Anxiety with continuous glucose monitor

I’ve been dealing with type one diabetes for more than 50 years. I switched over to the pump seven years ago when a doctor new to me noticed I was experiencing too many lows. Switching to the pump has been wonderful since I can alter my basal insulin depending on time of day and personalize it based on what’s going on in my life. I still test 8 to 10 times a day.
I was happy to find that continuous glucose monitor’s test blood sugar levels consistently. The first time I tried one a few years ago The readings didn’t match my glucose levels.
When I tried the continuous glucose monitor last summer I thought it would make a positive difference in my life. After two weeks on it I found my anxiety were very high. The anxiety levels were so high my family and Chinese medicine doctor commented. This is something that I’ve never experienced, so I figured it must be the continuous glucose monitor.
As I am now checking out new insulin pumps, I see that they are all connected to continuous glucose monitors.There is even one where you don’t have to stick your finger at all. It seems that the technology developers are working for us type ones.
Just wondering if anyone else has experienced such anxiety with continuous glucose monitors and how they have dealt with it. I’m generally an easy-going person.
I hope this anxiety around continuous glucose monitor doesn’t stop me from using the best technology out there.
Any comments are appreciated.

Hi Jayne @alwayshopeful, I can relate well to much that you describe. I received my diabetes diagnosis in 1957 began with my first pump 47 1/2 years later. I too was experiencing too many glucose readings that were lower than my desired target and a couple of very severe hypoglycemic events [BG at 10 mg/dl for one] where medics were needed to awaken me. Since then two endocrinologists, working independently, have suggested that I get my HbA1c up to at least 6.5 from around 5.9 to 6.1; I’ve been working on that and experienced critical glucose level swings.

Last August I began using the Dexcom G5 continuous monitor and I’ve successfully, AND SAFELY, raised raised my A1c to 6.4 while improving my overall management - my CV percentage has dropped well below 30%. I have used my CGM to alert me when my BGL is dropping and I’ve used that information to either suspend my pump or enter a reduced % basal. Six weeks ago I got a new Tandem t-Slim x2 pump with all the bells and whistles but it will NOT communicate with the Dexcom G5 - which feature is still running in the Dexcom web advertisements. So I still manually suspend insulin to keep me from going too low. Dexcom explains this “glitch” with the fact that all pumps shipped since late last year were updated to the very latest technology so that mine will work only with the G6 - so much for their new “connectivity” hype.

When I first got this CGM [I had another brand years ago that failed to be useful] I found myself looking at the receiver EVERY minute - maybe what you were doing. After a month, maybe less, I was able to let myself relax some and didn’t constantly look. I do keep it with me at all times, in a pocket or on the nightstand when sleeping, and can be aware of my BGL level whenever attention is needed. I love it. Medicare willing, my next transmitter, due in May, will be the Dexcom G6.

Thank you Dennis. I’ve been on a Medtronic pump for eight years. I currently use the 530 G, realizing that the warrantee and later this year. Since being on the pump my A1c is 6.1 to 6.3 i’m good at changing my basal rates.Generally it’s been good, yet I struggle with bad infusion sets a couple of times a month. I have better things to do than call customer service especially when they don’t send me a replacement infusion sets.

Since I have time to work on this before I need to get another system, maybe I’ll try the CGM for 2 to 3 weeks before summer. Thanks for your comments.

I’ve learned a couple of holistic healing methods that seem to help, concentrating more on the liver, kidneys, and adrenals. Knowing Acupressure points connected to these organs and the pancreas doesn’t help 100%, yet it does seem to balance me out quicker. (or maybe it’s just keeping me busy while I’m waiting for my body/ food/meds to work )

Well I have the Dexcom G6 and tandem and can tell you I have zero anxiety. Yes you also don’t ever even have to calibrate it either, it never asks for a glucose reading unless something is majorly wrong. Just to tell you it’s never asked me to calibrate it. Also with tandem, they have the basal IQ to stop lows and the closed loop is coming out here in a few months. So yes the technology is working for us, it’s a good thing, I wouldn’t even think twice about it and let it do it’s job.

If there is a problem it will let you know.

I just started G6 10 days ago and it is amazing. It is super helpful to see the exact impact of various foods, insulin doses and exercise over time. Being able to see the trends and lag time of all that is a tremendous help. It’s one thing to know your at 110, but another thing to see you’re at 110 but 5 minutes ago you were at 120 and 5 minutes before that you were at 130 and so on all plotted on a simple little graph on your cell phone!

