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Freestyle Libre Review – My experiences after 3 years

Freestyle Libre Sticker

I’ve had type 1 diabetes for almost a decade now and there have been many highs and lows, but nothing has ever changed my life with diabetes quite as much as the Freestyle Libre.

I first heard about the product in the summer of 2014. Abbott had created a smart marketing campaign months ahead of the product launch that had the diabetes community more than curious – me included. I was insanely eager to try it. I couldn’t wait to order it and kept checking the website on a daily basis. Then, in October 2014, someone posted the good news in a Facebook group: The shop was online and I immediately took action and ordered.

Shortly after, the Freestyle Libre was completely sold out. Abbott had not been expecting the huge run on the Libre and wasn’t able to serve any new customers for months. Instead, there was a considerable waitlist and a flourishing black market on eBay. By now, Abbott seems to have caught up with the demand and the Freestyle Libre is being used by more than 300.000 people in more than 35 countries.

I am incredibly glad that I made my order that day. I still remember how excited I was when I inserted my first sensor and scanned my glucose levels for the first time. Since that moment, I have been absolutely satisfied with this system. After using it for more than three years, I want to share more about my experiences with you today.

Please note that I am from Germany, so some of my experiences might differ from other countries. If you do not speak English or German, you may want to use Google Translate to understand this article. Thanks for reading!

Freestyle Libre

Proudly presenting my very first sensor in November 2014!

What is the Freestyle Libre? A „CGM Light“?

First of all, I want to talk about what the Freestyle Libre is – or rather what it isn’t. Some might thing it is a „light version“ of a CGM, but that’s not the case. While this Flash Glucose Monitoring System does in fact measure glucose levels continuously, it does not transmit this data continuously.

This is an important difference. All this sensor does is continuously measure glucose levels, store this data for eight hours and then transmit it on demand. Since there is no automated connection between the sensor and the reader device, there are no alarms in case of hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

For many CGM users however, these alarms are the most important feature. But personally, I had never tried a CGM and therefore never had access to this kind of continuous and comprehensive glucose data before. Therefore, I still believe that the Freestyle Libre and the data it provides is incredibly valuable. In the end, all users should do their own research and decide which form of therapy is the most feasible and beneficial.

Buying the Freestyle Libre

In Germany, the Freestyle Libre can only be purchased directly through Abbott’s website. In the early days, there used to be long wait lists and many people turned to eBay to buy the device at highly inflated prices. Those times seem to be over for German customers – I myself receive quarterly shipments of seven sensors at a time.

However, it seems that Abbott are handling the distribution of the Freestyle Libre differently in every country, so you may want to get in touch with Abbott directly.

The Freestyle Libre system consists of a reader device and the corresponding sensors. In Germany, we pay 59,90 Euro for the reader device and 59,90 Euro per sensor. Again, prices may vary across the different countries.

Freestyle Libre

Reimbursement for the Freestyle Libre

When I first started using the Freestyle Libre, I had to pay for it out of pocket. This was the case for most German users for quite a while. As a student, 120 Euro per month were a lot of money. But to me, it was always worth the increased quality of life. After some back and forth, my insurance company is now covering the running costs for the system – I only have to pay 30 Euro every three months.

You should get in touch with Abbott to get the latest information about if and how you can get reimbursed in your country.

Freestyle Libre

Freestyle Libre

Applying the Freestyle Libre Sensor

Getting started with the Freestyle Libre is very straightforward. First, the sensor needs to be applied. This is a very easy process: The sensor applicator and the sensor pack need to be pushed together. This way, the applicator can hold on to the sensor and insert it into the skin by simply pushing it onto the body. Afterwards, the sensor can be activated and shortly after, glucose levels are available.

In my experience, this is a simple and painless process. Only in a few cases I have experienced pain or bleeding, both of which had no impact on the accuracy of the sensor.

I usually wear the sensor on my left arm and have a hard time getting used to any other sites. But recently, I have been experimenting with some alternative sites and have had good results. I will report back on this soon.

Freestyle Libre Blut

Bleeding after inserting the sensor

Monitoring glucose levels with the Freestyle Libre

Of course the best part of using the Freestyle Libre is receiving information about your glucose levels without having to prick your finger. No test strips, lancets or blood needed! All you have to do is press the button of the reader device and scan the sensor. The result is a very informative graph with your recent glucose readings, your current glucose level and a trend arrow that indicates which way your glucose is going.

This ease of checking my glucose has completely transformed my way of living with diabetes. Whether I’m on the run, in the middle of a meeting, travelling, exercising or partying – with one swift move I can check my glucose. Fast, easy and pain-free. To me, that’s still incredible!

Accuracy of the Freestyle Libre

It is very important to note that the Freestyle Libre does not measure the glucose in your blood, but in the interstitial fluid. This means that it can show different results than your blood glucose meter – especially if your glucose is rising or falling at a fast pace. It has been said that there is a delay of 5-15 minutes between the glucose levels in the blood and in the interstitial fluid. So in a sense, the Freestyle Libre readings are delayed. That is why fingerpricks are still necessary from time to time. For me personally, this device has proven extremely accurate and I rely on it heavily.

