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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Diabetes Glucose Monitors

What’s so special about Glucose Monitors?

INTRODUCTION

Two things are special; The first is the quality information about the impact of foods to lower blood sugar, and the second is providing personal diabetes research for your general treatment of diabetes.


The descriptions provided are based on personal experience. They are not intended, nor are they based upon professional medical advice.


Good day, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever you are. My name is Wayne Drury from Damndiabetes.ca; we want to help you on your journey to a better quality of life, living with diabetes.


I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes just over one year ago. It was a surprise as no one in our family had previously had diabetes, ruling out any genetic connection. I was one of the approximately 20% of the population that did not know I had Type 2 diabetes. Learning, I began on a path of diabetes research to focus my new journey to a better quality of life living with diabetes.


THE BEGINNING

In the beginning, I quickly learned to hold no illusions about what help would look like.

Even though my doctor pointed me in the direction of a diabetes clinic, with COVID and too many clients, I found that any new knowledge would have to come from my diabetes research.


I struggled with my frustrations, knowing at least that I had to get rid of the carbohydrates from my diet as my first treatment for diabetes.


I turned into what my wife suggested was a “rabbit.” Salads became my snack, my appetizer and my entre. It was sometimes very frustrating as I had no one to ask about how to go about discovering foods to lower my blood sugar, and going to a restaurant was out of the question.


Frustration was the seed for my desire to carry out my diabetes research, and the start was looking for a blood sugar monitor that would give me the information I needed.


I was not satisfied with having to prick my finger up to 12 times daily to collect my diabetes research.


THE FINGER PRICK METHOD

Most are probably aware of the finger prick method, the standard for blood sugar monitors. Prick the finger and put a drop of blood on the test strip. The apparatus does its job, and within a few seconds, one has the blood sugar level.


The upside is, the level of accuracy cannot be beaten for home testing. The downside is one cannot get continuous readings which I argue are required for carrying out any home-grown diabetes research, most importantly when investigating what food one can or cannot eat.


THE FREESTYLE LIBRE 2 SENSOR

The wonders of technology. The FreeStyle Libre 2 blood sugar monitor and sensor is now available in Canada. One does not need to purchase the monitor as an App is available for both Apple and Android phones.


The sensor is placed on the upper arm and is left in place for two weeks taking continuous readings every minute. The collected information is stored on your telephone, which then can be downloaded into a free program on a computer for sharing with your doctor.


There is no limit to the number of tests that can be taken, which are done by passing the telephone over the sensor. Immediately, the blood sugar level shows up on your phone screen. Fast, efficient, and painless


The big advantage is, with the basic diabetes research into what foods to eat, the FreeStyle Libre 2 can be used for taking a test immediately before eating and then any time afterwards, with the sensor doing its work to test each minute.


The downside is the sensor accuracy which is +/- 15%. The +/- 15% can create a challenge when looking at how to lower blood sugar when you experience a high or low reading.


To address the problems, the company has been very helpful, and by design or by luck, the readings have now been quite accurate. The company recommended that I periodically check the sensor readings compared to a finger prick test, which I did for a couple of months with acceptable results. No matter what the intended use of the reading information is, any high or low reading should be tested against the finger prick method.


HOW TO INSTALL THE SENSOR

I have already provided information to many people on how to install the sensor on your arm. You are not alone, and proper installation can make all the difference in receiving accurate results.


The sensor comes in a box with the sensor, applicator and cleaning alcohol pads.


Steps for Installation

1. Decide if you want the sensor on your upper left or right arm. For right-handed people, the left upper arm probably works better; the opposite could be true for left-handed people. The installation location should be in the “meaty” part of the upper arm, on the back half of the arm.


2. The first time out, download the FreeStyle Libre 2 App from your App Store. Make sure you download the correct app. There is a Lifestyle Libre (older model) and the LifeStyle Libre 2 App (newer model). After installing the sensor, follow the app instructions for setting up an account, etc., all towards your objective of finding better ways to treat diabetes.


3. Clean the installation area with the alcohol pads and let it dry.


4. Unbox the sensor and attach it to the applicator. Ensure that the units are married correctly with the black line on the applicator and the raised line on the sensor package aligned. Click the applicator onto the sensor package.


5. Place the sensor on your skin at the appropriate spot for the installation. Give the applicator a quick and forceful press – do not do it slowly. The underside of the sensor includes a very fine wire which must penetrate your skin. Many people try to “baby” the sensor into position, which increases the risk of an improper installation.



You may experience a slight sting, but the discomfort should only last a few seconds. Here is a good video on applying the sensor: CLICK HERE.


6. Pass your phone with the app opened to start the sensor. It takes one hour before the sensor can be used.


7. After one hour, start scanning to your heart’s content. There is no limit to the number of scans that can be done. I usually scan 12 – 14 times daily with the information stored on my telephone until I download it to my computer.


8. Every couple of days, or if I have a whacky reading, I will use the finger prick to confirm the sensor accuracy; what I have found is with a good sensor installation, the results are excellent. They are sufficient for me to learn the impact of food on my diabetes and to determine how to lower my blood sugar by modifying my diabetes diet.


The LifeStyle Libre 2 sensor raises the bar for conducting my diabetes research. It gives me all I need to learn about my diabetes treatment, and most importantly, if I go off my diabetes diet, I can immediately see the impact of foods to lower blood sugar.


Please note: There are other models of sensors available in the market. I am not recommending one over the other. I use the FreeStyle Libre 2 as an example, as it is the one I use. The cost is $97 per sensor, lasting for two weeks - each must decide what sensor they wish to use.


SUMMARY

The LifeStyle Libre 2 provides significant glucose reading advantages over the traditional finger prick method. It is, however, more expensive, costing about $200 per month – check to see if your health insurance will cover the cost. Also, sometimes the readings can be whacky, which should be checked against the more accurate finger prick method.


Ensure the sensor is installed correctly – do not baby the installation, as the thin wire has to penetrate your skin to work correctly.


Don’t forget to download your data onto your computer – I do this weekly. Download the Libreview computer program by Clicking Here


Visit our website by Clicking Here and signup so you do not miss anything that may help you. Also, see our Facebook Page and our developing YouTube Channel. You can also find us at Academia.au and Substack.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by email. We will be happy to help.


Best wishes from DamnDiabetes.ca


Vancouver, Canada

Email: wayne@damndiabetes.ca


Wayne Drury was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes about one year ago.

He was frustrated with the lack of usable information on the treatment of diabetes

and how to lower blood sugar effectively. His passion now is helping others

on a path to a better quality of life living with diabetes.



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