The Dexcom G6 is undoubtedly one of the most useful gadgets for monitoring glucose levels. Like any other modern piece of technology, it also has a few shortcomings that can come up when something goes wrong, which we call common Dexcom errors.
While there are plenty of things that can go wrong, there are only about five issues that often come up.
That is why we decided to list only those for now, and if you need help with anything else, please let us know in the comments section below.
With that out of the way, let us get right into it!
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- The Best Diabetes management apps for your iPhone and Apple Watch this year
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- United Health launches its own Level2 continuous glucose monitoring wearable system
- Dexcom G7 wins CE Mark and features direct integration with Apple Watch
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1: Dexcom G6 False Low Bug
The Dexcom G6 can automatically alert you in case glucose levels fall unacceptably low. However, there are plenty of reasons why it can also throw a false alarm.
More often than not, this seems to happen when the user is asleep.
So, we can safely assume that it’s a compression issue where you’re pushing down on the device and pushing it onto a muscle.
So, the easiest fix is to not lay on it if you can.
If not, you could also turn off the alarms for the night by disabling Bluetooth, muting your phone with headphones, or doing anything that’s going to mute the alarm for the night.
Another common reason why this happens is due to medication. Certain meds can mess with intestinal fluids and create both false lows and false highs.
So, pay attention to when the false alarm comes up and when you’re taking your meds. In that sense, it’s not even a false alarm. But, ask a professional if you can – to be safe.
Working out or dehydration can also temporarily affect your glucose levels – mainly when the Dexcom is too close to an area where more glucose is burned. That’s normal.
It can also happen due to a bad fit, calibration, insertion, or a wrong setup.
In this case, all you can do is re-install it and ensure everything was set up correctly.
Last but not least, there’s always a small chance that you either got a defective unit or that it got damaged somewhere along the way.
If it comes down to that, all you can do is contact tech support.
2: No Readings
Not getting any readings for quite some time is one of the most common Dexcom errors. If you don’t get anything for at least 20 minutes, there is a good chance of something wrong with the setup or a technical issue.
More often than not, this happens due to either long distances or objects that block the signal.
See, Bluetooth isn’t the best when it comes to range. You will generally not be able to get too far away from your smartphone, smartwatch, or any other device that connects to the Dexcom without losing the signal.
So, if that’s what is going on, wait until your device reconnects to Dexcom or force disable and enable Bluetooth to reconnect manually.
One more common reason that creates this issue is water. It can sometimes happen when you are taking a shower or going for a swim.
This can also happen during sleep if you are lying on the device and putting pressure on it.
So, generally, ensure you’re not too far away from your device, and there’s no water involved – and also try not to lay on the Dexcom while sleeping.
Check out the adhesive patch that you are using with your Dexcom G6 sensor. Here are some of the good Dexcom patches available from Amazon.
Worst case scenario, try setting up everything from scratch and remember that re-connection and sync can take as long as 3 hours.
If nothing works, call 1-844-607-8398 (Dexcom’s tech support) and see if they can do anything about it. There is always a chance that it’s a technical defect.
3: Signal Loss
Dexcom uses Bluetooth to connect with your device. In case you’re unfamiliar, Bluetooth is a wireless technology that works in close-range proximity.
And “close-range” is the keyword here cause one of the most common Dexcom errors is signal loss due to long-range connectivity.
A Dexcom G6, or any other Bluetooth device, can only stay connected up to a certain range and withstand many objects before losing the signal.
So, more often than not, the Dexcom signal loss issue is nothing more than you being too far from your phone/watch or having too many objects like furniture, walls, or anything like that.
If you’re near your device and still lose the signal, it could be due to water after a bath or a dip into the sea.
Sometimes, laying on top of the sensor while sleeping can also create this issue. But, more often than not, you’ll get a false low reading.
Some common fixes include:
- Turning the Bluetooth off and on
- Restarting your device
- And updating your app in case, you’re not running the latest version
Finally, if nothing works, there is a slight chance that you’re dealing with a technical issue.
In this case, we’d highly recommend communicating with Dexcom tech support at 1-844-607-8398.
4: Dexcom G6 App Not Working
One of the most common Dexcom errors isn’t even on Dexcom but its app. To be more specific, in the Dexcom G6 app. It’s no surprise that it has an average rating of 2.5/5.
Sometimes it may stop sending notifications or refuse to connect even when there is nothing wrong with Dexcom.
And the most common fix to such an issue is the most common one, “Have you tried turning it off and on?”
You can either try restarting the app on its own or rebooting the smartphone as it is. Alternatively, the last resort is clearing the data off the app.
To do that on (stock) Android:
- Open the Settings app
- Apps & notifications
- See all apps
- Dexcom 6
- Storage & cache
- Then select “clear storage”
This is going to wipe everything off the app. So, it’s going to be like installing it for the first time.