It is not necessary to calibrate the Freestyle Libre, as it is factory calibrated. It is, however, also not possible to calibrate it. So if you find that your sensor is not accurate, there is not much you can do about it. Although I am glad that I do not have to bother with daily calibrations, I would have appreciated the option to calibrate.

The only trick to improve the accuracy of the sensor that I have heard about is applying the sensor up to 24 hours before activating it. I must admit that I do not understand the logic behind this, but it seems to work for many!

The Freestyle Libre reader device

Unfortunately, the quality of the reader device is a bit disappointing. Especially the touch screen requires a lot of patience and determination – i find it frustrating to use. After one year, my reader needed to be replaced since it no longer reacted to the insertion of test strips. On the plus side, the battery life is impressive. In my experience, the device can be used for 10-14 days before it needs to be recharged.

The reader also includes a conventional blood glucose meter and even a ketone meter, which is great. The corresponding test strips are individually packaged. This causes a lot of waste, but is quite convenient. After all, I do not use nearly as many test strips as I did before I switched to the Freestyle Libre. This way, I do not have to carry around a whole box of test strips.

The reader also has a few additional features. You can set reminders or enter additional data about carb intake, insulin injections or physical activity. But since I find the touchscreen too frustrating to handle, I do not make use of any of these features. The device also includes a bolus calculator, which is only available based on blood tests, not sensor scans. In my opinion, this is a fairly outdated setting.

Freestyle Libre

Using Apps to scan the Freestyle Libre

As an alternative to the reader device, Abbott has developed the FreeStyle LibreLink App which enables smartphones to scan the sensor and show glucose levels. With the follower app LibreLinkUp this data can even be shared with family members or friends. After years and years of waiting, the app is now also available for both Android and iOS. I’ve been happily using the app since the February 2018 and I really like being able to scan with my phone. Also, my boyfriend is really enjoying the push notifications on his phone that show him my latest readings.

Since there is no synchronisation between the app and the original reader device, I try to still scan my sensor with the reader device every 8 hours. This way, I still have all glucose data in the reader device and can use the software to download and analyse my data.

It should be noted that these apps have not yet been introduced to all countries and languages. Moreover, the app does not work with all smartphone models. Currently, these are the compatible phones. To learn more, just visit Abbott’s website.

Android

•    Operating system: Android 5.0 or higher
•    Near-Field Communication (NFC): Your smartphone must have NFC capabilities and NFC must be enabled.

iOS

•    Phone models: iPhone 7 or higher
•    Operating system: OS 11 or higher

Freestyle Libre Software: So! Much! Data!

The sensor is only able to store glucose data for 8 hours. Consequently, if you do not scan your sensor for longer than that, you will lose data and there will be a gap in the glucose graph.

The data can be analysed immediately on the reader device. It offers insights into daily patterns, low glucose events or time in range. I have personally found these very helpful.

Freestyle Libre

Freestyle Libre Analysis: Time in range

The Abbott Freestyle Libre software (for Windows & iOS) however, offers far more detailed analyses, e.g. an Ambulatory Glucose Profile or an estimated A1c. It is possible to create thorough reports that can be saved or printed. It should be noted that the reader device can only save the data for 90 days, so you should export it on a regular basis if you want to avoid losing data.

Although this software has proven very helpful to me, I still think it’s a bit limited and not very modern. I would love to see some improvements here soon.

In Germany, we have had lots of discussions about data security and privacy. When using the Abbott software, glucose data is transmitted to Abbott servers in the USA. If you want to prevent this from happening, all you have to do is cut the internet connection while using the software.

Sensor Life & natural enemies of the Freestyle Libre

The sensor, as distributed in Germany, is designed to be used for 14 days and shuts down automatically after that. However in some countries, such as the US, the sensor is designed to last only 10 days.

To my knowledge, there is currently no way to reactivate it. In my experience, the sensor does really work for the full 14 days. Even when I sweat a lot, go for a hot bath or a swim in the salty ocean, or when strangers grab it, the sensor usually stays put.

Freestyle Libre

Freestyle Libre Sensor peels off

But there are times when the adhesive peels off and I need to secure it with some tape. For me, this is not necessary on a regular basis, but only on rare occasions. I can recommend the brand Rocktape*, which I have had good experience with.

In my three years of using the Freestyle Libre, I did have to say goodbye to a few sensors before their 14 days were up. Some just wouldn’t stick to my skin, others fell prey to the natural enemies of the Freestyle Libre: Doorframes and bra straps! Be careful out there! 😉

Freestyle Libre

The natural enemies of the Freestyle Libre

Allergic skin reactions to the Freestyle Libre

Luckily, I have not suffered from any skin reactions to the Freestyle Libre. But of course I have seen the gruesome photos that people post in Facebook groups and I was shocked to see how many people are unable to use the product because of their allergic reactions.

