Your Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system and Livongo blood glucose meter are a winning combination when it comes to managing diabetes. Each device plays a different but valuable role in self-monitoring your blood sugar.
The CGM sensor is inserted under your skin and sends updates every 5 minutes. Your CGM tells you if you’re high, low, or in your target range. It also points to where your blood sugar is headed. The arrow will tell you if your blood sugar is steady, rising, or falling. It also shows how rapidly changes are happening. Trend arrows can help you see if you should eat something or take insulin (if applicable). The CGM also keeps track of where your blood sugar has been so you can follow trends.
Where Does the Livongo Meter Come In?
How it’s used: The Livongo meter uses a drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar at one point in time. Place a test strip in the Livongo meter. After washing hands with warm and soapy water, use a lancing device to draw a drop of blood. Touch the tip of the strip to the drop of blood. In seconds, the meter will give you your blood sugar reading.
When to use it: Since your CGM measures blood sugar consistently, it may seem like you won’t need a meter that reads blood sugar at one point in time. But there are times when you’ll want to check in with your Livongo meter. Here are four important examples:
- No number, no arrow, no CGM treatment decision. If your CGM doesn’t show both a number and arrow, that means it’s not working correctly. You’ll want to check with your Livongo meter instead.
- When in doubt, get your meter out. Maybe you don’t feel right but CGM readings show that your blood sugar is on target. That means it’s time to pull out your Livongo meter. If the meter value matches your symptoms, use that value to treat. Then, consider calibrating your CGM to align it to your meter.
- Error message means it’s meter time. The “Signal Loss Alert” error message on your app or receiver means your CGM isn’t working. As a result, you will not be getting CGM readings, alerts, or alarms.
- No readings during the warm-up. After starting a new sensor, there is a 2-hour warm-up period when you will not get any readings. Check with your Livongo meter during this time.
Talk to your doctor or Livongo expert coach about how these two devices can complement each other in your diabetes management.