Dexcom G6 Review


I finally worked up the courage to try a CGM (constant glucose monitor) when I saw the brand spanking new Dexcom G6. I reached out to Dexcom and told them to put me on a list once the G6 was released and they added me to the Launch Program last minute. I was so honored to be part of the first 1,000 people to receive the G6, but also nervous at the same time. I was NOT given the Dexcom G6 for free nor asked to write a review - I just want to!

Dexcom G6
A CGM system provides continuous insight into glucose levels throughout the day and night. The device displays information about glucose direction and rate of change providing users additional information to help with their diabetes management. Studies have shown that CGM systems may help reduce your A1C and reduce your risk for hypoglycemia, whether you are on insulin injections or pump therapy.
Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring helps minimize the guesswork that comes from making decisions based solely on a number from a blood glucose meter reading, for better diabetes management. - Dexcom.com

When you first receive the Dexcom G6, you will receive:
3 Sensor Applicators (1 month supply)
1 Receiver + charger
3 Receiver skin covers (black, pink, and blue)
2 Transmitters (~6 month supply)
Start Setup Guide Booklet
USB Training Card

I became excited when opened the transmitter box and saw the two additional sleeve cover options. I immediately removed the black one that comes with the receiver and snapped on the blue one. It's the little things, you know?

Since I am brand new to wearing a CGM, I found all the training tutorials to be very helpful. Dexcom has many resources if you need help with ANYTHING. I recommend plugging the USB Training Tutorial card provided into a computer to access a step-by-step tutorial.
Helpful Links:
Dexcom G6 User Guide
Dexcom G6 Start Here Set Up Guide


The Transmitter

The main difference is the depth and overall slimmer width of the Dexcom G6. However, the G6 is a bit longer, so the adhesive stickers I purchased from Amazon did not fit properly. They were designed for the G4 and G5. I just took a pair of scissors to them and made it work. (Tim Gunn would be so proud). I'm looking forward to more products becoming available for the G6! *cough Tidepool cough*


The Dexcom G6 has a 28% lower profile than the Dexcom G5. The flat top makes it easier to wear under clothing and hopefully a little less likely to get caught on things (ie, doorways, straps, etc). You people living with T1D know what I mean.

The Sensor & Applicator

I was totally against wearing anything on my body after I was diagnosed in Feb 2017. It took me a little over a year to warm up to the idea. I was TERRIFIED of the Dexcom G5 inserter, and wasn't a fan of how much the transmitter stuck out when worn on your body.

When I was working at a JDRF event, a Dexcom rep told me about the upcoming release of the Dexcom G6. He showed me photos of the size difference and the automatic applicator. It only required you to push a button and compared the speed to a hummingbird wing flap (a fraction of a second) which reduces pain. This won me over. I was finally ready to give a CGM a try.

Each applicator comes with its own sensor code that you can scan or enter manually into your Receiver or iPhone. However, the scan feature NEVER works for me and I always have to enter the code in manually. I'm not a fan of how BIG the applicator is. It's inconvenient for people to carry if they wish to have a backup on them at all times. I try to recycle all of mine and I hope to see Dexcom create a more eco-friendly version next time. 
On the flip side, the applicator is my new best friend because of how easy and pain free it is! I still had to work up the courage to push that orange button the very first time. It does make a semi loud pop sound, but it happens in the blink of an eye and TADA!! I officially inserted my 1st sensor. You snap the transmitter in and pair it to your phone or receiver and just 2 hours later (after the warm-up) you'll be getting glucose readings every 5 minutes WITH NO CALIBRATION NEEDED!

What I learned (the hard way)

I'll admit, the first few days with my Dexcom were not easy. I had many problems, errors, and frustrations. To prevent you or your loved one with T1D from having the same issues here is what I learned...


1. You CANNOT close the Dexcom G6 app on your phone.
This instruction was not indicated on any tutorial or start guide. As a habit, I always "swipe up" on my apps to close them on my iPhone. I assumed the Dexcom G6 app would run in the background and send me notifications like many other apps do. Nope.  I assumed the app was so new and had bugs to be worked out, so I used my receiver for the first few weeks. I learned the hard way that "swiping up" or closing the app disconnects the bluetooth connection. PLEASE NOTE: For iPhones the Bluetooth connection will ALWAYS say "Not Connected" under Settings > Bluetooth for your transmitter named 'DexcomYR' even when it is working properly. Makes no sense, but I spent over 30 minutes talking to a very nice, and helpful Dexcom Tech rep who taught me allllll these things. The Dexcom G6 app is available for download on Google Play and Apple App Stores.

