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Freestyle Libre

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by joanne75, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. joanne75

    joanne75 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi I am thinking about getting the Libre but firstly can someone who has one come along and answers some questions for me.

    1) How much would you say it costs per month to maintain?
    2) Do you wear the sensor 24hrs a day or can you wear it as and when?
    3) Does it have to go on the arm, kind of ugly if your out wearing a short sleeve top?
    4) Can you get any type of funding of the NHS?
    5) Is it accurate?

    Thank you ever so much J xx
     
  2. Peppergirl

    Peppergirl Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi joanne75

    I have been using the libre since August 2016 and love it. Hopefully I can answer your questions:

    1) 1 sensor lasts 14 days, so for continuous use (2 sensors) it costs £100 pm + post
    2) once you activate the sensor, if you remove it then you can't reattach it. It's 24 hours a day. It's on for the maximum of 14 days (the sensor expires after 14 days). Just to note, I've only had issues with 2 sensors (fell off during hot weather) and Abbott replaced them no problem. I have no issues whatsoever wearing the sensor all the time. It's comforting for me TBH.
    3) I put mine on the back of my arm but I don't tend to wear sleeveless. Not sure if you can wear it anywhere else, seems OK on the arm to me.
    4) no funding on the NHS (I've tried a few times, at each appointment I tell the DSN/GP that I love it, they agree but can do nothing yet).
    5) I find that it is accurate, in that it gives a very good view of glucose control. Not as accurate as testing blood, but I have found that sometimes my Accu chek mobile gives the same result. I would say most of the time, the Libre runs a bit lower (around 1mmol) than the blood testing, but still gives you a great indication of where your glucose is heading (low or high or steady).

    I hope this helps. I think if you give it a try you'll really benefit because you'll have much more information to go off than blood tests on their own. I use the libre up to 50 times a day and there's no way I could blood test that much ;)

    Best wishes
     
  3. joanne75

    joanne75 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for the information, I suppose I cant get my head around the £100 PM does that include anything else, also can I use an app on my phone or would I need to get the monitor thing?
     
  4. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There's a free app called Librelink which is approved by the libre makers. The phone needs to be Android with NFC so it can read the sensor. I'm pretty sure you can buy just a sensor for £50 and start it with the free Librelink app on phone - see footnote 4 on librelink webpage, sorry not too good with phones so can't link, google it.

    To be honest, phone app can be a bit clunky reading the sensor: looks a bit nerdy waving a large phone around at my arm in public with it lit up and buzzing, whereas reader (one off cost of £57) is more discrete, palm sized, no buzzing.

    Some hospitals give out a free reader and one sensor for a trial run and you then get to keep the reader and can use it with any new sensors you buy, but it depends on the hospital, not all do this, but no harm in asking. Two people I work with started this way.

    You're not tied into any sort of contract so you wouldn't be committed to £100 pm. A lot of people just buy a £50 sensor now and then for a detailed two week peek rather than using it all the time.

    Don't expect it to be the same as a blood test. They're measuring two different things, related but still different. They'll generally be in the same ballpark. The reason I love it is that with finger tests, you're getting 5 to 10 'snapshots' a day, whereas the libre shows you the whole movie. It's one thing knowing you're at, say 5 or 6, but it's much more useful to know where it's been and where it's going - libre shows you that. I've had lots of situations where the libre tells me not only that I'm at 5 but also that I'm dropping hard, so I can eat and stop the hypo before it even happens. It's like being able to change the future. Just can't do that with strips.

    Abbott are pushing for it to be on NHS. I think it will be eventually. There was probably the same political hassle when we moved from colour changing test strips (still remember being told to cut them in half to save money) to funky digital meters. Politicians are pretending they are not satisfied of the clinical benefits but it's just really the cost.Sorry, rant over...
     
  5. joanne75

    joanne75 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    Thank you so much for the info you have given me, one other question what does it measure if it doesn't measure blood and also does the sensor sit under the skin?
     
  6. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It measures glucose in interstitial fluid by a small filament poking into your skin. You eat some carbs. They get broken down to glucose and then the glucose goes into the bloodstream. The bloodstream is just a plumbing system to get the glucose to where it needs to be. Some of it will go to the liver to be stored for later use. Some of it needs to go into cells in your body to be burned as energy to let you carry on whatever you happen to be doing at the moment. To get to those cells, the glucose seeps out of the bloodstream into the water which fills in the spaces between each cell. We're mostly made up of that water. It's called interstitial fluid. The glucose then goes from that interstitial fluid into the cells (by the way, that's the main point of insulin - it's like a chemical gate which lets the glucose go into the cells to be burned as energy - not enough insulin and the glucose will just stack up because it can't get into the cells). What Libre does is that the plastic sensor sits on top of your arm but there is a tiny, painless wire poking a few mm into your arm into the interstitial fluid. It's measuring the glucose in the interstitial fluid, not your blood. When you're fingerpricking, you're getting some blood directly from the very small capillaries at the end of your fingers. It takes time for carbs to break down to glucose, then go into the bloodstream, then seep out to the interstitial fluid. So, although they are related, there's pretty much almost going to be a difference between blood and interstitial fluid. But if you use the libre enough, you can figure out the differences enough for it to be useful
     
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