4…

I went into the G4 a bit begrudgingly. I got mine for 1 reason. To let my wife sleep without having to check for sweat several times a night. I have experienced several severe low blood sugars and was willing to try anything to help.

I got the G4 a couple years ago and have had no severe lows since. I’ve also found the benefits go beyond the nighttime warnings. Both the high and low alerts have allowed me better all around control. I hadn’t planned on that.

I’d not want to go without it anymore. When looking for insurance I researched that my doctor, and dexcom, was covered.

Is it perfect? No. It has some things I’d like see changed. I’m confident they will. I dislike having another item to haul around.

As far as attaching it… I play 5 to 8 games of soccer a week, and have a job and lifestyle that allows plenty of opportunity for it to be scraped off. I don’t think the stock tape would last 24 hours on me. I add a “tegadrem” patch over the top. I use the 4x4 size and trim it slightly to be smaller and make sure there’s no pointy edges. It’s also waterproof so it keeps it drier, if that matters.

I also have a neoprene “belt” I put over it during soccer games to protect it.

This, I’m sure, is not an approved addition as far as Dexcom is concerned, but it works well for me.

I have T1D and Now with dexcom G4 and My omnipod, My life Is more better :heart: