What We Learned from the Online Community in January

We learn something new every day from this community’s Question of the Day responses. Here are the 3 most popular questions of January 2021!

1.) What was your most recent A1c?

48% of respondents reported an A1c between 6.0 and 6.9. Several people said they had an A1c under 5.0, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, no one responded that they had an A1c over 10.0.

Members of the community applauded each other and celebrated their own low A1cs. A few people expressed frustration that their diabetes healthcare providers think their low A1cs mean they are having too many low blood sugars.

Several people pointed out that technology such as automated insulin devices and CGMs alleviate some of the steep blood sugar spikes and drops while still lowering A1c, and that the idea that an A1c being “too low” is a thing of the past for those using newer devices.

2.) How many nights in the past week has T1D disturbed your sleep?

This question showed a wide range of responses, with many people selecting every answer. The most common response was 3 nights of sleep disturbed by T1D in a week with 19% of the votes.

A lucky 15% of people responded that T1D had not interrupted their sleep at all in the past 7 days, but 35% reported losing sleep due to T1D more than half of the nights in a week.

Many community members are frustrated with frequent CGM alarms, particularly for devices that give less flexibility with alarm settings. Some described the “alarm fatigue” which causes them to turn off alarms in their sleep, take breaks from wearing devices, and question if they want to wear a device at all.

As technology advances, everyone is hoping for fewer non-emergency alarms and more alert customization.

3.) If you wear a CGM, what do you do when a sensor fails?

This question provided a lot of insight from community members about tips for dealing with failed sensors. Most people (68%) call the company to get replacement sensors, with only 8% of people throwing the sensor away without replacing it.

While 5% of people selected “other”, some commented that they have a more complex system for handling sensor failures. If a sensor fails towards the beginning of the session, they will call and get a replacement, but if the sensor is in its last couple of days, they just take the loss.

Many members shared their experiences with customer service at CGM companies. Here are some of the insights shared:

  • “Mine rarely fails, but when it does, I just get a replacement from the website (Medtronic). Much faster (and not having to deal with a frustrated representative), in my opinion.”
  • “I recently found out that I can just go to Dexcom tech support online at https://www.dexcom.com/support. You can put in your sensor problems or “chat” with a support person online.”
  • “Dexcom’s Live Chat feature on their support website is the easiest way to obtain a replacement. Plus everything discussed is documented. The tech support folks are extremely helpful and kind.”
  • “Dexcom offers a chat option on their contact page that is 20X faster and more responsive than calling and sitting on hold for hours.”
  • “I called Dexcom and they acted quickly, as always when I have a problem.”
  • “If a sensor fails on the 8th or 9th day, I just let it go. But, if it fails between 1 and 7 days, I generally call for a replacement (especially if I’m low on sensors). Dexcom has always been fantastic with the customer service on this issue. I appreciate that about them so much.”
  • “When I call Dexcom tech support I’ve been told if the readings are off significantly from finger sticks and calibration doesn’t rectify this, I’m to remove the sensor, apply a new one, and call for a replacement.”
  • “I call because they like defective products returned for quality control and troubleshooting.”
  • “I chose other as my main goal was to call the company and report issues with the sensor, so cause could be found and prevented. I always receive a replacement, which is nice.”

Thank you to every member of the T1D Exchange Online Community for sharing your experiences. Your words inspire others who come to this community for advice and to know they’re not alone.

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