For people living with diabetes, monitoring glucose levels is one of the most important steps in managing the disease.
“Diabetes requires continuous maintenance of glucose levels in the desirable range in order to limit complications,” says Dr. Akshay Jain, an endocrinologist in Surrey, BC. “This is a 24/7 requirement and levels can be affected by what we eat, our physical activity, stress, lack of sleep, alcohol intake, and many other factors.” Checking glucose levels helps people with diabetes make decisions like how to dose their medications, what food to eat, and whether it’s safe to exercise, explains Dr. Jain.
Traditionally, checking your glucose levels has meant pricking your finger and placing a drop of blood on a test strip and into a blood glucose meter. This can be painful and especially hard on people who need to check their levels multiple times a day and at night.
“Most importantly, it only gives us a snapshot, as it’s only a reflection of the glucose levels at that particular second. It doesn’t give us any idea of whether levels are rising, dropping, or staying steady. This is why we require several of these snapshots each day,” says Dr. Jain.
This has absolutely changed the way I live. The control I have now is so empowering.
Continuous glucose monitoring helps the user to manage glucose highs and lows
Alternatively, a real-time continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system like the Dexcom G6 takes glucose measurements every few minutes, day and night, without the need for fingersticks.* This helps users manage highs and lows and lets them see the impact that certain behaviours have on their glucose levels.
The Dexcom G6 CGM system has a small, wearable sensor† and a transmitter that sends glucose numbers to your smartphone± for up to every five minutes. Alerts let you know when you’re headed too high or too low. The predictive, Urgent Low Soon alert can notify the user in advance of glucose getting below a certain level. Users can also share their glucose levels with up to 10 people using the Dexcom Follow app §, providing more peace of mind for parents and other caregivers. Health care providers can also see a summarized report to help improve diabetes management.
“Devices like the Dexcom G6 have been shown to reduce A1C (average glucose levels over three months) and improve the time spent in your target glucose range,”1,2 says Dr. Jain. “The latest Diabetes Canada blood glucose monitoring guidelines recommend the use of this device, especially in individuals requiring several injections of insulin or insulin pumps.” The Dexcom G6 is now covered under many provincial health plans and by most private insurers, helping more people with diabetes access this life-changing technology.
Improved glucose control is empowering
Laura Sabourin, a 45-year-old high school teacher from Chatham, ON, says the Dexcom G6 CGM system changed her life. Diagnosed at age two with type 1 diabetes, Sabourin’s family found it difficult to manage her glucose levels as a young child. As she got older and became a teacher, she says consistently checking her levels by pricking her fingers was “nearly impossible.” She also had to take four insulin injections a day.
While it helped to get an insulin pump, which continuously delivers insulin, checking her glucose was still difficult. In February of 2021, Sabourin started using the Dexcom G6 CGM system. “This is when my life changed to the best life I’ve ever lived,” she says. “This has absolutely changed the way I live. The control I have now is so empowering. To know what my glucose level is and where it’s headed at a glance is unbelievable. I feel more in control, and that’s going to help me live a longer and healthier life.”
*If your glucose alerts and readings from the Dexcom G6 do not match symptoms or expectations, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions.
† Adults can use their bellies or back of upper arms for sensor placement. Patients age 2 to 17 years old can choose their bellies or upper buttocks.
± To view a list of compatible devices, go to www.dexcom.com/compatibility.
§ Internet connectivity required for data sharing. Following requires the use of the Follow app. Followers should always confirm readings on the Dexcom G6 app before making diabetes treatment decisions.
1 Beck RW, Riddlesworth T, Ruedy K, et al. Effect of continuous glucose monitoring on glycemic control in adults with type 1 diabetes using insulin injections: The DIAMOND randomized clinical trial. JAMA 2017;317(4):371-8.
2 Welsh JB, Gao P, Derdzinski M, et al. Accuracy, Utilization, and Effectiveness Comparisons of Different Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems. Diabetes Technol Ther 2019;21(3):128-32.