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FreeStyle Libre problems - skin reactions and inconsistent readings

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by notafanofsugar, Jan 24, 2015.

?

Have you had any issues/problems with you Libre?

  1. Yes

    32 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. No

    8 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. notafanofsugar

    notafanofsugar Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Been reading avidly about FreeStyle Libre over the last week. There's some great threads here and I even tried to buy it a few days ago but its all sold out. However I've been looking on twitter and a few American blogs and it seems there are quite a few problems people are beginning to experience:

    1. Inconsistent readings is one - saw a blog where a guy got a reading of 12 on his Libre but 8.8 on his InsuLinx.
    2. The other one was skin reactions/allergy to the sensors. One chap had a pretty nasty rash.

    Has anyone here experienced any issues with their Libre???
     
  2. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The libre isn't available in America.
    As to rashes loads of people have skin reactions to sensor and or cannula tape. Simple solution is to use a barrier like cavilon spray on skin tac problem solved.
    The reading difference could be due to a number of reasons........ rapid rise or drop in blood sugar being one of the reasons. You also have to remember the time lag and the libre does not measure blood sugars.
     
  3. graj0

    graj0 · Guest

    Libre currently not available in UK, I'm still waiting to hear from them with a date.
     
  4. daniT1D

    daniT1D Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes my skin irritations are getting worse with each sensor. Also had issues with the adhesive on 2 sensors coming off after a couple of days. Having said that, the pros out weigh the cons for me


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  5. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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  6. Alan_Flett

    Alan_Flett Type 1 · Member

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    I just joined the forum, essentially to seek information on the FreeStyle Libre - and it was this thread I found when searching for help!

    I am Type 1 of 21 years (and diagnosed at the age of 21!) with no complications, and have always very tight control.

    I have been using the Libre for the past five months to great success and with no issues. it is accurate and reliable. Far superior, IMHO, to the Dexcom G4, which I used for a while and loathed - both in its usability, insertion of sensors, and, ultimately speed of measurement and accuracy.

    Anyway, recently, with the past three sensors, I am now suffering the dreaded adhesive side effects to the point that I can't wear it - the redness, and, frankly, oozing welts it leaves me with, are a total non-starter to live with.

    So, what can I do?

    I was going to try Cavilon with my next sensor (I have actually been using Skin Tac wipes since i started with the sensor, which might have delayed the very clear allergic reaction that has finally set up). If that doesn't work, I am going to try using some Opsite Flexifix Transparent Film Roll, which I had actually bought to COVER the blessed sensor with - but i will try using it on my skin and then inserting the sensor through it...

    I actually called up Abbott to request a new sensor (as I ripped my latest off after only 3 days, the itching was that bad), and they seem to have changed their policy on sending replacement sensors out - they need the blessed thing sent back (to test?). Whilst on the call, he blithely told me that "Abboitt does not test on its clients" even though I hadn't mentioned any such thing - which immediately raised my suspicions that they are! I know they apparently download all your data (or did) without telling you (when you connect your Libre to a networked computer). He also told me they are working hard to resolve the issue with adhesive, but, if these solutions of mine do not work, i will have to stop using it which is just such a shame! :eek:(

    Anyway, I appreciate your time reading this and if anyone has found a better solution, please share it.

    Cheers!

    Alan
     
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  7. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    @Alan_Flett Many people put compeed between the sensor and skin. This seems to have been effective for those who have used it. I've found the reaction to be worse when the sensor is held down by something like opsite or Tegaderm. It is much less active when I rely on the adhesive itself.

    Sensor replacement with return has been the policy on bad sensors all the way through. That's no different.
     
  8. Alan_Flett

    Alan_Flett Type 1 · Member

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    Yeah, the Compeed looks kind of thick, though. Does the sensor get through that? Anyway, I will try Opsite between the sensor and skin and report back.

    BTW, on the returns policy, I think that has indeed been the policy all along - but I have received replacements with my not returning the faulty sensor; now, they seem to be insisting on it.

    I did use Opsite to provide a water barrier for the sensor, but I eventually came to the conclusion that for my lifestyle the sensor was sticking to me just fine without it, showers and all. If was a regular swimmer, i might want to use it again.

    A.
     
  9. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    The most common use of Compeed is with a small hole cut into it to allow the needle to fire through.

    I'm surprised that you haven't had an insistence on returning sensors. Since I've been getting replacements (about 9 months) they've always insisted on a return.
     
  10. Alan_Flett

    Alan_Flett Type 1 · Member

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    So, I thought I would update on my experience with using Opsite film as a barrier to stop the reaction of my skin to the Freestyle Libre sensor's dreaded adhesive.

    Basically, it didn't work!

    It did last the course from a stickiness point of view - just about - and the injuries left on my upper-outer arm's skin are not QUITE as bad as before, but still weeping and red - with a more pronounced psoriasis-like cauliflower-like roughness to the skin. The redness pretty much follows the sensor adhesive patch's dimensions (although not as perfectly well-defined as without the film). Question is: how did it (whatever "it" is!) get through the film? I know it is a breathable film - so, maybe there was some of "it" crossing the film; enough to set my skin off again, anyway.

