Inaccurately Low

Hello all,

So I’ve been wearing the Medtronic Enlite CGM for six months now. Recently it has been terribly inaccurate and most recently it has frequently said I am LOW when I am not low. This is frustrating for me because I already deal with anxiety and having it consistently tell me I’m at 60 or 70 when I’m at 120 is frustrating and anxiety provoking! It causes me to meter test a lot more than I’d like and I’m unsure why this is occurring.

I’ve consulted with Metronic and learned 1) to calibrate ideally four times a day when my BG is not in flux…so at least a hour after pumping insulin and to not eat until the sensor is ‘calibrated.’ I certainly don’t want to waste an expensive sensor however if its going to be causing me more worry with its inaccuracy than I might as well not wear it.

Any tips or suggestions?


Hi Chris,

I wish I had some encouraging words for you but we experienced the same issues you described when my daughter wore the Enlite. Medtronic tried very hard to help us but we just couldn’t get the sensor to work for my daughter. I know there are many people who love the Enlite and have had success with it, but we gave up and went to Dexcom. We’ve been using it for over a year and the accuracy is stunning. Our insurance allowed us to switch after 6 months on the Enlite. I know that’s probably not the answer you were looking for and I’m sure some will disagree with me, but I just wanted to give you an honest perspective and share our experience. All the best.

I’ve seen questions like this before, but it is hard to know how to respond to them. It’s more that I have too many suggestions to toss out there than having nothing to suggest. The problem is that I have no way of knowing, without more information, what, if any, of my suggestions might be of any use to anyone.

Perhaps the easiest thing is to just switch to Dexcom. While it is possible to get good results from a Medtronic Enlite, there is no question in my mind that with the extra taping and the potential for distorted results if the sensor “pistons”, Enlites are definitely more finicky for many people than appears to be the case for Dexcom. My own personal experience has me currently wondering if Medtronic has a “quality control” problem. I recently had a sensor which gave me really great results for 12 days. The one immediately following was from the same lot but its performance was more and more “meh” until I finally gave up on it on/around day 6.

Remember that if you do get obviously wrong performance from an Enlite, the best thing to do in terms of not “wasting an expensive sensor” is call Medtronic’s HelpLine, take the tedious time to walk them through the failure, and have them replace the sensor for you. This is what I try to do.

Another thing to consider, depending on how far along in the warranty it is, is walk through the diagnostics to test your MiniLink transmitter. This probably makes more sense to do if the transmitter is either near or past its warranty cutoff. You can find instructions for how to do this in the user manual or just call the HelpLine and ask them to walk you through it if you ever want to try this.

If you are fairly confident the sensor is inserted in a good location where it is not being jostled/moved and is taped correctly then other things to possibly consider depend on when during the life of the sensor you are experiencing problems with the Sensor Glucose (SG) being unacceptably different from your meter Blood Glucose (BG).

Can you provide more background about how things are going wrong? Is it happening towards the beginning, middle, or end of a sensors 6 day life? Does it happen only during the night (while sleeping) or is happening during the day. When it happens do you just try to calibrate to correct or do you use Link To Sensor > Reconnect Old Sensor to force the pump to ignore the previous calibration factor and calculate a new one based only on your current meter BG together with the most recent sensor ISIG values?

Hello Chris,
At some point in the last year the MM rep told me there were some problems with the Enlite production in the US. They corrected that and hopefully you have the latest sensors. that same thing had happened to me when I slept on the enlite sensors. I tried my best but eventually changed to Dexcom. I find them amazingly accurate all the time. If they are off it is because my sugar went from 300 to 50 and that was my fault. they keep up and predict lows before you feel them. At least in my case. I love Medtronic and still use their latest pump but decided to keep with Dexcom Sensors. You only have to calibrate twice a day, morning and night and if you miss that you still get the readings. With enlite I made up a number just to keep the thing running if I could not calibrate then. I wish MM would get it right but I would never use their threshold suspend for that reason.

I’ve been using Enlite since it came out (2 years now?). Sometimes this just happens with a “bad sensor” and you have to pull it an start a new one.

I been on the mini med for about a year now. I have the elite sensor, and used it the first 3 months worth of supplies. It worked “okay”, as long as I was religious on my daily routine. If I deveated in the slightest, it showed up in the sensor accuracy. I also had the paradigm and first model cmg. That definitely was a lousy setup. If you’re anxious about sensor accuracy, (like I have been in the past), don’t use it. Why spend money on something that makes you worry? I’d use the money on blood testing that makes you comfortable.

Hi Chris, like many other responders, my experience with the Enlite was pretty much horrendous since the very first day. I had been on the SofSensor for more than 2 years before that and because of the quite frequent inaccuracies and problems with it, I decided to try the Enlite.
It literally drove me crazy to the point that there were nights on which I turned off the alarms in order to get some sleep, something I never thought I could do.
Inaccuracies were not the only problem. I found the insertion device odd to manage. The tape would not stick during the number of seconds recommended on the manual. One time the device would not let go on the sensor. After a couple of months of this agony and of spending all this time talking to Medtronic reps, I asked them to exchange the Enlites I had left for SofSensors again.
Once I finished the ones I had left, I switched to DEXCOM. What a difference. You’d never regret investing money on the DEXCOM system. I’ve been using it since August and only once I had a sensor that didn’t work well and was immediately replaced the minute I began talking to the rep.
I have the DEXCOM G-4 Platinum. Be awared that the transmitter on the G4 is guaranteed for 6 months but it might last longer. The newer G5 system transmitter only last 3 months and at that point it stops working. That’s something to consider since it makes it more expensive.
I’m able to use the DEXCOM for 10 to 14 days on my lower abdomen. I tried it on the back of my arm and it lasted for 20 days. What a difference.
The insertion is simple and once on you won’t even remember where it is. I also started using Skin Tac which made it stay in place perfectly.
You’d love it. And no… DEXCOM doesn’t pay me for the advertisement, I’m just so happy with it.

Yeah, the above responses are pretty much how it typically goes when people start comparing Enlite vs Dexcom. If you are interested in such things, you can occasionally find somewhat interesting constructions using profanity over on Instagram.

There is no doubt that the sentiments people post are honest and sincere ones. How much meaning they have for someone else’s experience with the Enlite I’m less sure of. Yes, the Enlite is finicky. If dealing with details drives you crazy and you want want to just plug it in and use it, then switch to the Dexcom. Even if it’s not perfect, you’ll get lots of folks reassuring you how good the Dex is and that will help reduce any potential stress in the (unlikely?) event you bump into it.

My experience has been generally good with the Enlites. Certainly much better than the Sof-Sensor (aka “Harpoon”). I take my time inserting and if I have problems removing the inserter I gently futz with it until I can lift it away without disturbing the sensor. This actually seldom happens for me, but it’s most likely to occur when I am inserting on my upper arm and can only use one hand.

I have never had the sensor pad adhesive not stick. I can point you to a blog entry that reports this happening multiple times for someone who wanted to try the Enlite, but it’s never been a problem for me.

So … what does all this mean? That different people have different experiences with technology. If you decide to abandon the Enlites and switch to Dexcom that would certainly be understandable given all the encouragement you’ve been given to move in that direction. If you want suggestions for how to possibly get better results with your (remaining) Enlites, I’ll try to help.