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Best Continuous Glucose Monitoring System for Type 1 Diabetes

If you have Type 1 diabetes, you know it’s important to continuously stay on top of your blood sugar, or blood glucose levels. That means you’re always watching what you eat, controlling your stress levels, getting enough physical activity, and keeping a close eye on your medications to prevent low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.

One of the easiest ways to monitor how all those factors affect your blood sugar levels is to use a glucometer. Traditionally, that meant regularly pricking your finger multiple times a day. But these days, it’s easier to control your Type 1 diabetes without the mess and pain that come with fingersticks, thanks to continuous glucose monitors (CGMs).

They’ve been around for several years, but recent innovations mean improved accuracy and more features that appeal to Type 1 diabetes patients like you. Keep reading to find out which CGM is best for Type 1 diabetes.

How Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Technology Works

CGM systems have revolutionized the way patients manage their blood sugar levels. These innovative systems have three main components:

  • A small filament attached to a flexible device or sensor is inserted just beneath the skin to monitor glucose levels and provide accurate data day and night.
  • A transmitter attached to the sensor wirelessly delivers glucose readings to a compatible smart device.
  • A receiver, which displays current glucose levels, trends, and alerts.

Reduced Glycemic Variability

You probably know that when your glucose levels fluctuate wildly, you feel uncomfortable. Luckily, CGMs can highlight fluctuations that would otherwise go unnoticed with traditional monitoring methods like A1C. This information can give you a more active role in your treatment plan, as you and your health care team implement strategies to minimize variations, improving your overall health.

Enhanced Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia Alerts

CGM systems provide real-time alerts when blood sugar levels fall too low (hypoglycemia) or rise too high (hyperglycemia). That makes it easier to avoid low blood sugar, which can cause significant physical and mental deficits, or high blood sugar, which can make you tired, thirsty, hungry, and irritable.

Patients love CGM technology because it helps them identify their personalized glucose target ranges and receive an alert before experiencing an episode. That way, patients like you can take immediate action, preventing potentially dangerous situations.

Better Quality of Life

But CGM systems do more than just help patients manage their blood sugar levels. They also improve quality of life for patients with diabetes. First, they eliminate the need for frequent fingerstick measurements, which can be painful and embarrassing, especially if you have to perform them outside your home. CGMs are also great for those who sometimes forget their glucometer. They’re worn on the body, so you can’t get halfway down the road and realize you didn’t bring it with you. And because they’re water resistant, you can wear them while bathing or swimming. Some models even have overpatches to further protect the devices from water.

Allowing Caregivers to Help Monitor Blood Sugar

Caregivers also love CGM systems because they allow them to participate in monitoring a patient’s diabetes – which is especially important for those caring for older adults and young children. And the ability to receive readings on a smartphone is great for busy families.

Another advantage of CGM systems? There are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the best options for managing Type 1 diabetes.

Dexcom G6

Dexcom G6The Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system sends your glucose numbers to a smart device every 5 minutes without the need for painful fingersticks or inconvenient scanning. Its seven trend arrows show where your numbers are heading and how quickly they’re heading there, so you can make informed choices to help manage your glucose levels. Here’s what patients love about the Dexcom G6:

  • It’s small and discreet, with a sensor usually inserted in the abdomen that can be worn for up to 10 days.
  • It lets you view your real-time glucose numbers on your compatible smart device, Dexcom receiver, insulin pump, or health app.
  • You can customize alert sounds and settings to best fit your lifestyle and get alerts before your levels spike or drop. You can also establish your own high and low target levels and be alerted when you reach them.
  • Alerts include a 20-minute warning of sugar levels at 55 mg/dL so you can avoid a potential hypoglycemic event as well as an alert when you reach that level.
  • You can choose a second set of alerts for other situations/needs.
  • Overpatches are available.

Dexcom CGM can also increase your time in range, a reading that shows a more complete picture of your glucose variations when compared to A1C.

Dexcom G7

Dexcom G7Another great option is the Dexcom G7. Here’s why patients love it:

  • The Dexcom G7 is 60% smaller than the Dexcom G6. You might even forget you’re wearing it!
  • It’s easy to apply, wear, and use.
  • You can easily see your glucose numbers in real time.
  • Using a Dexcom CGM system is proven to lower A1C and help you spend more time in range.
  • Alerts include a 20-minute advance warning of when you’ll reach 55 mg/dL.
  • You can mute alert sounds and vibrations for up to 6 hours and delay your first high alert until your sensor reading is high for a specific period chosen by you.
  • Quiet mode lets you be alerted by vibrations only, except for urgent alerts, which will make a sound if not acknowledged.
  • The G7 can be inserted on the back of the upper arm, the abdomen, or, for children aged 2-17, on the upper buttocks. It can also be inserted using only one hand.
  • It’s more accurate than the G6, with a Mean Absolute Relative Difference (MARD) of 8.2% when worn on the upper arm. Comparatively, the G6 and Freestyle Libre have MARDs of 9.0% and 9.3%, respectively.
  • It allows you to temporarily silence alarms and adjust alert thresholds.
  • Available overpatches protect the device during swimming or sweating.

The G7 also makes it easier and more convenient to change sensors, with a warm-up time of just 30 minutes — much shorter than the G6 with the same 10-day lifespan. And when you do need to replace the sensor, you no longer need to worry about saving the transmitter. You can just remove the entire device and insert a new one.

Freestyle Libre 2 System

Freestyle Libre 2Looking for another option for your CGM? Look to the Freestyle Libre 2. It’s been updated to include optional real-time glucose alarms that alert you when your levels are too low or high. Here are some other reasons to consider it:

  • Can be used with an Apple or Android smartphone or the Libre 2 app
  • Displays blood sugars when the reader is placed next to the sensor
  • Records levels every minute for up to 8 hours at a time
  • Lasts for 14 days
  • Easily inserted
  • Has five arrows
  • FDA-approved for ages 4 and up

The Freestyle Libre 3 System


Love the Freestyle Libre 2? Wait until you see the updated version. This accurate, one-piece, 14-day CGM system is designed to help reduce time spent in hypoglycemia and improve your overall glucose control.

Here’s what you need to know about the Freestyle Libre 3 system:

  • It has the world’s smallest, thinnest, and most discreet sensor – smaller than two stacked pennies.
  • It’s simple and painless to apply and wear.
  • The optional, real-time glucose alarms let you know immediately when your glucose is too high or too low.

How to Get a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System

Ready to leave fingersticks behind and get started with a CGM? You’ve come to the right place. Total Medical Supply is a premier medical supply provider specializing in continuous glucose monitors and supplies, as well as diabetic testing supplies. We’ve made it simple to get a CGM by creating a helpful fact sheet to share with clinicians. Consult with your health care provider to determine if a CGM system is suitable for your needs.

Here are the steps to take to advocate for a CGM system:

  1. Print the CGM Fact Sheet.
  2. Take the CGM Fact Sheet, using the EHR system or at the next appointment.
  3. Point out which CGM will work best for your unique needs. Remember, the Dexcom G6 has a 10-day sensor worn on the abdomen and the FreeStyle Libre 2 has a 14-day sensor that’s worn on the back of the arm.
  4. Ask for a prescription.

It’s that simple!

Choosing a CGM system can be life-changing for patients with Type 1 diabetes because it offers an easier, more comprehensive, and more convenient way to manage their health and improve their quality of life.

Find out if a CGM is right for you!

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This information, including, but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material contained in this document, is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services of any kind. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and you should never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this document. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately. Neither Total Medical Supply nor its employees make any representations, express or implied, with respect to the information provided herein or to its use.

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