    One thing I WOULD like to know is this: to what ingredient have I been made hyper-allergic to by this sensor? Will I encounter said ingredient again in other walks of life / adhesives in a medical setting. I'd like to know. Abbott customer care would not tell me as "it's proprietary". Although, given it is a medical device, you would think it would have to be pubic knowledge. Maybe I should go to my doctor and get her to ask the question of Abbott...

    Anyway, I will try a Compeed patch next - and maybe also the Cavilon spray. Although, I have my doubts about the spray...

    Alan
     
    #10 Alan_Flett, Dec 9, 2015 at 11:56 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2015
  11. nicki.harfield@ntlworld.com

    [email protected]rld.com Carer · Newbie

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    My daughter has been having dreadful skin reactions from the adhesive, getting worse each time despite use of cavilon, skin safe spray & opsite underneath. We have now just tried compeed having cut a small hole. Just hoping this works and it stays stuck on. We've covered it with rock tape to secure it!! Anyone else tried this?
     
  12. Minnie45

    Minnie45 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Have had awful skin reactions, cavilon worked at first but then stopped, tried everything else from compeed to special adhesive from my pump team. In my case I've come to the conclusion that it's not just the adhesive but the actual sensor in my arm. Within 1 hr of inserting my latest sensor my skin reacted. I have no skin reactions for anything else including cosmetics or my pump. I won't touch the libre again.
     
  13. Tom Green

    Tom Green Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm testing the Freestyle Insulinks and I'm getting strange readings.
     
  14. Davyb

    Davyb Type 2 · Active Member

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    Yes it is available but for fulfillment problems ONLY to existing users.
    One of the cons is you have to pay i.e. not available on prescription.
     
  15. Tom Green

    Tom Green Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    This looks like an interesting system. I hope it is better than the Freestyle Insulinks .. The screen is awful and results are way different than my Accucheck Mobile.
     
  16. Alternative Diabetic

    Alternative Diabetic Type 1 · Active Member

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    I was on a waiting list for over 6 months to buy a Libre Freestyle in the Uk and finally received it 2 months ago ..I intend to blog about my experience on www.alternativediabetic.wordpress.com.
    At present you have to pay for everything so I feel it's very expensive to run especially if it is not that accurate as I test both ways just in case readings don't match !
    The first pod had too many different readings the first 7 days seemed to go well but then the reading became far apart ..ie freestyle showed 2.3 and my Omnipod showed 7.6 as it progressed it got worse !!
    After speaking to customer services they sent me a new one and I returned the faulty one with all the packaging as they said they needed to test it ..
    I have just finished using the 2nd one .. I had no issues with this one and really found it very useful as I'm brittle diabetic and tend to test at least 8 times a day normally.. However I still tested both ways as wasn't confident after the first experience to trust in on its own . The readings didn't always match but not as bad as the first time .
    I allow a few days for my skin to settle before starting a new pod . As yet I haven't experienced any reaction on my skin .. I make sure I use the medical wipe provided before placing on my arm .
    I belong to a NHS hospital that I believe are trialing it but at present it hasn't been passed on NHS.
    I was told if your body is dehydrated it can often give false /inaccurate reading or if the machine was knocked when on your arm ..as it doesn't actually measure blood sugar .. Also the hospital said always test with a strip if you have a low or high reading !!
     
  17. cally

    cally Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have been using it on and off since it was released in the uk.
    The readings are usually slightly lower than fingerprick results but I have found them to be consistent most of the time.
    It is such a useful device especially because I have the ability to check and see if my blood sugar is going up or down.
    Also I can now tell what is happening overnight without having to wake up and check!
    I have had no skin problems at all and I find it sticks perfectly well without me taping anything over the top.

    I just wish I could afford to use it all the time :(
     
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  18. Britishbob

    Britishbob Family member · Well-Known Member

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    There will always be differences in readings on glucose measuring devices. Blood is a dynamic solution, it is different all over the body. Blood leaving the lungs is oxygenated while that returning is not.
    The Freestyle Libre measures glucose in the interstitial tissue not blood, so there will be a difference. In the tests I did Libre results were always close to the 2 different meters I tested it against.
    The Libre downloads show glucose levels throughout the day, something other meters don't do. It also shows what happens if you change your medication, while normal single point tests and HbA1c would struggle.
    On the reactions, unfortunately some people will, as some do with plasters, nuts, mushrooms, latex etc etc
     
  19. Britishbob

    Britishbob Family member · Well-Known Member

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    The Libre measures glucose in the Interstitial Fluid prior to use by your muscles. Ask whoever told you about being dehydrated to give you evidence as it doesn't make sense, as that would affect all blood readings as well. Urine tests are affected due to concentration levels. Libre recommends doing a blood test if the glucose levels are rising / falling rapidly
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Tom Green

    Tom Green Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    There are a few Of these continuous glucose monitoring devices coming on the market. They are very expensive until they are covered by a plan.
     
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