The Freestyle Libre 3
Just when I was getting my head around the Freestyle Libre 2, they’ve gone ahead and announced a third one!
Some lucky people in Germany are currently testing the product, and I have to say it looks awesome.
The freestyle Libre 3 is tiny! It looks like the size of a 1 pence or 5 pence coin, and I think it’ll be awesome for people who are self conscious about wearing diabetes technology in public.
I don’t know enough about it yet, but this article will help explain the benefits, and of course, the more I know, I’ll update this post!
The Freestyle Libre 2
There is now a Freestyle Libre too! Which is super exciting.
It basically has all the same awesome features as the Freestyle Libre, but with optional, real-time glucose alarms that notify you if you go too low or too high!
You will be notified via sound or vibration.
You can still continue to be able to scan your new FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor as often as desired to see glucose readings, trends and patterns, and eight-hour history.
The Miao Miao And The Freestyle Libre 2
The big question is, is the MiaoMiao rendered useless since the Freestyle Libre 2 now has alarms? The answer is…not quite!
Yes, one of the great abilities of the Miao Miao is that it can bring alarms to your mobile device, but it also offers continuous glucose readings every 5 minutes straight to your mobile phone or watch, which is something the Freestyle Libre doesn’t do, technically.
It does this in the background, , but you still need to scan to see your blood sugar results.
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Do I Need To Figure Out How To Use A Cgm Device On My Own
It takes time and patience to understand how a CGM device works. But you dont have to do it alone. Your provider will need to prescribe a CGM device .
Once you have a CGM, a qualified professional helps you learn how to use it safely. Your provider may recommend taking a diabetes education class or speaking one-on-one with a certified diabetes educator .
Is The Freestyle Libre 2 Available On The Nhs
Yes, the Freestyle Libre 2 is available on the NHS, as thatâs how I get it funded.
I got a phone call from my diabetic team telling me my sensor would be automatically updated to the Freestyle Libre 2, so I didnât have to do anything,
BUT, if you want to know whether you can change to the Freestyle Libre 2, if youâre already receiving the first one on prescription, then give your doctor a call.
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The Freestyle Libre 2 Sensor
Thinking of purchasing the Freestyle Libre 2? Then find out everything you need to know about the Freestyle Libre 2 sensor here and my personal experience.
The Freestyle Libre has changed many diabeticsâ lives around the world, including mine, and Iâm forever grateful that this product was produced.
BUT, now there is an even better version on the market: The Freestyle Libre 2!!
Itâs the Freestyle Libre one but better and in this post, Iâm going to take you through everything you need to know about the Freestyle Libre 2 sensor including my own personal opinions on the product.
So letâs get started.
Can I Stop Doing Fingerstick Checks To Monitor My Blood Sugar If I Have A Cgm Device
No. Fingerstick checks will still be an essential tool for you to manage diabetes.
Because fingerstick checks measure glucose levels in your blood, they provide the best picture of what your glucose level is at the precise moment you take it. CGM measures glucose under your skin, which shows where your glucose levels were five to 10 minutes ago.
With diabetes, certain things can make glucose levels rise or fall quickly. Big or fast changes in blood glucose levels can be dangerous. Doing a fingerstick check can provide important information to help you take action to protect your health. It can also act as a backup tool to confirm CGM results.
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Freestyle Libre Sensor Review: All Your Questions Answered
This post took me a while to write, but I wanted it to be well-researched, well informed and provide you with everything you need to know about the FreeStyle Libre Sensor. Iâve been using the Freestyle Libre for over 4 years now, so I want to tell you everything I know about it and my experience.
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- They are more affordable than many providers
When Might I Need To Do A Fingerstick Check When Using A Cgm Device
You may need to do fingerstick checks to calibrate a CGM device. Either way, youll likely still need to do fingerstick checks to look at your blood glucose in certain situations.
For example, a fingerstick check may give you peace of mind if your CGM device shows rising or falling numbers, but you feel OK. It can also provide answers if you dont feel well, but the CGM says your glucose levels are in target.
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What Does Cgm Measure
CGM is a tool for people with diabetes. It measures your glucose levels 24 hours a day when you are wearing the device.
Insulin is a hormone that helps your body regulate blood sugar levels. If you have Type 1 diabetes, your body doesnt produce enough of the hormone insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, your body makes insulin but doesnt use it effectively.
People with diabetes need to give themselves insulin regularly to keep blood sugar levels steady.
Why Do People With Diabetes Need To Track Blood Sugar Levels
Tracking blood glucose levels tells you how much insulin your body needs and when. Blood sugar levels that go up and down a lot can damage your body in different ways. Very high or low blood sugar levels can be serious, and even life-threatening when not treated quickly.
