How does the Freestyle Libre CGM System Work?
In the ongoing mission of GHMS to improve lives through pioneering medical technologies, we’ve adopted innovative solutions to address the global challenge of diabetes. Among these solutions is the FreeStyle Libre 2 continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, developed and delivered by Abbott Laboratories. This revolutionary technology has transformed the way millions of people living with diabetes monitor their glucose levels, offering a painless and convenient alternative to traditional fingerstick tests.
The Freestyle Libre Components
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system consists of two main components: a small, round sensor that you wear on your skin, and a handheld reader device or a compatible smartphone app.
The sensor, about the size of two stacked quarters, is applied to the back of the upper arm. It’s equipped with a tiny filament that measures glucose levels in the interstitial fluid beneath your skin. Once applied, the sensor can be worn continuously for up to 14 days.
The second component is a reader device or a smartphone app that you use to scan the sensor. With a quick, one-second scan, the reader displays your current glucose level, a glucose trend arrow indicating whether your levels are rising or falling, and a graph showing your glucose history for up to the past eight hours.
The Technology Behind Freestyle Libre
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system employs flash glucose monitoring technology. Unlike traditional CGMs that send glucose readings to a display device at fixed intervals, the FreeStyle Libre system records glucose levels continuously and allows you to access the data anytime with a quick scan.
The system measures glucose in the interstitial fluid – a thin layer of fluid that surrounds the cells of the tissues below your skin. The sensor’s tiny filament sits in this fluid and measures glucose levels every minute. It’s calibrated at the factory, so you don’t need to do any fingerstick calibrations.
Advantages of the Freestyle Libre CGM System
Painless and Discreet:
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system is designed to be comfortable and discreet. The sensor application is quick and relatively painless, and once it’s on, you can wear it while bathing, swimming, and exercising.
Real-time glucose trends and data:
The system provides real-time glucose readings with each scan, plus a trend arrow showing if your glucose is going up, down, or changing slowly. This information can help you make informed decisions about food, activity, and insulin dosing (if you take insulin).
Reduced need for fingerstick testing:
The FreeStyle Libre 2 system reduces the need for routine fingersticks, which are typically required several times a day with traditional glucose monitoring.
Through the LibreLinkUp app and LibreView cloud-based software, you can share your glucose data with your healthcare team and loved ones, supporting collaborative diabetes management.
Getting Started with the Freestyle Libre CGM System
Obtaining the FreeStyle Libre 2 system requires a prescription from your healthcare provider. Once you have a prescription, you can purchase the system at a pharmacy. Cost and insurance coverage can vary, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider.
Applying the sensor is straightforward. Each sensor kit includes a disposable applicator that helps you attach the sensor painlessly. You then activate the sensor using your reader or smartphone app. Once activated, the sensor needs an hour to warm up. After that, you can start scanning and getting glucose readings.
Safety, Precautions, and Troubleshooting
While the FreeStyle Libre 2 system is designed for safety and ease of use, there are a few things to keep in mind. Potential side effects are rare but can include skin irritation around the sensor site. To help prevent this, it’s important to clean the application site with an alcohol wipe and let it dry before applying the sensor. If you experience persistent irritation, contact your healthcare provider.
Precautions for the sensor site include avoiding tight clothing that might dislodge the sensor, as well as avoiding heavy impact or pressure on the sensor. It’s also essential to rotate the sensor site with each new application, allowing the previous site to heal before reapplying a sensor.
In case of any issues with the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, such as the sensor not providing accurate readings or falling off prematurely, consult the user manual or contact the customer support team for assistance.
The FreeStyle Libre 2 CGM system has revolutionized glucose monitoring by offering a painless, convenient, and informative alternative to traditional fingerstick tests. With its real-time glucose trends, reduced need for fingerstick testing, and data-sharing capabilities, the FreeStyle Libre 2 system has empowered millions of people to take charge of their diabetes management and live healthier lives.
We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider about the FreeStyle Libre 2 system and discover how it can improve your diabetes management experience. Together, we can create a future where managing diabetes is more accessible, personalized, and focused on improving the quality of life for those living with this chronic condition.
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