CGM Basics

Dexcom G5 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring Diabetes Treatment Decisions: the Basics

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Ready for Treatment Decisions?

You can use your Dexcom G5 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring System to make treatment decisions. But how do you know you’re ready? Start by discussing Treatment Decisions: The Basics with your healthcare professional (HCP). Get your questions answered. Together, decide when you’re ready.

Whether you’re new to Dexcom or experienced, you should keep using your meter to make treatment decisions until you know how Dexcom works for you. Don’t rush! It may take days, weeks or months for you to gain confidence in using your Dexcom G5 Mobile to make treatment decisions. Confirm your glucose readings using your meter so you understand that:

  • the accuracy you experience with each newly inserted sensor may vary
  • a sensor might work differently in different situations (meals, exercise, first day of use, etc.)

Review this one-page handout with patients to help them understand how the Dexcom G5 Mobile can be used for diabetes treatment decisions.*

Treatment Decisions

The Basics
Symptoms don’t match readings? Always use your meter. You know your body, listen to it.
Taken acetaminophen? Always use your meter. Medications containing acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol®) can give you a false high reading.
Need to calibrate? Always use your meter.
Calibrate at sensor start and every 12 hours. Calibrating less often may cause inaccurate readings. Always use proper fingerstick technique. Use soap and water, never gel cleaners.
Use fingertips only.
When in Doubt
Not confident in your readings? Always use your meter. Maybe it is the first day of your sensor or your glucose is rapidly changing.
When in doubt get your meter out.
Number + Arrow
No number or arrow? Always use your meter.
No number, no arrow, no Dexcom treatment decision
Insulin Stacking
Preventing insulin stacking is important, whether you use your meter or your Dexcom G5 Mobile. Don’t take insulin doses too close together, or “stack” insulin. You don’t want to go low; wait at least 2 hours.
Sometimes it’s best to watch and wait.
Beyond the Basics
The more you use your Dexcom G5 Mobile the better your results. Wear it. Look at it. Respond to it. Alarm and alerts keep you posted – leave them on.
Work with your HCP to figure out what works best for you. Know your target glucose. Map a plan for lows. Decide on dosing and timing. Adjust using results of past decisions.
What Kim Sees What Kim Does and Why
Kim got a Low Alert: What: She eats an energy bar without doing a fingerstick.
Why: 80 mg/dL with a down arrow means her glucose is dropping. In 15 minutes, Kim could be 35 mg/dL.
At breakfast, Kim sees: What: She doses to cover her meal.
Why: Because of the up arrow, she takes a little more insulin.
At lunchtime, Kim sees: What: She doses to cover her meal.
Why: Because of the down arrow, she reduces her insulin amount.
What Do the Arrows Mean?
Glucose could increase more than 90 mg/dL in 30 minutes.
Glucose could increase up to 90 mg/dL in 30 minutes.
Glucose could increase 30-60 mg/dL in 30 minutes.
Not increasing/decreasing more than 1 mg/dL each minute.
Glucose could decrease 30-60 mg/dL in 30 minutes
Glucose could decrease up to 90 mg/dL in 30 minutes
Glucose could decrease more than 90 mg/dL in 30 minutes.

WARNING: Review all indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions and detailed procedures in your user’s guide or patient instructions before using your Dexcom G5 Mobile.

See the Dexcom G5 Mobile Continuous Glucose Monitoring System User Guide for the full safety statement and more detailed instructions. Your options to get the full user guide:

  1. Download:
  2. Request a free printed copy:
  3. Request a free copy by phone: 1-888-738-3646 ext. 4300

*Fingersticks required for calibration, or if symptoms or expectations do not match readings, or when taking medications containing acetaminophen.

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