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Does the Freestyle Libre continuous monitoring work for type 2

Discussion in 'Blood Glucose Monitoring' started by John93, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. John93

    John93 · Active Member

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    I am interested to hear if anyone has used the Abbott Freestyle libre continuous monitoring system to monitor their glucose levels if they have type 2 diabetes. I'm regularly monitoring (4 times a day) with lancets and finger pricking but not much fun. I know the Libre system is aimed at type 1 and it is not subsidised here in Australia for type 2, so might get a bit expensive. However, CGM would be really good to show what effect foods and exercise are having on my blood glucose levels.
     
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  2. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @John93 ,

    Welcome to the forum.

    The Libre should work on anybody. It's not a CGM on it's own, yet. (You scan it using NFC.)
    But with the likes of a "3rd party" Bluetooth reusable add on like the Miaomiao with the Libre, It can be used as a CGM.

    Tagging in @Brunneria , who I believe uses the Libre.
     
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  3. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Hi @John93

    I’m a type 2 using the Libre (self-funded) to monitor blood glucose. It is indeed very helpful in showing responses to particular foods, exercise and so on, giving a much fuller picture than finger pricks alone. It does tend to run a bit lower than finger prick tests - about 1mmol in my case - but for me as an unmedicated type 2 the precise number is not so important as the overall trends.
     
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  4. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi,

    There are a couple of free phone apps that can be used with an NFC enabled phone where you can calibrate the readings with a traditional BG meter result. "Glimp" or "xDrip." Visually, both are a little more detailed than the official Libre link with the visual graphs.. (IMO.)
    I've used Glimp. To scan & it was great. .i now have a Miaomiao Bluetooth transmitter & find the XDrip more stable (reception wise.) out of the two, using my device.

    Their can be a little slower lag with the Libre. Even calibrated by as much as 0.8mmol? Sounds silly, The trick is to test from a finger on the same arm as the sensor..
     
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  5. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Forgot to add. With xDrip & using the BT transmitter there's this neat little optional update fuction on the lock screen of the phone? On my aging Galaxy phone, double tap the above alert bar & the app opens. (Not shure how the latter would work if there was a code needed to unlock the device.)

    Lol, below I'm comming up nicely off a 2.8er.

    image.jpeg
     
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  6. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Presumably these add-on apps require you to scan the Libre with a phone? I have a compatible phone (iPhone 7) but use the reader as it sits neatly in my pocket and I’m not one for taking my phone everywhere, being an anti-social old so and so!
     
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  7. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    I self fund, & never had the reader. (Initially, i just took a punt on the sensor one day at my local ASDA & downloaded the app.)
    I do initialise the sensor with the Librelink app. Then carry on with the 3rd party app.
    Lol, I pretty much use my phone as a glorified "pocket watch." Else I'd invest in a "smart watch." (& get stronger prescription lenses.)

    Edited to add; none of the free apps I previously mentioned have pesky adverts popping up. ;)
     
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  8. Lotties

    Lotties Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I've been trying out the Libre, too. I have a Miaomiao as well.
    I find Glimp doesn't play nice with the Libre app running at the same time - possibly they both use the NFC function on my Samsung S5. xDrip+ on the other hand runs well alongside the Libre app on my phone.
    I hear the Samsung S8 is not a good match for the Libre.

    I have used 3 sensors so far so not a lot of experience - the 1st was OK for 7 days being within 1-1.5mmol/L of my Tee2+. At 7 days, there was a step jump of around 5mmol/L in values being reported and Abbott replaced it quickly and easily with no qubibles. The second I caught on my clothing twice and the sensor dislodged. Not the Libre's fault, I didn't keep the bottom of the Miaomiao fully stuck.
    The 3rd sensor is also working low by about 1-1.5mmol/L, consistantly now for 12 days.
    I have used the xDrip+ app alongside and have noted that, although it deals with the raw data from the Libre well, there is additional information being transmitted that have not yet been reverse engineered. In my case, when I retire to sleep and rise in the morning, the Libre remains consistant with my Tee2+ blood monitor whereas the xDrip+ fails to account for the temperature change (as it only accessed raw sensor data). This means I have over reporting at night by xDrip+ of around 1.5mmol/L over a fingerprint. I can't calibrate this out as I am asleep. If I calibrate in the morning, I often do this before the raw data has stabilised to my new temp and I then get ongoing reports lower than my fingerpricks during the day.
    I did try to compensate by extra fingerpricks but this has just resulted in sore fingers :) (I may start putting in a pseudo calibration value before and after sleep to see if I can compensate)
    The calibration feature is easy, data is entered and xDrip+ automatically adjust for the delay in sensor level changes versus blood values.
    The Libre app would be great for me on its own if there was a way of adding an offset calibration. The algorithm they use seems to adjust for relative measurements very well. I guess I could use the sw Abbott provide on the PC to export the data to excel and apply an offset but it would not give me realtime reports.
    As the Dexcom6 starter pack is the same cost for around the same reporting time as the starter pack for the Libre, I am going to try that out, next. Note - you don't NEED a reader for the Libre, the sensors can be activated from the phone app.

    All that said part of which is due to my personal physiology, trends on the Libre combined with judious fingerprick tests provides SUPERB information on the effects of food, durations of blood sugar levels and trends. WAY better than just a standard BG monitor.
    Edit - i self-fund.
     
