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Is Libre a Good Idea?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by **shell**, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. **shell**

    **shell** Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Morning

    Sorry to add yet another thread about the Libre system...

    I am debating getting a Libre for a couple of reasons.
    First - I still have the age old problem of feeling more tired on waking after what I thought was a decent nights sleep. I have tried doing tests through the night but they naturally leave me even more tired and I don't feel like I get a true reading as my sleep pattern is altered.
    Second - I am a terrible weekend tester. Week days I can hit 10 tests a day at the weekend I'm looking at 2 maybe 3 at a push.

    My only real reservations are the cost (admin in the NHS doesn't pay like it used to), and my DNS' response. I feel if she doesn't believe in the system will she really value the results?

    Thoughts/Opinions would be really appreciated.

    Thanks
    xoxox
     
  2. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hey @**shell**

    To be honest only you can decide, however if your DSN's response is less than enthusiastic - do they live with type 1 ? As a t1 I can honestly say that even if you use it as a one off every once in a while it will it is a truly useful piece of kit. You can see what's happening over night, see patterns, understand when you're going high/low and it will help with weekend testing.

    We are fortunate to live in a age where we can access tools like this.
     
  3. **shell**

    **shell** Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    She is not T1, however my GP and she is pretty darn sympathetic.

    That could be an idea, maybe just use one every few weeks to reassess?

    xoxox
     
  4. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Definitely try it and use it as and when you need to, you don't have to use it continuously, I have found it very useful when I need to analyse my results and to see where I can make adjustments, my DSN is very supportive of using this so I am surprised to hear of one who isn't.
     
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  5. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
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    Hi @**shell**
    I agree with @Juicyj on this -- I use a libre for making sure my pump settings are still working for me , or when I go on holiday.

    I have used 6 sensors over the past year which is just over £300 per year and works out at 1 sensor every 2 months.

    Libre is brilliant at helping with patterns .
     
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  6. Peppergirl

    Peppergirl Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    I love it, one of the best decisions I've ever made. Great to see what happens overnight and identify trends. Thoroughly recommend it.
     
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  7. GrantGam

    GrantGam Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's a great idea, and an excellent system. The only downside as you know, is the cost...

    Like you, I was having overnight BG issues and the Libre helped me a great deal in sorting them out. I was always waking up knackered and with high BG. By using the Libre I found that I was using far too much basal insulin to compensate for DP and a waking rise. There was also a fair element of overnight lows that were causing rebound hyperglycemia.

    All of my issues could have been solved with basal rate testing on a typical BG monitor, but it is very taxing that way. Because of that, why not make use of a system that does it all for you:)
     
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  8. Snapsy

    Snapsy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have nothing but praise for mine. Phenomenal piece of kit.

    I'm addicted to it, sadly, to the detriment of my bank balance. I use it 24/7/12/365.

    But my life is so much easier with it than without it, so I'll keep going for as long as funds allow.

    :)
     
  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It is so useful; it's too expensive for me to use constantly but I think the libre is genuinely the greatest step up in diabetes management since test strips over the ancient urine testing approach.

    You'll learn a huge amount about what your bloods do and understanding how things go overnight is worth the price of admission alone.

    Buy the kit and then use for as long as you can afford then dip back in as and when you think it would be helpful.

    Ignoring diabetic nurses is probably a good rule of thumb in all situations...

    Best

    Dillinger
     
  10. justadad

    justadad · Well-Known Member

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    Libre is a great piece of equipment. Maybe not as accurate as I would like it to be, or not as advanced as the dexcom's sensors, but it surely makes life easier and more predictable.
    I buy the sensors for my son. Thanks to the libre, we now know how he reacts to different foods. The patterns that libre gives us, combined with good planning and carb counting help maintain solid blood glucose control.

    My son's latest HbA1C, with the help of the libre was 5.8%
    Aiming at 5.5 for the next one. If it weren't for the libre, I am sure it would have been in the region of 6.5%

    Good luck
     
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  11. staffsmatt

    staffsmatt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I find it really useful with the caveat that it always seems to read higher for me than a blood test.. that could just be me though..

    Also if you have an android phone you can just buy one sensor and download the app for the reader. If you decide to keep using it you may want a reader / starter kit as a backup but £50 for 2 weeks use isn't too horrendous...

    Matt
     
  12. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the cost is a pain, but I try to think of it as £3.50 a day, doesn't seem so bad as that's about the same as a return tram or bus trip, or a coffee and newspaper.

    I'd ignore the negative DSN - she is not T1, has presumably never used one, never had a hypo, foot on floor, dp, etc. etc. so has no real world experience of it.