Another blogger from Germany however, has suffered from these skin reactions, but found a way to avoid them, by placing a blister plaster* underneath the sensor. You can find out more about his method (in German) here.

Freestyle Libre Sticker

Freestyle Libre Accessoires: Cases & Stickers!

Let’s be honest: As much as I enjoy using the Freestyle Libre, it’s really not much to look at! Just another medical device that looks plain boring. But it’s easy to change that: I’ve created a range of fun & colourful stickers for the Freestyle Libre that are now available in my little online shop at shop.pepmeup.org!

In addition, MyLibreCover offers silicone covers that can be purchased on Amazon*.

Criticism & room for improvement

Of course there is always room for improvement – even in a product that i am very satisfied with. I’m not really talking about hypo and hyper alarms, because this is simply the difference between CGM and FGM. But within the FGM system, there are some things that I would like to change.

For one, I think there needs to be some improvement regarding the adhesive. Too many users struggle with the sensor either not lasting or with awful skin reactions. I would also appreciate the option to calibrate the sensor in order to increase accuracy if necessary. In addition, I think the quality of the reader device can be improved, the software could use an update and of course I am also still waiting for the iOS App to come out. In the end, I hope that one day all medical devices, such as pumps and glucose meters, can interact with each other – including the Freestyle Libre. A girl can dream, right?

But most of all, I wish that everyone could have access to technology like this. I know how helpful it has been for me and there are many other who do not get it covered by health insurance or do not have access to it at all.


 

Thank you to the amazing Santiago (The Diabetic Survivor) who created this illustration for this article specifically!

My conclusions on the Freestyle Libre

After three years of using the Freestyle Libre I am still a big fan! It is very comfortable to wear, it doesn’t bother me at all and it just makes me feel much more free, but secure at the same time. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this device changed my life with diabetes. Before, I dreaded checking my glucose and never did it often enough. Today, I check my levels between 10 and 20 times per day. To me, this is unbelievable.

Whenever I am without a sensor for a few days, I feel like I’m back in the stone ages. A single glucose reading? What am I supposed to do with that? Without the glucose graph and the trend arrows I feel lost. I’m not sure if it is good to be so dependant on a device, but that’s a whole different issue. The fact is: This device has helped me a lot and still helps me every day.

On top of improving my personal diabetes management, the Freestyle Libre has sparked a lot of funny moments and conversations. „What is it? Is it a nicotine patch? An on-off button? A thermometer? A 3D tattoo?“. Moreover, it has been a source of inspiration to me and led me to start my own little range of fun & colourful stickers. This way, the Freestyle Libre can bring a bit of colour into your life with diabetes! Have a look at shop.pepmeup.org!

Freestyle Libre

* Affiliate-Link

Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored by Abbott. All sensors were either paid by myself or were covered by my insurance. Everything you read here is my own opinion in my own words.

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69 Comments

  • Reply
    Wilfried
    6. Januar 2018 at 19:16

    Oh my dear Steffi,
    I comming from the Volksschule, and my englisch is very bad. So much Sätze in englisch are zu much for me. Yesterday I am been ausgerutscht, on a piece of Apfelsinenschale, and my head is very kaputt. So I lost a many wonderful englische Wörter.
    Have weiterhin much fun in Vietnam,
    Wilfried

    • Reply
      Steffi
      7. Januar 2018 at 3:04

      Hach Wilfried,
      du bist der Knaller! 🙂

      • Reply
        Wilfried
        7. Januar 2018 at 13:29

        Ja liebe Steffi,
        wer Erbse nicht kennt, hat die Welt verpennt;o)).
        Macht es euch schön in Vientnam,
        Erbse

    • Reply
      Lucy Sherman
      17. September 2019 at 9:45

      Thank you for sharing. I am using Libre 2 with new NightRider in last few months and results are very satisfying. I can also share readings and see readings on my Apple watch even without the iPhone

    • Reply
      Thomas Runge
      2. April 2020 at 18:06

      I have been using the Freestyle Libre 14 for a while now and if it works, it is within 10-15 points (normally reading low) of what the Accu-Chek tells me. The sticker stay on just fine and I am using my phone to read it every now and then (the sensor stores data up to 8 hrs) so no constant checking is required.
      The major downsides:
      – Unless you check online, the phone will ONLY show the readings that were manually taken and not the ones the sensor took in the background (and that were submitted into the online database)
      – A new sensor, according to what they call „support“ WILL provide incorrect information on day one and MAY get better the following days. So 14 days is a flat out marketing lie, you get 13 days data out of it in best case.
      – There is NO way to correct incorrect readings, neither on the phone, nor in the online Libreview application, so ALL of your collected data for average/min BG levels are pretty much completely useless. Abbott’s team is so utterly incompetent that they don’t even see a reason why the data would need to be manually corrected or removed.
      – The „support“ is completely and utterly useless. They have their checklist and are otherwise untrained ***** in ***** countries.
      – Defective readers will simply tell you „Sensor Error, try again in 9 hours“. Well, this is not what I pay almost $100 (with insurance) for per month. If they deliver defective sensors, they should simply replace them and not tell customers to wait for a day and call again – that is completely pathetic for a product in this price category.

