Using Dexcom and Garmin to View Glucose Levels at a Glance
Garmin ambassador and Dexcom warrior Tiana Cooks pairs her Dexcom G6 with her Garmin Venu 2S to closely monitor her glucose levels while she trains.
For people with diabetes, being able to quickly view glucose levels is not only convenient — it’s critical.
“I need to keep my glucose in a certain range to feel like my best self and to be able to stay alive,” says Garmin ambassador Tiana Cooks, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2014. Cooks uses a Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) that pairs with the Dexcom app on her Garmin smartwatch1 to be able to monitor her levels simply by glancing at her wrist. This integration makes the tough days easier, says Cooks, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Below, Cooks answers a few questions about how the pairing of her Garmin smartwatch with her glucose monitor has changed her life.
Which Garmin smartwatch do you have? What are your favorite features?
I use the Venu® 2S! I love this watch. Battery life, heart rate monitoring2 and Body Battery™ energy monitoring are a few of my favorite features. Because I am constantly charging my insulin pump, phone and other devices, it’s nice to have one less item to worry about. I can sleep with the watch on without needing to take it off for charging, which is a win.
What does it mean for you to be able to check your glucose levels with just a glance at your wrist? What was the process for checking them previously?
Living with diabetes means that I need to know where my glucose levels are all day every day. It means I need to keep my glucose in a certain range to feel like my best self and to be able to stay alive. The ideal range for me is anywhere from 80 to 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). When I was first diagnosed, I used to prick my finger seven to nine times each day to test my blood glucose. Now that I have the Dexcom G6, I am able to monitor my glucose without needing to prick my finger. The Dexcom G6 is a continuous glucose monitor; it uses BLUETOOTH® to send the readings to my phone and my watch. Whenever I need to check my glucose, it is as simple as looking down at my wrist. I am so thankful for my Garmin! Having access to technology is something I will never take for granted.
Do you monitor your glucose levels closely during an activity? What other metrics do you like to pay close attention to?
During an activity is when I notice my glucose is the most unpredictable and rapidly changing. In order to exercise, I need to pay attention to how many carbs I am consuming, how much insulin I intake and the intensity of the workout. These things all have the ability to impact my activity and my glucose levels. With my Garmin smartwatch, I am able to see how much energy I am exerting during an activity, which is helpful in predicting where my glucose levels might go.
Why is it important to be able to see the trend direction of your glucose levels as well as the 3-hour history?
Being able to see the trend and direction of where my glucose is heading has enabled me to spend more days laughing, exploring and being active without having to stop and treat my glucose after it is too late. Correcting my glucose before my body starts to feel terrible has saved me lots of stress and provided me lots of freedom.
Can you speak to what it was like training for a marathon and having diabetes? How did your watch and the Dexcom integration impact your training?
Training for a marathon is tough. Training for a marathon with diabetes is even tougher. My body burns glucose when I am active, causing my glucose to trend on the lower side. With the Dexcom and Garmin integration, I am able to monitor and consume carbs as needed while not needing to stop training to check my numbers. There are days when diabetes gets challenging and giving up seems like the best option, but the integration makes those tough days easier.
Interested in learning more about Tiana Cooks? Follow her Instagram account here. Ready to get set up with your Dexcom on your own Garmin smartwatch? Learn more here.
1The Dexcom apps on Connect IQ™ are only for secondary display of data from the Dexcom CGM System and are for passive monitoring purposes only. The Dexcom apps on Connect IQ are not intended to replace the Dexcom CGM System, nor replace self-monitoring practices as advised by a physician. All therapeutic decisions, including those regarding calculating insulin or other drug doses, should not be based on data displayed in the Dexcom apps on Connect IQ.
Dexcom G6 and Dexcom G5 Mobile are registered trademarks of Dexcom, Inc. in the U.S., and may be registered in other countries.
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