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Alternatives to finger pricks

Discussion in 'Alternative Treatments' started by Garymurday87, May 29, 2017.

  1. Garymurday87

    Garymurday87 · Active Member

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    Hi my 2yr old has just been diagnosed with type 1 . He currently is on 4 lots of insulin a day . And is currently having his bs tested around every 2-3 hrs, I would love to try and stop some of the pain for him , I have not stopped been reading about his condition as it's all very new ,

    I have read you can eliminate the finger pricks for bs testing with the below devices ....

    Free style libre

    If I can half his pricks/machine/blood I think it would make his life miles better and cope better with this situation .

    Has anyone got any experience with any of these, are they accurate enough to manage his carb counting and insulin levels

    Thanks all
  2. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    I don't use either of these devices but there are plenty of forum members who do. While you're waiting for them to stop by, why not have a search using the search bar in the top right of this page, you will find many threads on this subject.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. catapillar

    catapillar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Neither system eliminates the need for finger pricks.

    A dexcom G5 is approved in the US to bolus off, but requires calibration with finger sticks every 12 hours. Whether you are happy to bolus off of dexcom will be about your confidence in the sensor accuracy, but assessing whether your sensor is running accurately requires finger pricks. I don't like to bolus off of dexcom, it can often be a little out and it will struggle to keep up with fast moving blood sugar.

    I haven't used a libre but I think a freestyle libre doesn't really want you to bolus in reliance on a scan, it wants a finger prick for its bolus calculator.

    So they aren't replacements for finger pricks, but if you're testing very frequently (every 2 hours is very frequently) and not necessarily doing any action on the basis of the tests (like deciding how much insulin to have of that you need to treat a hypo) then they could certainly reduce the finger pricks.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Dexcom is authorised for two years olds, but libre isn't authorised until four. Not sure about the other one, Medtronic.

    Dexcom and Medtronic, but not libre, can be set up to give alerts when going too low or high and that can be a god send for parents. You'll get some sleep!

    As mentioned above, they won't do away with the need for finger tests completely, you still need to cross-check with a test now and then, but the great thing about them is that as they measure continuously, you get to see a graph showing where you've been, so it's a lot easier to see how insulin/food/bolus timings/basal/exercise are all working together, and especially watching out for hypos: you can see it heading towards four, and you'll get a downward arrow if dropping rapidly, so it makes it way easier to have some sugar to head it off.

    Have used libre for about ten months, love it, haven't used dexcom, it's a bit bigger because of the transmitter, not sure how well people get on with them on two year olds, I suppose there might be a tendency for the kid to fidget with it and dislodge it, which can be pretty expensive.

    I'm happy to bolus off it, but that's only after ten months using it and knowing a fair bit about it. I'd urge caution for anyone starting out like yourself, especially with a child involved: test for injections/meals and all the usual times, and use the device to keep an eye on things in between.One way of thinking about it is that it provides way more clues than tests, especially on the hypo business, but you still need to corroborate the clues with a test from time to time to be sure.

    There's a thread here about prices:
  5. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    May I ask what type of lancets you are using that cause him pain?

    There is a very good lancet device called the Accu Chek Fastclix. It can be purchased at pharmacies and Boots. It is an all-in-one device that contains a drum of 6 lancets inside. Once all 6 are used you simply change the drum. It is all hidden away so no-one sees the needle and works by pressing the end on the finger and pushing the top down. No messing, and just one click and it's over. I'm not saying it doesn't hurt, but I don't believe it hurts as much as other types of lancet devices. There are 11 depths to chose from.

    • Like Like x 3
  6. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    @Garymurday87 I don't use any of those (because of the cost) but a CGM like Dexcom might be something you want to discuss with your son's DSN. Some hospitals do fund CGMs for children as young as your son. They're sometimes funded along with an insulin pump.

    This is the Subforum that has lots of information about CGM and the Libre:


    Would you like me to move your thread there for you?
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