      Bottom line, I would not recommend this product as it is a complete guesswork if the data is correct and accurate. Making ANY treatment (or even meal) decisions based on this product is DANGEROUS and like rolling the dice.

      • Reply
        Steffi
        5. April 2020 at 22:57

        Hi Thomas,

        thanks a lot for sharing your detailed feedback. I’m really sorry to hear that you’re struggling with the accuracy of your sensors. I too wish that there was a way to calibrate them in case they are indeed incorrect.

        I would like to say that I do not appreciate the way you talked about the staff in their customer service. Regardless of quality of the service they provided to you, your wording was disrespectful and not acceptable. That is why I’ve censored (****) your comment. I did not however delete your comment as a whole because I think it provides valuable insights.

        All the best to you
        Steffi

  • Reply
    Martim cabral
    8. Januar 2018 at 20:07

    Thank you for sharing…

    • Reply
      Steffi
      9. Januar 2018 at 3:11

      Thank you! 🙂

    • Reply
      Miceal Powell
      1. August 2019 at 6:31

      I have used this product for more than a year. During this time I have had one bleeding after insertion, 1 sensor went into an error state after 3 days, and several sensor with adhesive issues (sensor peeled off in the first few hours). These sensors are expensive ~$680 for a 3 month supply. I stopped using the product.

      • Reply
        Carin
        21. August 2019 at 8:24

        I have had problems with the adhesive as well, but more importantly I have had the needle come apart on the sensor upon removal, not once but twice. I’m seriously thinking of going to the dexcom 6.

  • Reply
    Rose Ho-Gland
    15. Januar 2018 at 17:29

    Thank you for sharing

  • Reply
    Carlos Antillón
    21. Januar 2018 at 16:44

    As a Pediatric Endocrinologist at Mexico, I’m absolutely satisfied since Free Style libre is available at Mexico (October, 2017). A great group of my patients had used it since 2 years ago (they bougth at Europe of course). I can tell you that Free Style libre has changed my viewpoint as a physician; it’s a great tool for diabetes education. Most of my recently diagnosed patients are using Free Style libre in the first week

    • Reply
      Steffi
      21. Januar 2018 at 20:53

      Hello Carlos! Thank you for your comment. It is great to hear that the Freestyle Libre has arrived in Mexico and is helping you parients! 🙂

  • Reply
    areadingcat
    27. Januar 2018 at 14:04

    this was sooooooo lovely to read! thank you so much! getting my first Freestyle Libre on the 1st february! Can’t wait! I hope I adapt to it well and have no problems! Also, I was only diagnosed in the summer 2017 so I really feel lucky for not having to wait too long to use something as great as this! thanks for all your insight! xx

    • Reply
      Steffi
      30. Januar 2018 at 1:06

      Thanks so much for your kind words! 🙂

  • Reply
    Guy Ferger
    5. Februar 2018 at 15:12

    Hi. I just switched from the Dexcom G5 CGM to the FreeStyle Libre FGM. After about three years of using the G5, I got fed up with Dexcom’s very poor customer service. I did like using my iPhone as a receiver however not the irritating, unstoppable, „low“ alarms, after correcting for the low, of the G5. I’ve only had the Libre about a week, and the experience, and much lower cost, has been quite positive. Unfortunately the Libre does not use the same blood test strips as my small FreeStyle blood tester which I have many boxes of! The Libre scanner is small and simple. Not as „antique“ as my OmniPod controller. I’ve simplified my T1D insulin inputs with the controller where I do not use many of its software algorithms anymore. I just use it to basel and bolus. Same with the simple FGM. For me, now T1D treating is much less intrusive with life. Others may not want or like this. Thank You for your review! Peace…Guy

  • Reply
    D. Joseph
    18. Februar 2018 at 3:59

    I wish everybody would read this blog before posting stupid questions all over FB & social media.

    • Reply
      Steffi
      18. Februar 2018 at 3:59

      Hahaha thank you!

    • Reply
      Carol KK Felton
      10. April 2019 at 23:55

      I also have switched from Dexcom G5 for the very same reasons – awful customer relations! I find the FS Libre works just as well & it lasts 14 days instead of 6 or 7, without having to calibrate at least twice daily. I would recommend it highly, even w/ an occasional little glitch (I’ve had none so far.)

  • Reply
    Robert-Jan
    19. Februar 2018 at 9:55

    Thanks for sharing this, very usefull information and I cannot agree more with you. I recently bought the Nightrider, which scans every 5mins and send this through bluetooth connection to your Phone (and yes, also iPhone), and I love that. You put it on top of the FSL, so it makes it overall thicker, which is not ideal. But I love the fact that I do not have to scan anymore and can see the values directly and continously on my Phone.

