The Freestyle Libre - The gadget guide

Ah. This little joy of mine…what a little gadget it is! It is small but mighty, and has the ability to completely change the life of a type one diabetic.

For those not familiar, the Freestyle Libre is a flash glucose monitoring system.

What is a flash glucose monitor?

Well, this is a small sensor that you wear under your skin. It records your blood sugar levels continuously throughout the day, and you can find out what your blood sugar is by scanning the sensor with a reader. This is slightly different to a CGM, because a continuous glucose monitor tracks and measures your blood glucose, sending the data to your display device or pump, instead of requiring a manual scan by the person.

How does the sensor / reader combo work?

I won't sit here and pretend to know the in's and out's of how this technology works. To me, it's magic and it'll never cease to amaze me! Let's just say that I'm thankful to be a type one diabetic during the 21st century.

Essentially, talking from experience, the Freestyle Libre sensor is inserted into the back of the arm using just one needle! The back of the sensor has adhesive which sticks to the skin, and as the needle is removed (the applicator works like a stamp) it leaves a thin bendy cannula within the skin allowing it to measure the sugar in your interstitial fluid (not your blood) ; because it uses the fluid between the blood cells, results can be 5 - 10 minutes behind. The sensor lasts 14 days, where you then remove it - peeling it off like a plaster, and re-insert a new one.

The sensor holds 8 hours of data, so if you scan at LEAST once every 8 hours, you will get a graph representation of what your blood sugar levels have been during this time. The Libre monitors your blood glucose every 15 minutes, which means the graph shows these readings plotted along the day, giving you a comprehensive view of the day, even while you sleep!

What to consider when choosing the Libre?

The decision to allow the Freestyle Libre into your life can be a difficult one. There are so many things to consider, when relying on new technology and gadgets to take a huge new part in your diabetes control and daily life.

How will it affect my mental health?

How will I feel having the sensor on show?

What are the pro's and con's?

Well, luckily for you, I am a list-maker! A pro's and con's lover. A control freak with too much time on her hands basically. So naturally, I put together a list of all things to consider when opting for or against the Freestyle Libre, and why it may or may not be a perfect addition to your life.

The application process of the Freestyle Libre, is actually pretty fast and simple. I do it in less than 5 minutes! Obviously, I'm saying that as somebody who's applied a years worth of sensors. Thinking back to the first application, I was terrified! If you'd like a quick video on how the Freestyle Libre is applied, watch the YouTube video below! It shows you everything you need to know :)

Anyhoo, to finish up, I hope this gives you a good little introduction to the small life changing gadget that is the Freestyle Libre! I will follow up with a blog post with my FULL HONEST REVIEW, but until then, if you have any questions feel free to message or comment below!

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