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Freestyle Libre.. I'm disappointed

Discussion in 'Blood Glucose Monitoring' started by Canuck3618, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Canuck3618

    Canuck3618 Type 2 · Newbie

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    I have been using mine for about a week. I am a type 2, insulin dependent diabetic. I count carbohydrates to calculate my insulin dosage. I've been using an Accu-Chek Aviva Combo meter with its built in insulin dose calculator for about 2-3 years, going through 8 test strips a day. I was incredibly excited when the Freestyle Libre was made available in Canada. I jumped in immediately.

    I have activated the advanced insulin calculator function of the Freestyle Libre and was surprised and extremely disappointed that use of this feature requires a finger-prick test. How can Abbot Labs make the claim that the meter eliminates the need to finger-prick when it clearly does not?

    This restriction is NOT identified in any of their advertising or descriptive literature. The only reference to it is buried deep in the User Manual on page 56. "The calculator is only for use with finger-prick blood glucose results from the built-in meter. You cannot use the insulin calculator with Sensor glucose readings."

    The issue appears to be related to the difference between "Interstitial" vs "Fingerstick blood glucose" readings. Despite the fact that Insulin Pumps work from "interstitial" measurements, Abbott precludes their use in this meter.

    Given the uncertainty inherent in setting carbohydrate to insulin ratios, insulin correction factors, carbohydrate intake estimates, active insulin estimates, and insulin absorption efficiency, I do not understand why the interstitial vs fingerstick readings is an issue.

    While I very much like the outstanding 7/24 continuous information made available to me with this meter, I am bloody angry that I am not "allowed to chose to use" the insulin calculator capability. I am now forced back to "finger-pricking" before every meal and snack.

    I will now go back to using Accu-Chek Aviva Combo (or Accu-Chek Aviva Expert), both of which provide insulin calculators. I have been using the Combo insulin calculator successfully for years.

    Why is Abbott Laboratories allowed to falsely advertise this product as Finger-prick Free?

    Mike
     
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  2. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi Mike, I understand your feelings, it's only until you've got the sensor can you truly appreciate the functionality of the device.

    I use the Libre but not for bolus calculations as I use a pump, I use it for trends, so seeing reaction to carb insulin boluses, direction blood glucose is going and for overnight fasting patterns, also because I can scan it over 40 times a day to simply keep an eye on my Bg levels. It's given me information to change my carb/insulin ratios but also to have peace of mind I'm not hypo-ing in my sleep, as well as helping me exercise more as it's easier to scan than finger prick test, we all find our own advantages with it.
     
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  3. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Mike, if you want an answer to that, you'd need to discuss it with Abbott's lawyers, and seeing as their market cap is 88 billion dollars, I'd let it go - they can afford better lawyers than you!

    Libre has been used for a long time now in Europe and most, but not all, users are very happy with it, being able to see hypo/hyper situations developing ahead of time and then being able to take proactive steps to tail them off before they happen.

    That's the main advantage of it. You've only been using it for a week, so I wouldn't get too wound up about fine print. I agree that Abbott's advertising about no more finger pricks is misleading but it's heavily qualified in the fine print about when and where and why you still need to test.

    For what it's worth, even though technically you shouldn't bolus from it, I've been happily doing so for months now, although I should make it clear that that was only after I'd been using it for many months and had figured out it's quirks. Can generally test 2 times a day just to see how it's playing out against reality.

    I've never used a bolus calculator - I prefer to do it in my head. Although I use libre to keep track of insulin on board, I'd never rely on it or any other device to advise me on how much insulin to take.

    Even though you're disappointed with it thus far, stick with it - first time you see it reading low 5s with a downward arrow signalling an impending hypo, you might take a different view!
     
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  4. Ixarix

    Ixarix Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm newly diagnosed diabetic. I've been getting used to testing my blood sugar with a small poke. It isn't that bad, but the idea of using a device to track my sugar without the need for finger pokes, or as much is something that interests me greatly. I've been reading about Libre here on this site, and am pleased to know they're available in Canada as well. Not sure if you'd know this but is there a period of time after diagnosed you need to wait before you can consider using one?
     
  5. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @lxarix
    No you don't need to wait even non diabetic people could buy one.
     
  6. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    However, I suspect that the US readers do allow the ability to use the bolus calculator from the sensor data, given that's what the approval they gained from the FDA was, and the main driver for the 12 hour warm up.
     
  7. Canuck3618

    Canuck3618 Type 2 · Newbie

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    I am very happy with the unit, except for the restrict on the use of the insulin calculator. I understand the "technical" reason for it, but as I said the other variables appear to swamp the interstitial vs blood sample issue. I have been carb counting for about three years and been on fixed dosages for two more years prior.. It should be my decision with my doctors agreement, to use the calculator. Yes I can do the calculations manually, but estimating remaining active insulin in my body and correcting for it automatically is beyond me. This should be available. I would gladly sign a waiver form for Abbott.
     
  8. Omnipod

    Omnipod Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It’s like anything new in life, you will adapt with it and get used to it. It’s probably better for you to bolus calculate yourself rather than rely on a device.
     
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