  • Reply
    Nicolas
    19. Februar 2018 at 16:45

    Great post!
    A few updates for people reading this, the LibreLink and LibreLinkUp apps for iOS are online in most EU counties, but the LibreLink app (the one for reading that replaces the awful meter is only available for iPhone 7 or later).
    The accuracy of the sensor is higher between day 1,2 to day 12,13. The US sensor has a lower error but really is the same sensor that has 1 day start up and 10 days of run time. That’s why is more accurate to insert it 1 day before and why US sensor lasts 10 days.
    And at last, as others commented here too. There are various alternatives to transform the libre into a continuos glucose meter with small devices that attach on top of the sensor and send data continuously to a phone (this has its pros and cons as is not official but really useful).

  • Reply
    Chuck Lawhorn
    9. März 2018 at 16:04

    Thank you for your review. I live in the US, so I have only worn sensors for a month now. Your review was very helpful, and although I am not a sticker person, they look like fun and are very colorful.

    • Reply
      Steffi
      9. März 2018 at 16:15

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Chuck! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cy Rebecca
    31. März 2018 at 2:40

    Hi, girl! I bought four sensors imagining they would last 2 months and I lost all of them in less than a single month with 1. A doorframe, 2. a top strap, 3. Drying myself after a shower (one went to the end). I’m really sad because it’s soooo expensive in Brazil!!! 😢😢😢

  • Reply
    Xanthe
    17. April 2018 at 17:40

    Thanks a lot for sharing this. I’ve found your insights really helpful.

    • Reply
      Steffi
      17. April 2018 at 21:44

      Thanks so much for your kind words! 🙂

      • Reply
        Xanthe
        18. April 2018 at 16:55

        Your stickers are fabulous — just ordered some to where I live in Mexico 🙂

        • Reply
          Steffi
          18. April 2018 at 17:48

          Woow! Thank you so much! We will ship them today and make sure they get to Mexico as fast as possible! 🙂

  • Reply
    shahroz
    26. April 2018 at 6:04

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Robert
    6. Mai 2018 at 21:38

    Thank you for sharing your experience with the Freestyle Libre. I heard great things about it from patients at the pharmacy where I work and I finally had my doctor write me a prescription for it. While I was in the examination room waiting to be seen I read your blog. This is my first day using the Libre, but so far I love it!

    Robert
    Cave Creek, Arizona, USA

  • Reply
    Patrick
    18. Oktober 2018 at 17:09

    Question: is the ’needle‘ constantly in your arm? How does it work?

  • Reply
    Jayson B
    15. November 2018 at 18:05

    It’s horrible. I have a total of four meters including the Libre. It’s accuracy is beyond bad. I’m hypoglycemic and this thing has my sugar 25-35 points higher than what it really is. I’m on my second sesnor and second monitor because I thought I had a defective one the first time. I just had a sugar crash down to 58 with a range up to 61 on all my other sensors and the libre had me at 88. I then did the finger test on the libre as well and it said 95!!! Meanwhile I’m shaking, confused and dizzy from low blood sugar. I grabbed a juice and was fine. DO NOT trust this thing.

    Just as I’m typing this I’m up to 100 and now my libre is saying 75 after I drank the jucie. This thing is complete garbage and can put people in a very severe emergency situation. It should have never been released to the public with this level of inaccuracies.

    • Reply
      Leo
      1. September 2019 at 2:28

      I have one right now with the same problem but on the other hand I have 90% of them working
      Over more than 2 years
      Leo

  • Reply
    G. Mann
    22. Februar 2019 at 5:00

    Accuracy: How accurate are the readings whenever and whatever it is measuring? What is +/- on the reading ? There is data in the users manual, but it is hard to relate to real life measurements. Just to say it accurate is not enough. Technical specifications should include what a user will notice of meter reading – uncertainty expected. I find it amazing this type of information is hard to find. It may be once the device is approved, consumer is expected just to use it. The concept of this device is definitely useful. Detailed information about the principle, operation and measurement reliability and accuracy will be very helpful.

  • Reply
    Aaron Chaim David
    10. März 2019 at 2:23

    Hi Steffi,
    Thank you very much for this. My son is 6 years T1D and has been using the FS Libre for nearly 3 months now. Up to now they have generally been fine. On Thursday we changed the sensor and the readings were 2-3 mml different to the blood prick readings. There had been a bleed when we applied the sensor, so we thought it was because of that. So we put another one on, another bleed and again a difference of 2 to the blood test. We called Abbott and they suggested waiting 24-48 hours. So we are waiting, while in the meantime, can’t send him to school and expect teachers to do blood tests instead using a simple scanner.
    Have you ever had this experience?

  • Reply
    Sam Hagar
    22. April 2019 at 22:27

    I have noticed the readings won’t be exactly the same as from a traditional blood test so if it’s always 2-3 higher, then make mental note of that when taking insulin. Overall, it’s great to use when in public or school or when traveling.

