Freestyle Libre

I encourage all diabetics to be wary of Freestyle Libra. It just about killed me.
I was enjoying a brief splash in the Caribbean Sea. My Libra meter said my sugar levels were 28. I took insulin to compensate. The sensor failed because the salt water had a negative effect on it. My sugars were actually closer to 1.8. Later when I woke up in the hospital I was told I almost died from low sugars. On my return home I called the company and the two representatives I spoke with confirmed the sensor has not been tested or approved fir salt water. Be very careful folks. I don’t trust the technology.

Wow, I’m so sorry you had that experience. I’m glad you are okay!

I’ve been using the Libre for about three weeks now and am really happy with it. However, I do still test if my blood sugar is changing rapidly, if I suspect a reading is inaccurate (doesn’t match how I feel or doesn’t make sense in some way), or if it’s giving extremely high or low readings.

I’m on a pump, and I was taught that if my blood sugar is above 25 mmol/L I should give corrections in stages to bring it down, rather than give one giant dose of insulin.

It was a shocker to me. My A1c has been hovering around 6.1 for 19 years. Needless to say I’m an intelligent diabetic and at first I appreciated the new technology but the Libre system failed me and the company blamed me. Then denied saying the salt water effected it. Insane.

I will never use it again and rely solely on my older technology that has never once failed me. I been an insulin diabetic for 28 years.

This is a great reminder to double check readings that don’t seem right, especially before taking drastic action. Technology is great, but it isn’t infallible. My meter has been wrong a time or two, too.

I just started using the Libre last month and I knew from the instructions it hadn’t been tested in salt water, so maybe that’s a newer warning?

I’m glad you’re okay!

Thanks Jules.

My frustration later came from a creepy representative lying about the sensor. So frustrating. I really didn’t think I needed to double check my numbers because I never once had to with my blood testing prior.

Anyway I will never use the Libra again. I don’t trust the company or the managers who blatantly lied to me.

Good luck to you and stay healthy.

I think you are being a little harsh, on stopping using it

You pushed it to the limit and it failed - it may have failed anyway.
Did it not say check with a meter at that high?

My wife uses it and despite early problems it has been magical for the past year.

The last time it headed off a low was a few hours ago

Welcome to the forum!

Hi Tony,

Thank you for your response. I truly appreciate your comments.

I put my faith and life in the Libra sensor. It failed me and when I called customer service I was lied to by the creep who is in charge of complaints. My first two calls were with front line staff who explained the sensor was not to be used in salt water and no where in the directions did it say this. The manager then told me the staff were wrong and it was my fault.

I was in Punta Cana with my wife. Yes I had a OneTouch Verio meter with me but the battery died when we were in the Dominican and I didn’t have a replacement with me. Hard to find at a resort.

But in all the years (16) I’ve been using a OneTouch meter I have never once had an issue. However the Libra has failed me many times and I’ve been sent replacement sensors 3 times. All this in 4 months.

My biggest issue is the Libra failed me and I almost died. I was in hospital for two days and the cost was $6800 US.

I don’t want anyone else to experience what I did. I will continue to spread my fears.


I don’t understand your complaint. You misused the sensor, and now you’re saying it’s Freestyle’s fault. It is clearly stated in the FAQ section of their website, that the Libre cannot be used in salt water

How did it work prior to this nightmare?

It works for some folks and not others


No Jason you have it wrong.

I was in the Dominican this past February and at this point the literature did not say it was unsafe to use the sensor in salt water. The literature was updated after user complaints.


Prior to my Dominican experience and the salt water, the company sent me three replacement sensors because of failure. These three failures were in Canada over three months.

I’m just saying this system, although convenient, it is not dependable. And I don’t trust it.

How many times have you tested your blood using a conventional blood letting machine and then retested because the numbers seemed unbelievable? I’m guessing never.

15655134049803444286003470957421 I avoided water due to the fact that I knew I would be in water for over 30 minutes and 3 feet is too shallow… this is from the 10/17 libre instructions. I switched to eversense so I can just remove the transmitter in salt water, surfing, or diving, and put it back on when I’m done… not sure how easy it is to have in Canada, though. I do empathize, but agree with Tony24 that although it was unfortunate, sometimes you have to be a little more careful with this disease, and ask your endocrinologist for spare meters…and take a little responsibility. 28mmol is about 500mg/DL…if I ate an entire cake, I might expect that, or a dozen donuts, otherwise, I would start asking around to see if anyone had a meter…

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I also experienced my glucose readings were about 50-70 mg/DL lower on the libre using naproxen sodium (aleve)…I know they tried to avoid contraindications for acetaminophen, but fear this may have had an affect on other pain medication… just an FYI. I know a lit of people say the libre tracks 50 points lower than the meter and suspect aleve or ibuprofen may be the cause


I don’t remember any warnings about saltwater either, I believe I might have even called them at one point about how long I could stay in the ocean. I snorkeled several times with the Libre for about an hour each time and never had an issue with it’s readings. I wear a Dexcom now.

Any meter reading an unexpected HIGH of 28 should be immediately double or triple checked rather than being trusted blindly and administering a large insulin correction dose.

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Not speaking for anybody else but I always recheck if the number seems unbelievable.

Always. 100% of the time.

And at nighttime even though I like the Dexcom G6, I will never do a large nighttime without a meter confirmation. The Dex reads over 200 at night then I am double checking with a meter before I commit to a big bolus running with a sleeping person.

I know the thread is Libre and not Dexcom but my feeling in general with cgm is trust it if it seems trustworthy. If any questions or not comfortable with the cgm number then use a meter. If the meter results seems sketchy then wash hands and check again. If that seems sketchy then get another meter with another container of strips and check again.

In my case my back meter was out of power and I didn’t give myself insulin. The meter said 28 but numbers were actually in the high 1s.

As I said before you can blame me all you want but it was the Libra sense that failed me and the companies realize she was a disappointment and a joke.

Thank you.

I don’t want to blame you. What you experienced was more like a perfect storm or really bad luck.

But the implication is that you can’t feel a hypo? Even in the 1-2 range.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Fortunately I still feel them in the low 4s. Even so I carry a few libre strips and spare BG meter and its strips to improve my odds.

Seems to me that blaming Libre is the same as blaming a bad battery in the backup.

BTW: if your meter uses 2032 button cells and you are in Canada drop by MEC for batteries. 2 for a dollar. I usually splurge and get $5.00 worth.

Regardless I am glad you are still around to have this chat. But please think about a plan “C” and consider a plan “D” like I use on occasion. My plan D is to pop a DEX4 to reduce my risk of going low during times like swimming. The 4 extra carbs (in my D world) are not going to hurt me as much as a possible low.

That is a medical fact that some people can not feel hypos.