1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Libre readings bottom out and flatline... yet I'm still alive

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by AdmiralSausage, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. AdmiralSausage

    AdmiralSausage Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    This is the second sensor I've had in a row develop a fault like this:

    0807.png 0808.png

    So my readings fall through the floor overnight, I get frequent "try again in 10 minutes" errors, and there are gaps in the graph. It's been acting up for a couple of days now, but is still stuck to my arm like a limpet.
    Readings are totally unreliable. Glimp is doing its heroic best to offset the raw data by about 8 mmol/l to match the blood glucose readings I'm giving it, but the end result is still not usable.

    The Abbott careline said I might see this overnight if I slept on the sensor (which I probably did) but that "once you wake up and give the sensor some time to 'breathe', it should improve". That hasn't happened.

    Does this regularly happen to anyone else? I really like the Libre system but it doesn't seem reliable enough to justify the huge cost right now! Thanks...
     
  2. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    14,302
    Likes Received:
    8,226
    Trophy Points:
    298
    I quite regularly flat line overnight. I try to ensure my sensors are well back on my arm, and where possible, I only apply to the arm on the side I don't sleep on too much, but that's what happens.

    I'm not T1, nor do I taken any medication, so I have no concerns about seeing the lower numbers.

    Do you routinely have gaps in your graphs, and are the gaps reflected in the downloaded 15-minute data? Do those gaps happen when you've not scanned for a while?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Fleegle

    Fleegle Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    941
    Trophy Points:
    153
    Agree with @DCUKMod.
    When I had a load of problems, and situations like yours, I told the support team I didn't want new sensors I wanted a solution to the problem and they gave me a couple of snippets.

    I was sticking them for vanity - so perhaps a little higher than I should so they didn't show below my T-Shirt line - by a long way. They said that it needed to go into something a bit less muscle and bone - a little more fleshy. Since then - I have had pretty spot on readings +-2mmol (checked regularly with a meter). Also agree that they need to go a bit further back and on the arm you sleep on less - I get pretty good and varied night time readings now - and I can actually now see when I turn over in my sleep :)

    It seems like you have been using this sensor a while - but I have to apply mine two days before I activate it or I get terrible readings first couple of days.

    Also the "try again" message typically for me has resulted in a replacement sensor.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. AdmiralSausage

    AdmiralSausage Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Thanks. The gaps are only visible in the LibreLink app; Glimp shows a continuous, varying line for that time period at around 1 mmol/l. I guess LibreLink filters out any values which are infeasibly low?
    I can only see the 15-minute data in Glimp, therefore I don't see the gaps in the 15-minute section.

    I'm not talking about gaps when I haven't scanned for 8 hours; those are to be expected.
     
  5. AdmiralSausage

    AdmiralSausage Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    OK, interesting. Mine is fractionally below the level of my armpit and on the arm I sleep on more. This position was OK'd by the Abbott rep who gave me the trail at the hospital, but nothing beats experience. Nobody said anything about avoiding sleeping on it! Thanks for the tip.
     
  6. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    14,302
    Likes Received:
    8,226
    Trophy Points:
    298
    The only reason I enquired about the gaps was that (aside from when I had slept through longer than 8 hours, straight), Abbott were very quick, and eager to replace a sensor showing unexplained "gappy" data/graphs.
     
  7. AdmiralSausage

    AdmiralSausage Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    I agree, that's what prompted them to replace my first sensor too. Glimp shows that there are continuously-varying, if stupidly low, readings even in the 'gaps'.
    They seem keen to replace a sensor if you have "try again in 10 mins" errors for more than 2 hours straight, too.
     
  8. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,475
    Likes Received:
    2,726
    Trophy Points:
    158
    There's a paper here about it:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3879750/

    Kinda makes sense. It's a bit like when you pinch up a bit of skin and it goes white because the pressure stops blood getting to it. So, if you're leaning on the sensor, there'll be less blood flow, so less glucose seeping out into the interstitial fluid. And the temperature and oxygen stuff they mention too.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. AdmiralSausage

    AdmiralSausage Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Thanks, I'll take a look at the paper tomorrow. But that effect wouldn't explain why I'm still flat-lining at 3pm, would it? (No cheeky lunchtime naps in this household!) Check out the graphs in my original post. The problem started at night but has continued for 48 hours now.

    I suppose it's possible that the compression of tissue in my arm has dislodged the little filament. I hoped that as long as the sensor was stuck firmly, it would read correctly. But that appears not to be true.
     
  10. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    386
    Trophy Points:
    103
    If anything I find libres more reliable than when I first started. I still get the odd faulty one but most are reliable. They are less reliable if you're goimg very low or very high.
    Put in 24 hrs before activation works for me. Don't sleep on arm it's in. I have had the occasional 10 min non reading but it tends to work after. Only other point to consider is glimp. I remember @tim2000s saying it killed sensors. Maybe try a sensor without it and see. Librelink is abbot' s app and works fine if you want to use your phone.
     
  11. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    8,917
    Likes Received:
    11,786
    Trophy Points:
    198
    When I tried Glimp, I killed two sensors, but it may have been the NFC on the phone I was using as well. Some of the newer phones (Samsung S8 for example) aren't supported by Librelink, and I think someone said it was due to the power of the NFC chip.
     
  12. AdmiralSausage

    AdmiralSausage Type 1 · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Thanks, I have an S6 and it's been no problem with Glimp at all. All the reports I've read where a phone has killed a sensor (via glimp or otherwise) have been S7 or S8 and the sensor has died outright. Not my case at all.
     
  13. gmmorris

    gmmorris Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Has anybody had a problem wearing a Freestyle Libre through the airport security scanner (I'm thinking of the metal needle)?
     
  14. TheBigNewt

    TheBigNewt Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    374
    Trophy Points:
    123
    This has been covered, and the answer is no.
     
  15. gmmorris

    gmmorris Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Thanx all. That's one less problem to worry about, then. Not that Luton will ever be my fave airport ...
     
  16. Jkoko56

    Jkoko56 Type 1 · Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Re. sensors coming loose. I've fortunately not had this but what I do is apply it and then wear it covered with a piece of elasticated tubular bandage for about 12 hours. Don't know if this really helps but it gives me peace of mind and I'm a very restless sleeper.
     
  17. Wurst

    Wurst Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    Likes Received:
    1,679
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I saw similar patterns and behaviour when I manually reattached my sensor after knocking it off.

    In my experince if I attach the sensor on the left arm the accuracy is much better than a similar position on the right arm.
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook