Dexcom G6, Basal-IQ, and the Keto Diet


On August 26 all the stars aligned, and I began using the Dexcom G6 and I also began using the Basal-IQ update on my t:slim x2 insulin pump.

The biggest features of the Dexcom G6 vs the G5 are:

  1. no need to calibrate vs having to calibrate every 12 hours
  2. 10 day wear vs 7 day wear
  3. the transmitter has a much smaller profile

My thoughts?

Accuracy is great IF I start each new session by calibrating, and following up by calibrating every 4-12 hours during the first few days.  If I don’t do that, the rest of the 10 days are not good.  Inevitably every single G6 sensor I’ve used so far has been off by 50%+ at startup, which is why I initially calibrate even though Dexcom says you shouldn’t have to.

Additionally, I feel the adhesive is really lacking – I used to be able to wear my G4/G5 sensors for two weeks (and could have gone longer except for skin irritation issues) with no problems. With the G6 it’s falling off at day 10, so I don’t even want to try a restart (note Dexcom has enabled a hard shutoff of the sensors but there ARE ways to trick it and do a restart, if you want).

Ultimately, at the end of the day, I prefer the G5 due to being able to get longer sensor wear out of each sensor.  I don’t feel like accuracy is that much different between the two systems.

However, I’m sticking with the G6 because it makes the Basal-IQ feature on my insulin pump work!

Basal-IQ has been amazing! While I’ve still had a few lows, they have been minor – my blood sugar hasn’t been below 60 in quite some time! And minor lows are easier to treat meaning no rebound highs. Overall, it’s been great for control. Check out the below graphs from my pump.

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So amazing, right?! The red bars indicate where Basal-IQ determined it needed to shut off my basal rate in order to help me avoid a potential low, using the G6 to predict ahead by 30 minutes.

This has been a game-changer in my diabetes.

The other big game changer for me recently? The Keto Diet***.

If you are not familiar with the Keto Diet, it’s a way of eating that promotes eating high fat/low carb/moderate protein. This places the body in a state of ketosis, promoting flatter blood sugar profiles and weight loss.  This doesn’t mean I’m going all out and eating bacon and butter at every meal – I am trying to consume healthier fats most of the time, like those found in avocado, olives, salmon, and coconut. While I’ve only been doing it about a week and a half, I’ve definitely seen the affect on my blood sugars. My average blood sugar went from about 135 down to a current average of 113. My blood sugars are between 70 and 150, 92% of the time and that percentage goes up a bit every day!  I haven’t lost weight yet, but that’s ok.

***Note that the keto diet is so named because in a state of ketosis you produce ketones. Ketones can be dangerous in people with diabetes, without proper insulin intake or when they occur in conjunction with elevated blood sugar levels. I am NOT recommending anyone try this without consulting a medical professional first!

Have any of my readers tried the Keto Diet and if so what affect did you see on your control of your diabetes? How long did you maintain this way of eating, and did you have to stop because of any serious concerns?

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