2. You CANNOT stop and restart your transmitter!
Since I was having so many bluetooth problems, I was asking my friends who have the Dexcom G5 for advice (before calling Dexcom Tech Support). I didn't want to carry my receiver around since the Dexcom connects to my iPhone. Multiple people told me to try stopping and restarting the sensor to see if it would fix the bluetooth connection. So, I ruined my very 1st sensor by doing just that. I learned the hard way that you CANNOT restart a sensor even if it is less than the 10 day expiration date. It is a one time use sensor. This is the biggest change between the G5 and G6. The Dexcom G6 has a 10 day limit and it cannot be extended. Believe me, I tried.

3. Don't throw away your sensor code!
Since I ruined my first sensor, I had to call Dexcom Tech Support to request a replacement. They ask for the Sensor Code (4 digit # found on applicator sticker) and the Transmitter SN (6 digit code starting with 8). The Dexcom app/Receiver does NOT store the sensor code, so make a habit of keeping that little sticker you peeled off until it expires. Don't throw it away like I did. I had to dig through the trash to find it. Side Note - You can find the Transmitter number in the app settings, receiver settings, or on the box and on the back of the transmitter itself. However you CANNOT remove the transmitter without removing the entire sensor from your body. It requires you to "break" the plastic sensor in order to slide out the transmitter.

4. Calibrating makes it worse. 
It sounds counter-intuitive, but it's true. I thought more calibrating would make it more accurate, but with the G6 it actually messes it up. This advice also came from the Dexom Tech Rep. She told me to try not calibrating to see if it would make my glucose readings more accurate - and it did! I can't say I've completely stopped calibrating, because it's hard not to when the Dex says you are LOW (below 40 mg/dL) and your meter says you are 73. In the end, there is such a thing as 'over calibrating.'

Ready for a Dexcom? Get Started Here!

First Impression
I did not start off strong with the G6, but I'm learning and getting better. I enjoy having it while traveling and exercising. I'm currently training to run a 10K which was another reason I wanted to wear a Dexcom. It helps me anticipate my BG levels before they get too low and it is helping me learn how my body reacts to food and how quickly it absorbs insulin.

I think my favorite thing about wearing a Dexcom is when it introduces me to others living with Type 1 Diabetes. It's like a little symbol that we are in this "secret club" together. Because, no one else knows what the heck I'm wearing on my body. I've had other T1D people introduce themselves to me once they noticed my Dexcom, and I've had curious strangers ask what I'm wearing on my arm, too. Both experiences (so far) have been positive and completely made my day. It gives me the opportunity to make friends and educate people about Type 1 Diabetes.

"Now I'm feelin so fly like a G6. Like a G6, Like a G6." - Sorry had to.


10 comments

  1. Thank you so much for this review!! I am wearing a loaner G4 from the VA while I wait for my G6 to arrive. This thing is going to save my life. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I'm so glad my blog post was helpful for you. Good luck with your new G6!

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  2. The first month was awesome with this Dexcom G6, but to re-order supplies is a big headache. They never return your calls, expect to be at least 3 weeks with no supplies and costumer service is very very bad.

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  3. I found tech support very helpful, my supplies were replaced in a timely manner, unfortunately I'm still finding that I can't keep the adhesive on for 10 days...the adhesive doesn't hold because I work outside or it starts to bite and itch. I'm still hanging in there because this has changed my monitoring for the better. I love the G^ paired with the T-Slim.

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  4. Thank You for sharing this blog, it is very informative and useful,
    Dr. Morepen Glucometer comes from the store house of Dr. Morepen that ensures you high level of efficiency. It is one of the fastest meters in the market, minimizing the time that people with diabetes need to spend on blood glucose testing to get accurate results.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you . You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!
    Diabetes Specialist Near Me

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  6. Although Dexcom is a great GCM Dealing with Dexcom is a nightmare. If you are going to go this route I suggest that you get the supplies from a supplier such as CCS Medical. It took me six months to get set up with Dexcom due to the case manager. A year later it starts again with getting the reauthorization. You will find after a year that you become dependent on the CGM. Now I am waiting for authorization and have no sensors. With an A1C of 5.5 I fully expect to have a run or die before I get my supplies.

    Think seriously about getting the supplies from anyone except Dexcom!

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    Replies
    1. Agree. Dexcom very hard to deal with and incompetent. I get my supplies from Advanced Diabetes. Kept getting runaround from Dexcom.

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  7. Better than G5, which is not saying much. Decent readings, somewhat accurate, sometimes off a bit. Helpful but lots of sensor errors
    And dealing with Dexcom is not easy

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  8. I have had the Dexcom g6 for a month. I will stop after I use the supplies I have,, another month. It is too annoying with the alerts and it isn't accurate. I tried to stop the alerts with just vibrate,, low volume and no alerts, but I get the message that I will get the annoying alerts anyways. I have had good technical support with putting on the sensor, but haven't gotten to use my phone so I use the receptor. From now on when I get the annoying alerts I will put the receptor in my garage. The high alerts are 50 points higher than the finger prick. The low alerts are 20 points lower than the finger prick. Not as good as they say.

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