Many things can affect your blood sugar levels. But diabetes affects everyone differently. How a food or activity affects one persons glucose levels is often different from how that same thing affects someone else.
Your body can also be unpredictable. Sometimes, your body can have a reaction that even healthcare providers dont always understand. All of these factors can make managing diabetes challenging, even when you think youre doing everything right.
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Cgms Make Life Easier For People With Diabetes
Athletes and active people living with diabetes love water-resistant Continuous Glucose Monitors because they get real-time glucose readings before, during, and after activity without stopping to prick their finger. This helps them know if their blood sugar is in the right range for them. If its low they can grab a quick snack to avoid a glucose low. Or they can adjust their medication if their blood sugar has gotten too high.
Active people with diabetes love water-resistant Continuous Glucose Monitors because they get real-time glucose readings before, during, and after activity without stopping to prick their finger.
Here are a few other advantages of CGMs:
- They are covered by Medicare and most private insurance.
- They can be used by children as young as 2 years old.
- They can alert you to blood sugar highs or lows.
- You get many glucose readings in a 24-hour period 288 with Dexcom or 1,440 with FreeStyle Libre .
- They are compatible with most smartphones and other devices.
For more information about how CGMs work and why many people living with diabetes prefer them, check out CGM Devices: Everything You Need to Know.
Ready To Free Yourself From The Hassles Of Routine Fingerpricks1
Here are few simple steps to assist you in the process of applying your FreeStyle Libre sensor and some handy tips to help your sensor stick. Please refer to the FreeStyle Libre system User Manual for complete instructions.
1. A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycaemia or impending hypoglycaemia is reported by the system or when symptoms do not match the system readings.
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Measures Interstitial Fluid Not Blood Glucose
When you test your blood sugar using a fingerprick and glucometer, you measure the glucose directly in your blood. However, the Freestyle Libre and other CGMs measure glucose in the interstitial fluid, rather than the blood. The interstitial fluid is a layer of fluid that surrounds cells below your skin.
This is also why a fingerprick test in which actual blood is tested is considered more accurate than any other equipment.
So, since the Freestyle Libre measures glucose in the interstitial fluid, the results can never be 100% accurate. This is because the glucose in the interstitial fluid is delayed when compared to the blood.
If you have blood sugar levels rising and falling at a fast speed, then the inaccuracies can be greater. Theres typically a delay of 5-15 minutes between the glucose levels in the blood and the interstitial fluid.
This means that the results from a blood glucose meter are often not instantly the same as the Freestyle Libre. Therefore, some patients may perform fingerprick tests from time to time to ensure their blood sugar levels are stable.
Another possible reason why many find the Freestyle Libre inaccurate is that the older models dont warn you or have any alarms in case of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
The reason is theres no automated connection between the sensor and the reader device. The sensor continuously measures glucose levels, keeps track of, and stores data, but only transmits it when the reader scans the sensor.
What Is The Freestyle Libre Sensor And System
Some of you may have already heard of the FreeStyle Libre Sensor, others may not. So, to take an official quote from the Abbot website:
âThe FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system is the first product in the flash glucose monitoring category and is designed to liberate people with diabetes from many of the hassles of glucose monitoring, such as routine finger pricking.â
What this basically means is that the FreeStyle Libre is a system that allows you to âscanâ your blood sugar using either a reader or an app on a smartphone.
This reduces the need for countless finger pricks and the system can indicate via a graph whether your blood sugar is rising, dropping or heading steadily.
This is all achieved by wearing a sensor on your arm, which is the size of a two pound coin. The sensor lasts up to fourteen days. .
The FreeStyle Libre System has two main pieces.
Firstly, FreeStyle Libre sensor:
This is the piece you wear on your arm. Itâs a small sensor that you wear on the back of your upper arm and it automatically measures your blood glucose level and stores the data for an eight hour period.
Every time you scan the sensor with your reader or smartphone app, the glucose data is transferred from the sensor to your chosen device within one second- pretty quick right!?
Once you are finished with the sensor after the fourteen day period, you simply dispose of it.
The second part of the FreeStyle Libre System is the FreeStyle Libre reader.
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Does The Freestyle Libre 2 Sensor Have Alarms
Yes, the biggest new feature of the Freestyle Libre 2 is the fact itâs got optional alarms.
This means you can set alerts/alarms for when your blood sugar is rising or falling. You choose the number you want to set these alarms to, so itâs personal to your blood glucose levels and regime.