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  9. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @Lotties ,

    The Librelink & Glimp issue? Was this just scanning the sensor perchance?

    I use an old Galaxy A3 & quite often got a notifacation window when scanning to chose between 1 of the two..

    I've never lost a libre to date, placing the sensor on the inside of the arm. Which seems to limit "compression lows" for me too.
     
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  10. Lotties

    Lotties Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I had to choose each time and restart the Libre app and the Glimp app. Just a lot of more effort for me. In contrast, the xDrip, despite other minor shortcomings updates itself and reconnect almost seamlessly all the time.
    My overnight issues are definitely temperature related, not compression lows although I understand they can be a factor too.
     
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  11. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    Another T2 who has occasionally self funded Libre sensors. It's given me a better understanding overall of both how my low carb diet works to control my diabetes =and what other issues impact onmy glucose levels too. And I believe this understanding will apply to anyone who uses these sensors whatever type of (or lack of!) diabetes they may have.

    I've not used any apps, just the Libre sensors, reader and computer software - I have no real need for a mobile phone... o_O My Libre reader has been useful working in tandem with the sensor as it also acts as a basic glucose and ketone monitor. But as @Goonergal has mentioned my sensors run (1-1.5 mmol) lower than my usual finger-prick glucose monitoring, but both are quite consistent with the patterns/trends I see.

    My only gripe is that my arms don't like these alien artifcacts being stuck onto them and it takes about 48 hours acclimatization time for them to be accepted and start giving me sensible results.
     
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  12. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Interesting to see so many others reporting that the Libre is consistently 1 to 1.5 below a finger prick.
    I also find this, when checking by taking a finger prick reading then taking a sensor scan 20 minutes later.

    As a self funding T2 I find the trend information enormously valuable and the supposed readings immensely frustrating. An average of 1.5 below your true readings can make you feel that you are doing a lot better than you really are.

    I have also had overnight hypos recorded which I don't think are due to compression (sleeping on that arm). As I understand it the accuracy drops if the reading is below 4, but I also assume that a reading of 2.5 could actually be a reading of 4 which is low but normal. I had one where the graph appeared to flat line at the bottom (effectively 0?) in which case I haven't noticed that I am dead yet.
     
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  13. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

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    I think the slight difference in readings is in part due to time delays but also because the sensor is taking its glucose readings from interstitial fluid rather than from blood.

    The only times I've had seriously low readings have been - as I mentioned - when I've not allowed an extra long acclimatisation period before starting it:
    sensor_immediate_activation_levels.png

    As opposed to delaying 48 hours:
    sensor_48hr_delay_activation_levels.png
     
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  14. Lotties

    Lotties Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I waited 48hrs before activation and mine has 7 low events over 14 days wit one day showing 3.
    I think there is an element of personal response and particular placement variability, too.
     
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  15. LittleGreyCat

    LittleGreyCat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @Robbity if it was just early activation then wouldn't you expect it to become more accurate after the first 24 hours of reading?
    Or are you suggesting that once it is activated some values are "set in stone" and if the sensor reads low when activated it will always read low?
    Intrigued by this. Might give the next sensor 3 days before activation just to see.
    I assume there must be a maximum time before activation which still allows the sensor to work for the full 14 days.
     
  16. Lotties

    Lotties Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Some people on the net report it is more accurate when used with xDrip if you DON'T bed it in. Not tried that myself
     
  17. Mbaker

    Mbaker Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I use it to show trends and to try to explain low numbers everywhere which do not correlate to HbA1c I.e. fasting bg between 3.8 and 4.5 ish, post prandial circa 5.4 - 5.7, yet average A1c says I am at 6.0 with a 38. As I can't find spikes during the day or night I have just let this go.
     
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  18. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Mine seem to be less accurate to start with, hitting best accuracy from around days 3-4 (with the last couple of days going a bit wangy too). And that is with attaching the sensor at least 24 hours before activating it.

    I just assume it takes that long for my arm to recover from the shock of being stabbed. I don’t blame the sensor. I’m just profoundly grateful that my body doesn’t react with worse - like a glue allergy! Lol
     
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  19. Triffo

    Triffo Type 2 · Active Member

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    I’ve been using freestyle libre since July last year. Self funded as don’t qualify as type 2. I was not allowed to attend the training at the hospital but my local DN arranged for me to attend a Training session with a type 1 user at the clinic. This points out that there is a difference between the readings for the Libre and the finger prick. The Libre is always behind so if worried then I test with a finger prick. I have both the Libre tester and the FreeStyle’s own app on my iPhone but to use both I must start all new sensors with the Libre tester first. I have only had trouble with one sensor that failed. My biggest result using the Libre was I was able to prove beyond any doubt the impact of Prednisalone on my blood results. It’s a big win, one that I was arguing with the doctors about for the last 4 years. Despite doing all the low carb and losing weight (my BMI is 20.5) my control is not brilliant due to the Prednisalone. Using the Libre has given me much improved control and allowed me to work at bringing down my HBA1C to 53.
     
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  20. boxing

    boxing Type 2 · Active Member

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    I am a type 2 diabetic. I used the Libre for about 2 years which was great No more finger pricks . I am now on the dexcom g6 which is linked to my tandem pump .The readings are even better. Slightly more expensive and lasts for 10 days as opposed to 14 days with Libre

    Edited by moderator for clarity
     
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    #20 boxing, Jan 22, 2020 at 5:27 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2020
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