Dexcom G6 reading —- instead of my blood sugar with nearly every single sensor at least for a few hours

  Hi I’m Steve. I have been a type one diabetic for a while now. I was diagnosed at 17, so I have had it now for 16 years total. I started taking shots, but have been on an insulin pump and Cgm for about the past five or 6 years now, so I am very used to it, along with how my body functions and operates with my blood sugar. 
 I used to have a Medtronic, but got a Tandem pump about 2 years ago now, along with a Dexcom 6 CgM. It does a fairly accurate job at reading and reporting my blood sugars for me, but as of lately, where my blood sugar is supposed to read on my Tandem pump screen, it displays - - - .
  Now previously, this would happen very seldomly. Now, it has been happening at least once with each new sensor that I put on (generally for a couple of hours minimum). I get a warning that states if the readings are not displayed continuously for more than 3 consecutive hours, to contact Dexcom, which I have also done too many times to count now.
 The reasons that I have been given for what could be causing it not to pick up and read my blood sugar were these reasons that have been given to me:
  1. dehydration- which is not the case because often it will display he - - - for a while, I won’t drink anymore water, and it will come back on and display my blood sugars again
  2. if the transmitter is bumped into and slightly disconnects from the sensor. The last time that I called was the first time I was given this information, so today when it happened, I tried to push it back into place, but it was al the way in
  3. if the sensor is pulled out away from the skin - it his too, is not the case because Tandem or dexcom (I don’t remember which) is now giving away sensor over patches ten at a time each time that you send in a request
  4. they told me that they can only recommend for me to insert a sensor into my abdomen because that is where it is made to be applied, but they suggested to speak to my doctor about moving my sensor and transmitter to another location on my body that has some fat on it… this is the last and final option provided to me, and I have not tried it yet, due to the fact that hey say to only apply it to my stomach. I am very skinny, so really the only options that I have are my stomach, or perhaps on my lower back just above my butt. Several people say that they wear theirs on their arms, but I just don’t have a whole lot of cushion there… They suggested that I may have a buildup of scar tissue underneath my skin where the sensor is transmitting, which can affect my readings. But if this is true, then why will it work after the warmup phase, and then not, and then work again? If there was scar tissue, wouldn’t it just not work at all?
    I have also struggled with a couple times where my CgM has been showing a reading of close to 90 or 100, and I am hypoglycemic unaware, and then the next thing I know someone told me to eat something because that hey thought I was acting funny, so I check my CgM and it read 90 or 100, and then I used my meter and it read 27… I know that they say that your sensor can be off by about +/- 20 points, but a difference of nearly 70 points was unacceptable to me considering I was close to loss of consciousness at a reading that low. So I calibrated the sensor, but this too has happened a couple of times. Not many, but enough to scare me!
    So I was curious if there are any other type one’s out there who have struggled with either of these issues, and if you have found out any solutions for these two problems that I have had lately.

Please let me know!
I have also had type one diabetes for a pretty long time and have been through a lot, and had to deal with most of my issues by myself and figure out solutions that work for me, so if anyone else reads this and has any questions that I may be able to help you with, please just ask away and I am happy to help or share with you what I know!

Thank you and god bless!


Hi @Stk88 . I’m so sorry to hear about the website issues your having. I get those dashes from time to time, I think followed by instructions to restart - so annoying! In those cases I’ve found I “hit a bleeder” - not just a tiny bit of blood but enough to “clog the works.” I’m not lean so it doesn’t happen often and I’ve pretty much figured out which spaces area problematic. I use a cover and over patch so need to remind myself to give it a couple of minutes before adding them on to make sure I didn’t bleed through.
Thankfully Tandem will replace sensors that stop functioning - or don’t start - but that’s not ideal. Although you’re an experienced user it might help to sit with a trainer to find better sites and doublecheck your technique.
As for location, certain ones have been approved by the FDA while others have not yet - but people get good results from those sites. If you’re super lean acar tissue will be a particular challenge so you may need to experiment - your rep, nurse educator or endo may be able to help you.
Please stay in touch.
PS - diamond of scar tissue, I started taking injections in the 60S, MDI starting in the early 80s, and started pumping in the mid 90s and using a CGM a few years later. I used 90 degree infusion sets for years then thought I would try the 30 degree sets. There’s nothing scientific (at least in my mind) but it occurred to me that switching up the angle now and then might help with scar tissue: so sometimes I go in at 90 degrees, others I’ll insert a 30 degree at from right to left and others left to right. Maybe it helps. Not an option with the CGM but might be with trying with your insulin sets.

Is your transmitter about to expire ? I have the — issues more often when my transmitter battery is within about 3 weeks of expiring. Lately, I have had a few and I’m also on my last session with this transmitter, so I don’t know of a good way to combat that. and maintain a relative constant cgm use.
Like @wadawabbit , hydration and bleeders cause issues.