On mobile, you can also choose the tone of the alarm, which I appreciate as I prefer something a little more subtle.
Where Is The Freestyle Libre Sensor Available
The Freestyle Libre is available worldwide. Currently, itâs available in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. This is the official statement from Abbot.
âFreeStyle Libre system was CE marked for pediatric use in Europe and approved for adult use in Australia, Brazil, China, and Japan.â
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Do I Need Cgm To Manage Diabetes
You can regularly check your blood glucose levels using a fingerstick blood check and a blood glucose monitor. Many people do just that.
But fingerstick checks only measure blood glucose at one moment in time. Its like reading one page of a book. Doing more fingerstick checks gives you more snapshots, which can offer clues to whats happening with your blood sugar levels.
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Doctors often recommend that diabetes patients test their glucose at home to track whether they are reaching treatment goals and learn how medications, diet, exercise and stress affect blood sugar levels.
The crucial blood test doctors use, however, to monitor diabetes for people with Type 2 disease is called hemoglobin A1c, which measures average blood glucose levels over long periods of time. Neither finger-prick tests nor glucose monitors look at A1c. They cant since this test involves a larger amount of blood and must be done in a lab.
The continuous glucose monitors also dont assess blood glucose. Instead they measure the interstitial glucose level, which is the sugar level found in the fluid between the cells.
Companies seem determined to sell the monitors to people with Type 2 diabetes those who inject insulin and those who dont because its a market of more than 30 million people. In contrast, about 1.6 million people have Type 1 diabetes.
Helping to fuel the uptake in demand for the monitors has been a drop in prices. The Abbott FreeStyle Libre, one of the leading and lowest-priced brands, costs $70 for the device and about $75 a month for sensors, which must be replaced every two weeks.
Another factor has been the expansion in insurance coverage.
Nearly all insurers cover continuous glucose monitors for people with Type 1 diabetes, for whom its a proven lifesaver. Today, nearly half of people with Type 1 diabetes use a monitor, according to Baird.
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What To Do About Inaccurate Readings
One of the best and most obvious actions to take is to make sure you are not making the mistakes discussed above. Apart from this, one other factor is to allow the gadget to settle in for 24 hours after installation before activating it.
You could, with a doctors advice, also try switching application sites. Ensure youre adequately hydrated before taking readings and avoid sleeping on the sensor. This will help prevent farther problems with the sensor.
Experiencing inaccurate readings can be dangerous as you may not notice severe high or low blood sugar levels, which can be detrimental to your health. If there is something wrong with the sensor, then you can always call the manufacturer. They will often replace malfunctioning sensors free of charge.
Is A Continuous Glucose Monitor The Same As An Insulin Pump
No, CGM devices and insulin pumps are not the same.
They do very different things:
- CGM devices measure your glucose level automatically every few minutes, all day long.
- Insulin pumps deliver a steady flow of insulin based on instructions you give.
But they are similar in some ways. Both CGM devices and insulin pumps are:
- Automated: They work all day and night for as long as you wear them.
- Worn directly on your body: Most people wear CGM devices and pumps on their arm or belly.
- Customizable: You can adjust CGM and pumps based on your life and how diabetes affects you.
- Convenient: With CGM, you need fewer fingerstick tests. Insulin pumps mean fewer injections .
- Not a quick fix: CGM and pumps both help you better manage diabetes. But each device requires you to actively use it and direct your own treatment decisions.
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Is The Freestyle Libre Waterproof
Itâs not waterproof. Itâs water resistant for up to one meter for around 30 minutes. However, FreeStyle Libre Abbot has stated that âintense activities whereby a user is continually moving or repeatedly in and out of the water, may reduce the sensor wear timeâ.
What this basically means is, itâs not ideal for jumping in and out of the pool/sea and waterparks arenât ideal .
My only suggestion is that you tape it down extremely well with medical tape, or something similar to try and keep it down.
Are There Benefits To Using A Cgm Device And An Insulin Pump
While both devices offer unique benefits, CGM systems and pumps that work together can offer additional benefits. Some pumps will make certain insulin delivery adjustments automatically based on data from a CGM. Even these joint systems still require user input and management but can offer an added level of safety and a quicker response to increasing and decreasing glucose levels.
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Compatible Devices Apps And Software:
For a list of compatible devices, apps, and software that can be used with the FreeStyle Libre 2 Sensor, please go to:
Use of the Sensor with devices, apps, and software that are not listed may cause inaccurate glucose readings.
FreeStyle Libre 2 app is only compatible with certain mobile devices and operating systems. Please check www.FreeStyleLibre.com for more information about device compatibility before upgrading your phone or its operating system.