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What should I know about calibration when choosing a CGM?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
You should know the following about calibration for your CGM monitor:

  • Does the CGM have a built-in meter for calibration? If so, can you use an outside meter?
  • If not, will your insurance company cover the strips for it? (Don’t assume that just because they’ll help you out with the CGM and sensors that they’ll cover the strips for it.) 
  • Can you enter as many fingersticks as you want, or will the system only accept them at certain times? 
  • If you can use an outside meter does the menu start where the CGM thinks you are to limit your “scroll time,” or does it always start at 100, forcing you to scroll up or down each time you calibrate? 
  • If your system is built into an insulin pump that talks to a fingerstick meter do you have the option of not using a fingerstick reading to calibrate? (In other words, are you forced to use every fingerstick as a calibration stick?)     

You should know the following about the timing of calibration for your CGM monitor:

  • How often do you need to calibrate?
  • Will the system give you advance warning reminders of upcoming calibrations? 
  • If so, can you choose how much warning time you want, or do you have to use a factory default? 
  • Do you have to calibrate at a specific time or only by a specific time?      

You should know the following about calibration limits for your CGM monitor:
  • What is the range of fingersticks the system will accept for calibration?
  • Will the system shut you down if you are above range when a calibration is required?
Beyond Fingersticks: The art of control with continuous glucose monitoring

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Beyond Fingersticks: The art of control with continuous glucose monitoring

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.