    • Reply
      Eli
      28. Mai 2019 at 12:59

      Hi Sam, Yes it is very helpful while travelling and in regular activity too. I am a T1D and being using it for last couple of year without any problem. Just I would need to scan it with my phone all the time whenever i want to check my sugar level and it doesn’t give high and low alerts. Then fortunately I came know about a marvellous device of Ambrosia’s BluCon NightRider which changed my entire life. Now I can take good sleep and relaxed and can travel over the world without worry. It’s CGM device which allows us to constantly see our blood sugar without scanning and can give indications of rising and falling whilst also alarming you of those highs and lows. In fact my husband and my physician can monitor my readings. I thing one should every try for it. Here is their website for more details, http://www.ambrosiasys.com

      • Reply
        marjolein
        6. Januar 2020 at 0:12

        This BluCon sounds like a big Con indeed. Silly posts about how life with T1D used to be so difficult, but now became so easy after buying this app. Oh yes, and homeopathic medicine, herbal life elixers and the local magician, they solved all my life problems. Any person posting this crap should be ashamed.

  • Reply
    Kristine
    5. Juni 2019 at 8:47

    Hi my daughter Lisa is Type 1 diabetic from last 8 years when she was only 6 year old, We developed a routine of counting carbohydrate intake for each of her meals, measuring her glucose and then calculating her insulin intake to ensure her glucose was within range. Sometimes our calculation was right and sometimes wrong. But over me, we more or less figured it out. Each day, began and ended with glucose readings and insulin shots. Lisa cried each me her finger was pricked to check her glucose but soon resigned herself to it.
    On her 12 th birthday, we got some good news. Our doctor informed us about an affordable and easy to use Continuous Glucose Monitor solution called NightRider BluCon from Ambrosia Systems which could help Lisa keep her glucose in check — minus painful finger sticks and expensive test strips.
    He told us that NightRider BluCon is an electronic transmitter that can transmit glucose readings from FreeStyle Libre/FreeStyle Libre pro sensors inserted into a parent’s forearm to any Bluetooth device like a smart phone or watch using Ambrosia’s mobile app, LinkBluCon . With this, Lisa can see her glucose readings on her smart phone or watch every 5 minutes and even when on the move!
    As parents, we can track Lisa’s glucose levels anytime-anywhere on our mobile phones using Ambrosia’s Caregiver app, FollowBluCon . The app also provides notifications in case Lisa’s glucose levels go either too high or too low. NightRider BluCon also works with an insulin pump which automatically adjusts insulin dosage based on glucose readings shown by the mobile app, LinkBluCon.

    • Reply
      marjolein
      6. Januar 2020 at 0:13

      This BluCon sounds like a big Con indeed. Silly posts about how life with T1D used to be so difficult, but now became so easy after buying this app. Oh yes, and homeopathic medicine, herbal life elixers and the local magician, they solved all my life problems. Any person posting this crap should be ashamed.

  • Reply
    Marilyn
    11. Juni 2019 at 22:17

    I was so excited to use the Libre until I discovered it is widely inaccurate. It is consistently reads 30 t0 40 points lower than a confirmed blood test. I just got a Dexcom 6, and it seems much more accurate. The Libre gave me a false sense of security.

  • Reply
    Katrina Beard
    16. Juni 2019 at 19:18

    Why is it a lower result, like 30 to 50 points lower,then a finger stick?
    Which one should you believe?

  • Reply
    William Faulkner
    17. Juni 2019 at 14:06

    TY for your excellent 3-yr Libre FGM product review. I too enjoy not having to carry lancets and test strips everywhere I go (who doesn’t?). But I soundly sleep over 8 hours, so most nights my sensor overwrites data and my readers analysis contains gaps. I also get most of my sugar (BS) lows at night, while I’m asleep. So, I’m hoping that our next gen Libre system includes wireless bluetooth v4 (low power BT tech) to periodically and automatically (CGM like) upload sensor data into the reader/app and (alert) wake me when my BS values trend too low or too high. Those improvements would be life saving and convenient. 🙂

  • Reply
    Steve Walser
    9. Juli 2019 at 3:43

    I too lost a couple of sensors during my first prescription but I called Abbot and in a few days they had free replacements at my door! Great customer service and much appreciated. How handy. I’ll buy some tomorrow.

  • Reply
    richard power
    11. Juli 2019 at 21:34

    be aware before you buy. the sensors fall off easily and when they do they are useless . they do replace them but libra should fix the problem. i will not buy any more i have had them fall off a day after i put it on . which is a real issue if you are not at home and dont have strips with you . dont buy libra sensors until they fix the problem

  • Reply
    Mohamed Bouallag
    31. Juli 2019 at 23:21

    HI guys. I just want to turn every body attention to this Recomanded Diabetes Cure System
    https://www.reverse-diabetes-today.net

    good luck

    • Reply
      Kill Idiots
      15. November 2019 at 21:00

      Did you think of just taping some C4 all over your fuckin body and detonating it, you stupid jihad asshole ? Go fuckin sell your lies elsewhere, fuckin muslim piece of shit!

