Free style libre

so our son is type 1 and is looking at the freestyle Libre glucose monitor…looking for some feedback…we are in the United States…how long does a sensor last before changing it? pros & cons please offer some feedback!

In the US, currently the FDA has only approved the Freestyle Libre Pro for sale to doctors offices. Abbott has not yet filed an FDA application for the Freestyle Libre consumer version. The doctor’s office version has a sensor attached to the patient but the receiver is kept at the doctor’s office and scanned in at the end of two weeks - it gives an overview of past behavior, but does not let you see immediate changes.

If you wanted to order a Freestyle kit for your son where you would be able to see the day-to-day results directly, you would need (a) a doctor’s office willing to order the professional version of the kit and then give the entire kit (including receiver) to you, (b) a friend/family member in a foreign country who is willing to order the consumer-level kits (and then you’d need to check if the receiver is coming from a country that measures in mg/dl or mmol/dl units, as this is set at the factory and cannot be changed) and ship them to you, or © purchase kits off of eBay or other online resellers (again, you would need to check what measurement units the kits use; also, if you have a problem with a sensor, you cannot exchange it with Abbott because you are not the original purchaser).

As far as viewing the results goes: The easiest approach is the company-issued receiver, but then you have an extra piece of equipment to carry around. Abbott’s official phone app, LibreLink, is not currently available in the US. You would need to deal with VPNs and international spoofing if you want to try and install it. There are a few third-party apps, such as Nightscout or Glimp, that can read the Libre sensors onto a phone.

Once you have the receiver/sensors, a sensor lasts for up to 14 days. This end date is hard-coded into the receiver. It may fail early if the sensor detaches or is jostled frequently. There are reports of Glimp continuing to read the sensor after 14 days; however, there are other diabetes blogs who say using Glimp caused the sensor to overheat and fail early. YMMV.

Being as how you’re in the US, why not get a Dexcom CGM? Statically speaking, it is a little more accurate than the Libre, plus it has alarms which the Libre doesn’t. IMO, the Dexcom CGM is a superior product.

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Libre is a good replacement for finger pricking but should not be compared to a CGM, e.g. Dexcom.
Besides that, the accuracy may vary from being on the spot compared to the blood, to being 35 mg/dl away, in any direction. I used it for approx 1½ years, since it came out, and still do when I’m on beach holidays e.g. It was an eye opener compared to the old school blood tests and I lowered my Hba1c significantly…
Compared to CGM’s, e.g. Dexcom, it’s just not good enough.

In order to get it - just ask friends/family/diabetes colleagues on forums to order it and send it to you. They can also help you out with the official app.

As far as I am concerned the Freestyle Libre should not have been released yet. I am pretty careful with my eating and I carb count everything. I got Type 1 at 58 years old and I am now 64. My A1C has been 6.1 for a long time. Since using the Libre it has risen to 6.4. Since my mother (87 yrs old) has many horrible side effects including kidney failure from Type 1, she has had to deal with testing blood sugar in archaic ways, her numbers were probably far off during her lifetime. I seriously want to avoid this. I would not recommend the Libre if you feel as I do. Plus the adhesive on the Libre is totally unacceptable. You have to buy SkinTac and apply it first or the Libre falls off after about 4 days. The inaccuracies of the Libre come from algorithms that somehow did not account for the blood that gets onto the wire or the variability that results from the different substances that do get onto the wire such as fat or interstitial fluid. Whatever it is, I am going back to the finger stick. I cannot risk bad numbers. I want to remain as close to normal as possible because I have seen the effects of high blood sugars and it is scary. Back to finger stabs. : (