If you are a regular reader of Diabetes Strong, you probably noticed that I often wear my Dexcom CGM on my upper arm. It’s one of my favorite places to wear the CGM but it can be a little tricky to insert it without help until you learn the technique.
Since a lot of you have been asking how I do it, let me show you in this short video:
As you can see, it really isn’t that difficult, but I still recommend havening someone around to help the first time you try it.
Why I wear my Dexcom CGM on the upper arm
My upper arm is one of my favorite CGM placements for several reasons.
- It’s a meatier part of my body, so there’s absolutely no pain when inserting the sensor
- I’ve found that this placement, for me, is where I have the least risk of ripping off the sensor by accident
- I get very accurate readings.
The only downside to wearing it on the arm is that wrestling off a sweaty sports bra without getting it snagged on the sensor can be a little tricky and getting the hang of inserting it by yourself might take a little practice.
I usually wear the CGM for 7-9 days. After that, it will start irritating my skin or give inaccurate readings.
Why doesn’t Dexcom recommend wearing it on your arm?
The Dexcom G5 sensor is only FDA and EMA (The European Medicines Agency) approved for 7-day wear (I know people who’ll make it last 30-days or more) and only for insertion on the abdomen. The placement approval is mainly due to Dexcom only submitting clinical data for abdomen wear to the FDA and EMA rather than them finding other placements to be worse. However, wearing it like I do is off-label usage and doing so is “at own risk”.
For more CGM tips and tricks, check out my post “5 CGM Tips for the Active Diabetic”
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