  • Reply
    Bill Rozovics
    7. August 2019 at 12:39

    There’s no „one size fits all“ solution for most things, but you presented a thoughtful and long term perspective on the Libre system. I’m a bit older than most folks here, and I think you make a case for the younger, more active T1Ds to at least try out the device. The delayed readings and somewhat inaccurate results can be a problem for brittle diabetics such as myself, but for many people it looks like a technology that frees up people’s lives.

  • Reply
    Kathi Gilbert
    24. August 2019 at 23:22

    I noted many people complain about the sensor falling off. I purchased skin-tak wipes from Amazon. After cleaning the surface of your skin with alcohol, wipe the area with the skin-tak. Apply the sensor and it will stay on much longer. I’ve been using the Libre system for 10 months and only one fell off a day early.

  • Reply
    Barrie Brown
    9. Oktober 2019 at 20:32

    Lovely column, and cute stickers. Just to let my fellow Canadians know – it’s now covered completely free by government health insurance in Ontario and Quebec. The only requirement is that you be insulin dependant for your diabetes.

    As for the bra strap issue, I just watched a YouTube video from some girl in England who tried it on her breast (she called it her boob) and the readings were the same as her arm but with the added benefit that her bra keeps it protected. I don’t have any problems with adhesion even in the shower but I always remember to „pat dry“ the arm and it has not failed yet.

    As for the continuous monitoring add ons available online I considered them but the reviews on Amazon.com were terrible so I’ll just be more conscientious in remembering to scan frequently. You’d be wise to check them out for yourself.

    Thanks again for a wonderful blog and all the useful info!

  • Reply
    Victoria Treyger
    18. November 2019 at 0:57

    Thanks for sharing FSL sensor details. I am using US14 days Libre sensor with Ambrosia’s NightRider BluCon for about a month now. Earlier I used Libre 10 days with the nightrider and really liked it but stopped using after Abbott stopped selling US10 day sensor and switched to Dexcom G6 becuase nightrider did not work with us14 day. Scanning evey time to see readings was painful for me, no arlams and no sharing of readings were other factors which stopped me from using it but last month once Ambrsia started support for US14 day libre sensor, I switched back from Dexcom G6 to FreeStyle Libre.

  • Reply
    Glenn Aurelius
    14. Dezember 2019 at 13:41

    Hi, I am on my 4th sensor and have some comments to share. The first sensor was a test one. It came out in less than a week and I couldn’t find it. Decided that was the way I wanted to go so got the prescription and started out with nurse applying again with a glue. Unit fell out again and couldn’t find. Called Freestyle tech support they sent me another. For the next attempt with nurse bought the Freestyle patch and applied to sensor. Took a reading with the sensor next day and noticed readings were low by over 100 compared to stick testing. Called got a new sensor and saved old one to send back. Installed new sensor and noticed off by 100 versus stick called and was told it may take 48 hrs before reading works correctly that is an issue? Also now with 6 days left had to replace the freestyle bandage. Why aren’t these bandages supplied with sensor?

  • Reply
    Faryal Amir
    31. Dezember 2019 at 18:37

    Hi! We just ordered this for my mum but she’s scared this has a needle that stays under the skin? Is that true, or is the needle only part of the applicator that is removed once the applicator is taken away from the sensor. It wasn’t really clear from the instructions! Would appreciate any help

    • Reply
      Steffi
      4. Januar 2020 at 19:04

      Hi Faryal! The needle is indeed just part of the applicator and is needed to push the sensor into the tissue. But the needle retracts and only leaves the sensor behind which is not like a needle, just a bit of fibre. No need to worry! 🙂 Fingers crossed your mum will love it!

  • Reply
    Ureshnie Kaperonis
    20. Januar 2020 at 12:26

    Hi All

    My husband almost went into a coma because it show 108 and in fact it was 58. I am so worried about him using this device.

    • Reply
      Steffi
      22. Januar 2020 at 20:26

      Hi Ureshnie,

      that sounds awful – I’m really sorry this happened to him. Have you talked to Abbott about these problems?

      Warm regards
      Steffi

  • Reply
    Phil Harris
    11. Februar 2020 at 17:43

    I’ve been on the libre freestyle for over 1 year. I have never had a issue with support replacing sensors gone bad. Today, I called support for a replacement for a sensor that is reading 20-30 points below what my one touch finger stick was reading. Support wanted me to get strips for their meter and then retest to see if there is still an inaccuracy. To do this, it would require me to have an appointment with my doctor, more deductibles, and lots of time wasted. I’ve done comparisons with my one touch in the past and the it has always correlated with the sensor. Don’t think I’m going to stay with Libre Link after this poor customer experience.