    Main reason I love it is if tells me I'm at, say, 5 and dropping fast, I can then just take 5 to 10g to nudge it up a bit, keep an eye on it, and avoid any possibility of a hypo.

    Compare that to how your DSN would approach it - she's maybe a bit old school DAFNE where the advice is typically don't test between meals unless you feel hypo. So, under that regime, they're saying fix a hypo after it's happened. Nah, with libre you're getting the option of fixing it in advance so that it will not happen at all. That's priceless.
     
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  13. Odin004

    Odin004 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @**shell**

    I completely agree with the above comments - the Libre will really help you establish what's happening with your sugars overnight (I strongly suspect you're going low during the night); you can buy it on a "one-off" basis, and the results will be very valuable to you. There's really no doubt that seeing exactly what's happening to your blood sugars is a very positive thing - and if your DNS doesn't support it, I'd certainly ask what he/she feels the downside is - as there isn't one. It is perhaps true that NHS staff can be quite cautious about endorsing a product (or a treatment) that isn't available on the NHS - but that's more for political reasons, and has nothing to do with diabetes management - so please don't that put you off!
     
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  14. **shell**

    **shell** Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This was going to be my next question. Would I need to buy a reader or can I just use my Samsung phone. Good to know. Thanks @staffsmatt
     
  15. **shell**

    **shell** Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of the replies. Its really appreciated!
    I spoke with my DNS about it today and she actually seemed quite open about it. She just suggested I use it more for viewing trends rather than using the data. This takes me to my next question... obviously there is a delay and discrepancy in the readings do you still use it as a reading and correct/bolus with it or do you do blood testing along with it? Excluding the obvious blood tests for lows and highs. xoxox
     
  16. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The phone's got to have nfc or it won't read the sensor. Not up to speed on samsung phones, so you'd need to check your version has nfc.

    I quite liked the idea of scanning with my phone but in practice found that it didn't "find" the sensor as reliably as the reader, plus you're pointing a lit up screen out away from your arm and it beeps when it reads, so it's not exactly discreet, whereas the reader fits handily in your palm and no-one really notices you scanning. I'm not shy at all about testing/injecting in public, but just found waving a phone past my arm several times till it found the sensor and then having it beep just looked kind of dumb.

    Also, the reader results can be downloaded to pc software which is way better than the phone for analysis - the AGP, ambulatory glucose profile is very good, but you only get a basic version of that on the phone.

    The phone is not bad at all, especially if you're just after a quick one off test run for 2 weeks to give it a go, but longer term, I've found I prefer the reader.

    By the way, seeing as your dsn is being a bit more upbeat about it, maybe ask if the hospital does test runs. It's a bit of a postcode lottery depending on the hospital, but I know for sure that some hospitals are dishing out a reader and one sensor for nothing and then you get to keep the reader: a guy at my work got one that way, and there's been a fair few posts on here saying the same. No harm in asking!

    It's not technically recommended that you bolus from it, and a dsn will never advise that you do that. Certainly for a long time after I got it, I would still meter test before meals, but I found after about six months that I was becoming familiar with it's quirks, and eventually started bolusing from it.

    These days, unless it's a rogue sensor or I have reason to doubt, or levels are unstable, I'll generally test only a couple of times a day, in much the same way dexcom is calibrated, and I can normally get a good enough sense from that of how well the sensor is reflecting reality to be confident of making treatment decisions from it.

    So, like I say, it's not technically recommended, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it when you're new to it, but after a few months of use, we're all grown adults and can make a personal judgment call on whether to bolus from it.
     
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  17. Books1

    Books1 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    If you use the phone app it all uploads into LibreView so you've all the graphs you need and if you turn the sound down on the phone the bleep is not noticeable.
    I love my libre and only use my meter if I'm low as I find the libre slow to react to the climb back to 'normal'
     
  18. **shell**

    **shell** Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Oooo I did not know this is just thought it was a solid "no" across the board.
    I think I will drop her a line today. Fingers crossed!

    xoxox
     
  19. **shell**

    **shell** Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the general consensus is they are brilliant and to get one. Since I'm not fully committed to it yet I'll just use the phone app for the first sensor (my phone thankfully does have NFC) then if I am happy purchase a reader too... Unless South Tyneside CCG has trials and I can get one for free ...

    I think I'll be purchasing next week (payday.. hallelujah!) and keep you all updated.

    Thanks for all the input!!

    xoxox
     
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  20. db89

    db89 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully not the case but have you checked your phone against the list of devices that are approved to 'work' with the LibreLink app? My handset has NFC but I can't download it from the Play Store because it claims it's incompatible. Worth checking before purchasing just a sensor :)

    The app is here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.librelink.app
     
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