I love it I’m just trying to figure out if I can save some money by taking a few days off between sensors because they’re expensive and only last 10 days.

Good luck! But I say at least try it you’ll be amazed at how helpful it is.

Hi Jason @JVictory6, happy to hear that you are learning something about yourself from the G6. I began using the G5 middle of last year and it has done for me just what I wanted it to do; it has helped me safely increase my HbA1c to a level a couple of endocrinologists recommended while eliminating almost entirely damaging hypoglycemic events and generally improving my overall diabetes management as evidenced by my CV calculations.

You mention that you are trying to determine if you can [safely] take off a few days using the sensor. The answer to that question may be to ask yourself why you began using a CGM; if you use the CGM just because “it is the in thing”, then yes you can stop! A continuous monitor like the G6 can be a very valuable tool but it is not a requirement for excellent diabetes management - the value comes in how it improves your lifestyle and safety.

Jayne, I have to tell you that my Dexcom CGM removed most of my anxiety. My husband tried to wake me one night and couldn’t administered a coke until I woke up, my blood was down about 36 based on what it was w hen I woke. With my cgm, I set the hi and low alarm and I am all set, can sleep all night. I test 8-10 times a day, and I can’t wait to get my Dexcom cgm back now that I have changed ins. co. My Dexcom cgm and my Omni Pod pump work well together, and supposedly Dexcom and Insulet Corp are working on a combined unit, can’t wait. If you are comparing a cgm reading with a finger stick, they aren’t going to match., found my cgm to be more accurate based on comparison between cgm and lab. Hope this helps, In my 66th year now and using technology is freedom. Hope this helps, Bye Jan

Hi Jayne! I haven’t read any of the other replies so apologies if this winds up being repetitive.

I can completely understand this - I HATE when things alarm; especially when it’s for no reason. For example I’ve had my CGM (I’m currently using the MiniMed 670G with the Guardian CGM) wake me in the middle of the night saying “Low SG; Enter BG to continue in Auto Mode” and then when I test with my meter it’s almost normal.

I learned at my training for this new system that hand-washing matters greatly when doing finger-sticks. The results will vary from 20 points and even higher when my hands are not freshly washed. I now keep alcohol swabs with my testing kit when washing my hands isn’t feasible and this has helped a LOT.

As far as the CGM making you anxious anything new can have this affect. If your glucose levels were decent without one, just think of this as a new level of accuracy that will give a clearer, 24-hr picture of how your blood glucose varies. As you and your endocrinologist go over your your results this will help fine-tune your basal profiles and your carb ratios.

Feel free to reply with any questions and I’ll do my best to help. I’ve been dealing with Type 1 for over 35 years and have been using an insulin pump for almost 20 of those years. I’m not an expert but I can sure offer some insight backed by years of trial & error :wink:

All the best,
Lorien :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t say I am anxious because of the G6. I don’t suffer much anxiety anyway. But I do find that sometimes I’m too hung up on it checking it way more often than I really need to.

but it is really cool IMHO.

I can definitely sympathize with you. I have had type 1 diabetes for 43 years and got my first insulin pump back in November. I am using the medtronic 670g with the guardian sensors. I got this one because my insurance wouldn’t cover the G6 or even G5. The medtronic system seems designed to produce anxiety. I don’t believe I can go more than a day or so without setting off one of their stupid alarms, I tend to be fairly active and at times my sugar will stay between 90 and 120 for 2 to 3 hours with no insulin being infused due to their auto mode. (plenty of snacks along the way to keep it there) This actually sets off an alarm and wants to interrupt my walk for a blood sugar. A lot of times I will take stock of myself have a snack, or just plain ignore them. Particularly if I am exercising their sensors tend to run lower than my blood sugar. I get annoyed by their system more than anything and try to figure out ways to outsmart it.

Prior to getting my G6, I was much MORE anxious about a potential low bg. I’ve been using the Dexcom G6 for about 6 months now. I love it!

I set the alarms at 80 (low) and 220 (high). Yes it’s annoying when the alarms go off. I’ve been much more active lately doing yard work and I’ve gone low or trended low several times within a few hours. But with the CGM I catch it BEFORE I become symptomatic!!! YAY! I can continue with the work after a minor break to refuel.
I tend to ignore the high alarm most times because I know that (for me) it will level out eventually without a correction.
I just like knowing where I am throughout the day so I can plan ahead. I am not on a pump (yet) because the technology is not where I want it to be at the moment. That may change.
Bottom line; at first, a CGM may make you more anxious. But once you realize your own trends you can breathe a bit easier knowing that it has your back.
Good luck.

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