Better Diabetes Management with Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

How important is peace of mind? I’m sure you’re all for it.

I’m living with diabetes, and I just found out about it very recently. I was honestly playing it off and not thinking about it until my doctor told me to get some tests done. I have had several symptoms like headaches, ants on excretions, etc. but I was in denial. Test results came and it confirmed what I was fearing the most, I had type 2 diabetes just like my mom and dad. It was a burden for me to spend a lot for maintenance medicine, just like any other diabetic out there. I had to change a lot of things like monitor my food intake, take medicine religiously, etc. I was able to have good results in the past but I bet it was just because of the diet I had to go through before having my blood glucose tests. It’s my fault. I didn’t know how hard it was to live with diabetes, and how to manage it until this happened.

Diabetes management has been very hard for people living with the condition. The grueling task of checking blood glucose levels has always been a burden, discouraging people young and old to stay away from pricking just to see how they are doing daily and nothing has been done to better it.

It’s already 2020 and I am happy to finally see medical and technological advancements in diabetes management. I’m glad to have been able to know and use the Abbott FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system. It’s a first in the Philippines and is currently the number one sensor based glucose monitoring system in the world. Before this, there was no technology available in the country to monitor your glucose aside from the routine finger pricking method which you will not be able to do in a more regular basis due to the pain and inconvenience that you have go through every single time you prick . The goal to decrease A1C, reduce hypoglycemia, limit glucose variability (to maintain it in a normal level) and monitoring it is very tricky as it doesn’t give so much information. 

Finger pricking is useless if patients do not prick regularly as they should (according to doctors’ instructions) and if the patient stops monitoring, the doctor won’t have information he/she would need. If you use a flash glucose monitoring system like FreeStyle Libre, doctors would have a better idea about your condition. When you scan using the FreeStyle Libre reader over the sensor, it shows your actual glucose level and plots it in an 8 hour history trendline. The sensor actually can provide a comprehensive glucose reading as it allows you to frequently scan – you can scan even every minute! It doesn’t get your readings from the blood but from the interstitial fluid (ISF) that surrounds the cells (below your skin). 

The system also has LibreView, a free, secure cloud based management platform which would be a convenient way for your doctor to view your glucose data. The reader conveniently shows patterns over a particular date or period of time where you have been using the sensor. It provides data you and your doctor can easily understand. It also shows time in target (if you are above, within, or below your target glucose range), and a summary of your low glucose events (shows readings lower than 70 md/dL in 4 different 6 hour periods).

I have been using it for a couple of days now and found out a few things. The sensor won’t get detached from you, unless you force it. It’s got a medical grade adhesive and is water resistant. I would advise you to wash the site of your arm using  plain soap, dry, and then clean with alcohol wipe. The reader can also do manual blood glucose level checking as it can work with FreeStyle Optium Glucose Strips.

The reader can be charged full in 2-3 hours and would last around 7 days. It also displays how many days you have left before you should replace your sensor (as each one can be only used up to 14 days). There is an Edit icon on the device which can be used to indicate if you’ve eaten (and it locks down after 15mins).

The FreeStyle Libre Reader and Sensor can be purchased online through Lazada or in selected major Mercury drugstores. It costs Php 3,500 for the reader and the sensor is Php 3,500 as well. Senior citizen and persons with disabilities (PWD) discount privileges are also available as long as there is a doctor’s prescription. I suggest you get it via Lazada because they have free delivery. Their customer service hotline is at (02)87028577 and is open weekdays from 8:30am – 5:30pm excluding public holidays. I actually called when I had a problem with my sensor and after a few troubleshooting steps, they replaced it after arranging delivery from their head office. I am satisfied they acted fast and efficiently. That’s very assuring to know, and it really means they care.

Now you too can take advantage of this technology which is now available in the Philippines. I’m a diabetic and have seen its benefits first-handedly. I get peace of mind and am assured that I can monitor my glucose levels in a more granular level with reliable and accurate data. With my lifestyle, I now know what’s happening in my body and that give me a peace of mind, it’s priceless!


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