Re-installing it isn’t the same cause the data usually remains even after uninstalling the app. But you could try that as well if you want to.
If you’re on iOS, chances are you won’t have to do anything since it’s a proprietary OS, and there’s not as much room for mistakes.
5: Sensor Error
The “sensor error” is undoubtedly one of the most common Dexcom errors. And we’ve got both good news and bad news regarding that subject.
The good news is that, more often than not, you can fix this for free.
The bad news is that since this seems to be directly related to the physical sensor, you’ll have to ask Dexcom for a physical transmitter/sensor.
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This problem seems to come up when the blood sugar rises above a specific threshold – and the exact threshold can significantly differ from sensor to sensor.
We’ve yet to see a software fix for this. So, all you can do here is call Dexcom and hope that they’ll agree to a solution.
Is Dexcom App not working with a smartwatch?
Unable to get Dexcom readings on your wearOS smartwatch?
The Dexcom app setup works pretty well for iOS users but, for some reason, has intermittent issues with the Android ecosystem. This is particularly the case for wearOS users trying to pipe data from their Android phone into their wearOS smartwatch.
Try these steps if you have issues getting the readings onto your Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch, Ticwatch, or other wearOS smartwatches from Dexcom.
- Restart your phone, followed by
- Restart your Smartwatch
- Give it some time and check if the Dexcom readings start showing up on your watch
The better approach for Android users is to try and use the BYOD Dexcom app and Xdrip. If you want, you can use Xdrip to upload data into nightspot or tidepool. That way, you have another data source in case Dexcom servers are down.
Dexcom blood glucose readings on Apple Watch with Always-on-display
Apple users tend to have a better experience with the Dexcom app on iOS.
If you are looking for a richer Dexcom experience on your Apple iPhone and Apple Watch, we recommend trying out the Sugarmate app.
Sugarmate is a companion app for iPhone users of the Dexcom G5/G6 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems and also offers Apple Watch integration along with a web app for non-Apple users and can work with Amazon Alexa.
Why Sugarmate for Apple Watch?
For one, the Sugarmate app updates your readings more frequently than the Dexcom app. On your Apple Watch, it uses the Calendar complication to update.
Choose any Apple Watch face with a calendar component and put the calendar complication on your Apple Watch face.
When setting up the Sugarmate app, follow the directions to send Dev data to your calendar. You can create a new calendar called ‘Sugarmate readings’ and make it your default calendar.
Sugarmate on your iPhone can also help show your reading on your car dash via CarPlay when you connect your iPhone.
Is Dexcom data not showing via Sugarmate on Apple Watch? Have you tried syncing data
For Apple Watch users who have intermittent data syncing issues with the Dexcom app, one of the things that help is forcing the watch to sync the data manually.
- Open the Watch app on your iOS device.
- Tap General > Reset.
- Tap Reset Sync Data multiple times.
- Erases all calendar and contacts data from Apple Watch and refreshes/re-syncs that data from your iPhone.
- Wait 5-10 minutes and check if the BG readings show up.
Bonus Dexcom Tips and Tricks
These are some of the most common Dexcom issues and what you can do about them. Before closing off, here are some endnotes to further help you:
- Always run the Dexcom app in the background. For iPhones, turn on background app refresh for the app in Settings > General > Background App Refresh. For Android, check your App Settings.
- Limit the number of apps that your phone runs in the background. As reader John points out, having too many apps running at one time often causes problems with the Dexcom app, especially on iPhones.
- Please don’t close or force close the Dexcom app–it needs to be on standby and refreshing in the background to work successfully.
- Don’t use battery savings or low power mode–this leads to errors with the Dexcom app.
- Try turning off Bluetooth and then turning it immediately back on.
- Open the Dexcom app and close all other apps. Then, forget the Dexcom from your phone’s Bluetooth settings. With the Dexcom app still open, then re-pair it with your phone. You should see a pairing request in the app. Accept it and follow any on-screen instructions to complete the pairing.
- Restart your phone by powering it off, waiting 30+ seconds, and powering back on.
- If you don’t like Dexcom’s stock case, you can also find 3rd party ones on Tallygear, myabetic, Shapeways, and even more if you’re willing to make a Google search and look around.
- Keep 844-607-8398 handy. It’s Dexcom’s customer support number, and you never know when you may need it.
- Be careful where you place the Dexcom. You don’t want to lay on it while you’re sleeping. Not only it’s uncomfortable – but it can also introduce false lows and false highs.
- Set the follow high range a few points higher for your followers.
- Dexcom sometimes gives free adhesives if you call them.
Common Dexcom Errors: Wrapping Up
And that’s about it for now. If you need anything else, feel free to drop a comment, and maybe the MyHealthyApple team will come back to you as soon as possible.
If you liked this article, feel free to stick around for more health news, gadget reviews, how-to guides, and more like this.
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