Abbott FreeStyle Libre Flash | A Painless Way to Test Blood Sugar Without Finger Prick

“The days of routine glucose testing with lancets, test strips and blood are over”—The tagline of FreeStyle Liber Flash.

FreeStyle Liber Flash, also known as Flash Glucose Monitor (FGM) is a way to measure blood sugar levels for both non-diabetic and diabetic people. But one thing that differentiates it from other glucose level monitors is that it checks sugar levels without finger pricks.

Abbott has designed the FreeStyle Libre, and it received FDA approval in 2017. Now, it is available in most countries, including India. In this article, we will explain all about the FreeStyle Liber system.


What is a FreeStyle Liber Flash?

What is a FreeStyle Liber Flash

FreeStyle Liber is a type of Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) known as Flash in short. It is a small sensor that gets attached underneath your skin, especially on the arm and wrist. Like other CGS, it also measures the glucose level in interstitial fluid (a fluid surrounding your body cells).

As it is attached to your body, it records the sugar level in your body throughout the day and night. Also, it doesn’t require a finger-prick even to calibrate the device, which makes it painless.

There are two types of FreeStyle Liber Flash from which one can choose:

  • FreeStyle Liber 14-day system: The original one had approval for adult people (18+). One should store it at 39-77 degrees F.
  • FreeStyle Libre 2 system: It had approval for both children (4+) and adults. One should store it at 36-82 degrees F.

Traditional blood glucose monitors require multiple finger pricks a day. It is a time-consuming, inconvenient, and invasive process. But FreeStyle Liber has solved all these problems.


How does a FreeStyle Liber Flash work?

How does a FreeStyle Liber Flash work

FreeStyle Liber has two components:

  • Sensor: A small, water-resistant sensor gets inserted into your skin. Unlike CGMs, FreeStyle Libre does not have heavy transmitters.
  • Sugar Level Reader: You can use the reader by just swiping the sensor. After swiping, you will get your sugar level reading. It also gives you trends that you can analyze and send to their doctor. It uses modern technology that provides real-time glucose readings with a pre-calibrated device. It works in only three steps:
    1. Apply: First of all, apply the sensor on the back of your arm.
    2. Scan: You can scan the sensor 1440 times a day to get the glucose readings.
    3. Readout: After scanning, read the sugar level on your reader.On reader, you can see current reading and 8 hours of sugar level trends with an arrow. 

Besides this, you can also set alarms whenever your sugar level gets too high. However, make sure to activate and set the alarm feature. Also, you have to change a FreeStyle Liber after 14 days for accurate results.


Pros and Cons of FreeStyle Liber Flash

Nothing is perfect! After reading the above-given info, you will probably think FreeStyle Liber is flawless. True, it has many benefits, but it comes with cons too. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of FreeStyle Liber Flash.

S.No. Pros Cons
1.     It is painless and does not require finger pricks. Original FreeStyle Liber does not have an alarm feature.
2.     It is sensor-based technology so, it does not require any blood sample. Sometimes, sensors can irritate people, and it is also uncomfortable for some people.
3.     You can measure real-time blood sugar levels by just scanning the censor throughout day and night. Not-so-educated people can get confused with an overflow of data on their readers.
4.     It also provides your blood sugar level trends with an arrow showing where your sugar level is heading. Frequently checking sugar levels can cause stress and tension, even if it gets slightly high, especially to sensitive people.
5.     A time-saving and convenient process to check glucose levels.
6.     The sensor is water-resistant, so you can wear it while swimming, showering, or exercising.


Availability and Cost of FreeStyle Liber Flash

FreeStyle Liber Flash is available in medical stores and online shopping websites such as Amazon. However, it would be best if you had a prescription before buying it.

In India, the prices of FreeStyle Liber ranges from Rs. 5,000-Rs. 15,000. Some expensive ones have test strips known as Precision Neo test strips for finger-prick if required.


What is the Difference between Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) and FreeStyle Libre Flash (FGM)?

FreeStyle Libre Flash is a Continuous Glucose Monitor; however, it is different from it. You can place CGM anywhere on your belly or arm, whereas you should only place Libre on your arm. Putting it somewhere else will make the sensor not function correctly.

CGM checks glucose levels continuously, but in FreeStyle Libre, you can check 1440 times a day. Besides this, Libre is more accurate than other CGMs.

While CGMs have a bulky transmitter, FreeStyle Libre Flash does not require one. Hence, it is more movable and convenient.


Who Should Not Use FreeStyle Libre Flash?

With so many benefits, it is disappointing that some people should not use FreeStyle Libre. Let’s have a look at who should not use a FreeStyle Libre.

  • Although it is safe for children but one less 18 years old should not use it.
  • Pregnant women, people with dialysis or critical illness
  • If you are dehydrated, hypotensive, or in shock, then also you should not use FGM.
  • While going for a CT scan, MRI, or any other scan, we suggest removing the FreeStyle Libre from your arm.
  • People with low sugar level problems, i.e., hypoglycaemic, should note that it does not alert you automatically when you have low sugar. It will tell you only when you scan it.

Keeping some negative points aside, FreeStyle Libre is one of the best ways to check sugar levels without finger pricks. So, let’s say goodbye to the painful finger prick system! And try FreeStyle Libre Flash—the modern way to monitor sugar levels.

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