FreeStyle Libre Troubleshooting: Aches and Errors

Some of the most typical questions now we have in our Diabetes Daily discussion board – a significant neighborhood of considerate, skilled folks with diabetes! – concern the FreeStyle Libre and FreeStyle Libre 2, the favored steady glucose displays (CGMs) made by Abbott. The Freestyle fashions are sometimes inexpensive than the competing Dexcom fashions, and in some elements of the world they’re a lot simpler to entry. They’re nice at what they do, however a number of points maintain popping up, so we thought we’d write a information for troubleshooting the FreeStyle Libre.

My FreeStyle Libre Shows Low/High Blood Sugar. My Fingerstick Doesn’t.

Some of our neighborhood members have complained that their FreeStyle Libre appears much less correct relating to excessive or low glucose numbers.

The FreeStyle Libre 2, identical to the Dexcom G6, is FDA-approved for use with out fingerstick calibration – that’s, the system meets the accuracy requirements set by federal regulators.

With that stated, loads of customers are no less than just a little bit skeptical about their CGMs, and when doubtful are likely to belief their conventional glucose meters. A CGM samples interstitial fluid (not blood), which truly exhibits what your blood glucose degree was about 10 minutes in the past. With that stated, your trusty outdated glucose meter isn’t essentially extra correct than a CGM.

In actuality, skilled customers usually contemplate a number of items of proof when deciding the right way to deal with low or excessive blood sugar: not simply the CGM and glucose meter outcomes, but in addition their signs and their understanding of the previous couple of hours of blood sugar determination making, e.g., “Did I just exercise?” or “Did I forget to snack?” Our recommendation is that you simply don’t must depend on the Libre completely: use it as certainly one of a number of methods to make glucose administration choices.

My FreeStyle Libre is Always Inaccurate at First

Many customers discover that the Libre is inaccurate for the primary 12 hours or so. Maybe it is sensible that the system wants a while earlier than it actually will get into the groove.

If that’s the case for you, don’t sweat it, and don’t recalibrate but. Just take these first readings with a grain of salt (see above) and wait to your sensor to hopefully hit its stride.

My Sensors Keep Failing

Unfortunately, some customers expertise a excessive price of sensor failure. Sensors which can be imagined to final 14 days might not make it that lengthy, come what may.

The resolution? Make a word of the problem, write down any error codes, and then name Abbott and clarify your drawback. They are normally glad to ship you a brand new sensor to exchange the one which didn’t work out, and most of our discussion board members have been happy with the extent of customer support.

Error – Try Again in X Hours

Some customers repeatedly get these irritating error codes once they swipe their smartphone over their FreeStyle sensor. If it does lastly work, generally the Libre has no glucose knowledge for the earlier eight hours.

There’s no repair to this drawback, to our data. Just keep it up, and belief your conventional glucose meter within the meantime. If the sensor by no means comes again to life, name Abbott and request a substitute. They’re normally glad to take action.

Do I Have to Wear it on My Arm?

You’re supposed to put on it on the again of the arm – that’s the one location the Libre is authorised for. However, as with the Dexcom, customers have discovered different places that they like simply as a lot, with little or no obvious lack of accuracy.

Other spots which may work to your Libre, when you want, embrace the thighs, the stomach or lovehandles, the hip, the higher butt, or higher chest.

While these different websites appear to work simply effective, it could pay to be cautious. A 2018 examine of the Libre advised that the higher thigh performs simply in addition to the higher arm, however that the stomach “performed unacceptably poorly.”

My Sensor Hurts My Arm

Most folks discover the FreeStyle Libre sensor is totally painless. But a minority of customers do complain about ache from insertion that will not go away throughout subsequent days. If your sensor results in persistent ache, we’d advocate attempting a brand new web site, particularly one that’s fattier or fleshier. Maybe use much less stress whenever you insert the sensor. The nearer your sensor is to a muscle, the extra issues it appears to trigger.

My Sensor Keeps Falling Off

Whether it’s sweat, muggy climate, swimming, or bumps into door frames, sensors have an annoying and doubtlessly costly behavior of falling off. CGM customers have devised some ways to enhance adhesion, together with the next:

  • Wash your pores and skin with cleaning soap and water earlier than insertion to be able to take away grease and dust. Shaving might assist too.
  • Prepare your pores and skin with Skin-Tac adhesive wipes, principally a glue that helps the sensor’s adhesive stick higher to your pores and skin.
  • Tape over the sensor with clear medical tape, corresponding to OpSite FlexFix.
  • Purchase a specially-made adhesive to your CGM – a few of these rugged stickers might be present in cool colours and designs, and are lower to suit a Freestyle Libre completely.
  • Purchase a specially-made arm band as an alternative of additional tape.
  • Experiment with a brand new placement much less more likely to obtain bumps and bruises.

The Adhesive Irritates My Skin

Some sufferers expertise delicate or critical pores and skin irritation in response to the sticky stuff that Abbott makes use of on the Libre sensor. Symptoms might embrace rash and itchiness, or worse. CGM producers have been altering their chemical compounds to attempt and discover mixes which have the least influence on delicate sufferers, however these options might not enable you to.

First, attempt washing your pores and skin earlier than making use of the sensor. Skin prep protecting wipes, which type a sticky barrier between the tape and your pores and skin, may additionally be useful.

You may experiment with various kinds of tapes and discover one that doesn’t irritate your pores and skin. If you discover one, lower out a patch with a gap within the middle for the sensor’s wire, connect that to your pores and skin first, and then apply the Libre to the tape. This could also be much less sturdy, however many of the Libre’s adhesive materials gained’t be touching your pores and skin.

There’s a complete Facebook group devoted to this problem: Dexcom and Libre Rash. That neighborhood numbers over 15,000 – undoubtedly somebody has had the identical actual problem and is prepared that will help you together with your drawback.


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Read extra about Abbott, Abbott FreeStyle Libre, steady glucose monitor (CGM), Dexcom, train, freestyle, Intensive administration, libre, U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).