    • Reply
      Steffi
      18. Februar 2020 at 13:50

      Hi Phil,
      I’m sorry that you had such a poor experience with them – it’s so frustrating to have to deal with things like that on top of everything else. With one really annoying exception, I always had great experiences with the Abbott customer service. Sometimes it comes just down to one person having a bad day, or simply being bad at their job. But if you do continue to use the libre – I really liked using the reader device, because it is a backup reader in case I have issues with my phone + a blood glucose meter + a ketone meter as well. I find that really useful and wish other companies would offer this as well. Anyway, I hope your experiences will improve an wish you all the best!
      Steffi

  • Reply
    Roger Norris-Tull
    15. Februar 2020 at 0:07

    After using libre freestyle for about 4 months, I got a blood draw A1c test. Blood draw showed avg glucose of 132, but libre freestyle indicated 90 day avg of 102. Really disappointing that freestyle underestimated actual blood glucose by 30%!!! I did many finger stick – freestyle monitor comparisons and never detected any consistent systematic error. Wondering if I need to multiply my meter readings by 1.3 to get a reasonable estimate of actual blood glucose.

    • Reply
      Steffi
      18. Februar 2020 at 13:56

      Hi Roger,
      thanks for sharing your experiences! I personally never had big issues with inconsistencies, but this is different for everyone. But that must be very frustrating for you. I hope the next few sensors prove to be more accurate for you. Another way to look at it: You know now – that is really valuable information!
      All the best,
      Steffi

  • Reply
    Bob
    18. Februar 2020 at 15:20

    I am a type 2 diabetic patient. I have been using the device for about three months. The problem I noticed is that the sensors are not consistently reliable, as some sensors give much closer (of course lower than finger prick readings) readings, but some others the variation is up to 3.5 mmol/L lower than finger pricked readings. The readings just give you some information whether your glucose level is going up or down, but not at all reliable.

    • Reply
      Steffi
      26. Februar 2020 at 8:14

      Hi Bob! It’s different for everyone – I know a lot of people struggle with accuracy. Personally, I never really did – but it’s a shame we can’t calibrate the sensor in case we do have issues. It’s important for us to be able to trust these devices. It’s a shame that not all of us can! 🙁 Hoping for some more accurate sensors for you!

  • Reply
    Sheryl
    24. Februar 2020 at 22:49

    I began using the Freestyle Libre on October 30, 2019. I loved it! I still love it…when I have sensors that work. November was the only month I had both 14-day sensors work. Each time I’ve called customer service and they are very helpful. The first 2 months this happened, they FedExed a new sensor to me and all was well. The last month, they sent by pony express and it took more than 2 weeks to get to me. I couldn’t get a replacement sooner because insurance said it was too early to get my next prescription. This morning I put a new sensor on. It worked fine for 3 scans. Now it won’t scan at all. I am getting very frustrated with this issue. I’ll wind this comment up and call Customer Service AGAIN!

    • Reply
      Steffi
      26. Februar 2020 at 8:15

      Hi Sheryl,
      oh wow – that sounds SO frustrating for you. In Germany, I’ve always had great customer service from Abbott (with one exception, but that happens). But it’s so annoying that you can’t rely on the product. Fingers crossed you’ll soon get a box full of perfectly running sensors!

  • Reply
    Stanley Schwartz
    24. März 2020 at 6:12

    I too find the FS Libre very inaccurate. 10 to 25% low readings. Customer service from Abbott is non=existant. I’m 50 miles from them. I just might take a trip over there to give them a piece of ny mind.
    $60 for 14 days is ridiculous.

    • Reply
      Steffi
      5. April 2020 at 22:48

      Hi Stanley!
      I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling with inaccuracy. I wish the system COULD be calibrated. It’s such a shame that Abbott customer service seem to be so unresponsive in many places. With one exception in 4 years, I’ve always had great experiences with their customer service here in Germany!
      Fingers crossed you’ll get some accurate sensors soon!
      All the best to you!
      Steffi

  • Reply
    Steve Peck
    25. März 2020 at 0:09

    This is the 2nd monitor in 3 months due to inaccurate readings.
    Again the readings are 3 to 5 (30_50) below the test strip readings, also confirmed by previous finger pricking monitor. So my monitor reads 7.1 /finger prick reads 12.5.
    In the 3 months when I put a new patch on, for the 1st 24 hours I do a double test patch & finger prick. So far I’ve had to discarded3 patchs due to a greater than 2.5 or greater spread.
    I’ve spent approx 7 hours talking to customer service, …….
    The patch / monitor is convenient, just wish it was accurate or even close.
    I’m at the point that I don’t trust it, and now reverting back to the finger pricking.

    • Reply
      Steffi
      5. April 2020 at 22:49

      Hi Steve,
      I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having a hard time trusting the Libre’s accuracy. I wish the system could be calibrated in order to improve accuracy. Fingers crossed you’ll get some good and accurate sensors soon!
      All the best to you!
      Steffi

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