Medtronic Minimed Enlite Sensor

I promised myself that I would post about the Minimed Enlite continuous glucose monitor sensor. It’s taken longer than I expected, because I wanted to make sure that I was being as fair as possible. Let’s start with a picture. (Click for a larger version.)

The blue squiggly curve is the sensor glucose values. The red circles are actual blood glucose readings from finger sticks.

As you can see, sometimes the blue curve and the red dots match very well. It’s at times like that when I feel like the MM Enlite sensor gets a bad rap. It tracks well, doesn’t have wild swings, and often lasts longer than the six days that the label promises. (Sometimes between 9-12 days!) The new adhesive sticks very well; I don’t have to use extra tape or dressings to keep it attached, no matter how much swimming I do. And it’s conveniently integrated with my pump.

Other times . . . Well, let’s just say, other times I’m amazed that the FDA approved the device at all. Usually the first 12-24 hours of a sensor’s life are highly questionable. From time to time, the ISIG value (a sort of internal reading that approximates blood glucose) will just fall off a cliff, even though my BG isn’t changing. It might come back. It might not. Every once in awhile, those sensors go on to have many more good days, but usually it’s a sign of imminent death. Often, when I pull those sensors, I see they’re kinked. (The one I took out Sunday looked like a lightning bolt.)

And that, I think, might be the problem: The sensor is too small. I rarely had trouble with the older, larger, more harpoon-like Sof-Sensor. I didn’t find those too painful, although I can see how some people did. They certainly had an image problem with that starter needle, but I thought they worked really well. The Enlite sensor is shorter and thinner. I find I have more trouble getting it to go into my skin, staying attached when I insert it, and staying un-kinked. I have to use “virgin” territory for the sensor, which means putting it in harder to reach places like my lower back.

So, what to do? If you’re trying to decide whether to upgrade, talk to Minimed about getting training and a trial before committing. Also, check out Dexcom. (I’ve never used it, but I wish I’d tried it.)

Have you used the Enlite? What do you think about it?

Update – 23 September 2014: I’m getting better results now.

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4 Responses to Medtronic Minimed Enlite Sensor

  1. Kim says:

    I’m glad you shared your experience with it, Jeff. Thanks for pointing me here!

  2. Nira says:

    I am now wearing the CGM by Dexcom..I had the same experience with Enlite..this is WAY Better, although not perfect…

  3. Stacey says:

    I just started using mine about a month ago- I’ve had type 1 for 30 years, so I do have a lot of scar tissue. Sometimes my sensor reading are right on, but most of the time 50 or up to 150 different than when I stick my finger. I have noticed kinks when I take it out. It’s so frustrating and very expensive!! Any suggestions?

  4. Judith Segers says:

    My dream is that Minimed would give up on their inferiour CGM, admit defeat, and move toward integrating their pumps with Dexcom’s clearly superior performing CGM.

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