FUDiabetes

Switching from Dexcom to Libre

After four years of self-funding the Dexcom, and being denied coverage for both Dexcom and Libre through my insurance, my insurance just revised their Libre coverage rules and at 3:30 AM this morning I woke up to find that I’d received coverage! :heart_eyes:

I’ve never used the Libre before. So I’m wondering if anyone else has made this transition from a full CGM to a Libre. I know it seems like a bit of a downgrade, but during the day I honestly don’t often need the alarms because I check so frequently (every 15-30 minutes typically). And during the night I usually sleep through any alarms. So I don’t think much would change. The fact that I will no longer have to stretch supplies to their limit or pay thousands of dollars a year on this stuff is a huge relief!

I’ll look into getting one of the unofficial sensor add-ons that can convert to a full CGM, at least to use overnight or other unusual times, such as when travelling.

I am really hoping I don’t have any tape or sensor reactions with the Libre. I tolerate Dexcom well, but I’ve read that people seem to react more to the Libre than the Dexcom.

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The Libre2 includes alarms, so may want to check into that. It is not FDA approved yet for US.

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I switched a while ago due to cost. Like you, I slept through the alarms at night and rarely used them during the day, so I don’t miss them. I had my Dexcom rigged to my smartwatch using xDrip, so I do miss just being able to glance, but other than that I think I prefer the Libre. It’s easier to insert, the sensor stays on better without any help, I like that it’s easier to wear on my arm and for whatever reason I find it more accurate most of the time. I often had drop outs, wonky readings or long periods of ??? with the Dexcom, but the Libre gives a reading every time unless there is a sensor problem, which is rare. I also find it’s better at catching spikes.

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I also use the libre 14 day and really like it ( I also use a cgm ) Have always gotten 14 days out of my sensors, have less irritation issues with adhesive than with cgm’s / meter sites. The system is covered as a pharmacy benifiet under my insurance so I just go pick up when ready. I really like small size of pdm, fits in my meter case as well as case I dought.


These are just flip phone cases that I use for pump and pdm.

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I haven’t heard any word about when the Libre2 may be in Canada. If it costs the same as the current Libre, then my insurance may cover it. My plan does not cover CGMs, so if Abbott increases the price since it’s a full CGM, I may be out of luck.

This is good. I’ve also heard that the Libre is better at responding to treated lows, versus the Dexcom which can make lows look more prolonged than they really are.

I believe we’ve always had the 14-day sensor here with one-hour warmup, versus the weird time periods you had in the US for a while. Do you switch back and forth between a Libre and a CGM?

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No I am actually wearing both.

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Congrats, that’s awesome!

I only used the Libre on it’s own for about 3 weeks before slapping the MiaoMiao on it so I won’t comment too much on my experience with it because I don’t have that much. I will say that I found that scanning the sensor can get quite addicting haha. I had good accuracy with the sensors but found that the trend arrows were often not agreeing with the information in the graph, not that big of a deal as of course the graph is the most useful piece. Also, I sometimes had trouble not exceeding the 8 hour window overnight (like if I was sleeping in on the weekend) and losing data, but a couple of hours lost now and then wasn’t a big deal to me either

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congratulations on your switch. i am happy to hear that you dont have to pay out of pocket anymore. that must be an enormous relief!!!

the Dexcom never worked for me. i tried it for 1 year, then gave up, then tried it again for a couple of months, but gave up. i rarely got accurate readings off of it. the alarms were going off all the time. i ended up doing more finger sticks because of the dexcom alarms than i would have done otherwise. no matter how many sites i tried to use on my body for insertion, nothing gave me any continuous accuracy.

then i sampled the LIBRE from my endo’s office (it had not yet been approved for commercial use). i loved it!!! it was Heaven for me. it was easy to put on, no discomfort whatsoever, and great accuracy. i liked it so much, i decided to pay OOP for another 'round at my endo’s office. they hooked me up and i was on my way. MAJOR PROBLEM: i didnt know that it is not (unlike the dexcom) water-proof.

as most of you know already, i spend a large part of my week in a swimming pool. well, on the 5th day of trying out this new LIBRE, it fell off in the pool. i called up the company for a replacement (i had laid out $300 for this one), and i was told that it is only water resistant, not waterproof. and, that you could only have it wet for approxamately 1/2 hour at a time. well, i was in the pool 90 minutes a day, so that definately would NOT work for me or my lifestyle.

i cant begin to tell you what a bummer that was for me. i really thought that i had discovered Nirvana :wink:. well, i have been doing finger sticks for over 30 years; it wasnt a big deal to return to them. they are very reliable and, unlike many others, doing them doesnt bother me, even if my fingertips get angry about it. (i do about 20 sticks a day; so i am kinda my own cgm :blush:)

but so much for me and my experience; i wish you all of the very best on your new journey. and just think about what you can treat yourself to now that the dexcom cost is out of your life :star_struck:

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Yes, absolutely I’ve found this to be true. Honestly I think the Libre is pretty well as valuable as the Dexcom with less cost and hassle. Plus, you can buy them at most pharmacies now instead of having to deal with online shipping.

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I’m using the Libre and like it a lot. I’m planning to get a CGM add-on so I can use it with a smartwatch, but I already have good deal of experience using it with NFC only.

Naturally, I started out with the reader from Abbott. There is also an official smartphone app called LibreLink, but I didn’t see much of an advantage to using it, apart from not having to carry a separate device. The app shows the same thing as the reader, but it does have the advantage of a bigger display which is easier to read. I have since gotten used to scanning with my phone, but at first I found it a little tricky to hit the right spot. The reader has much greater range - you pretty much just have to place it in the right general area and it will work.

The Libre isn’t supposed to require any calibration. I guess this means that it won’t change from day to day, but some drift over the course of two weeks is inevitable unless you get really lucky. For me, this meant that the reported value tended to get lower over time, particularly in the second week. It might show something like 3.2 when I was actually 4.5 according to a fingerstick. Initially, I would do a fingerstick right away whenever the Libre reported anything below 3.9, but I got used to it after a while. I ended up just mentally compensating by adding the difference to the reported number. This works well, but I still find it annoying to see long streaks of a red line that I knew wasn’t really there. Since the difference is small, you could just decide that the Libre value is the one to go by, especially if the meter you use isn’t too accurate anyway.

I wish the Libre would just let the user calibrate by choice like the Dexcom G6 does, but neither the reader nor the LibreLink app allows this. To get around this problem, I started using the third-party app Glimp on my Android phone. Since it’s a third-party app, it doesn’t have access to the secret Abbott algorithm that tries to compensate for the drift. This means that it will actually be less accurate than the reader when used by itself, but if you enter calibration values every now and then, it will use them for calibration.

I have since switched over to XDrip, partly because it can automatically get the values from my Contour Next One over Bluetooth. At first thought that XDrip required a Bluetooth add-on to work with the Libre, but it turns out that it can actually just scan the sensor directly with the phone NFC. You just have to select “LibreAlarm” as the data source. You might be satisfied with just the reader, but if you decide to use a CGM add-on intermittently, it could be nice to have all the data in the same place.

I have noticed the same difference that @glitzabetes mentions. The sensor itself stores the last 8 hours in 15-minute intervals. These are the values that are shown on the graph, which means that it will take a while for the graph to catch up. In addition to the 8-hours log, the sensor also stores the last 15 minutes with an interval of just one minute, which is what the trend arrow is based on. Third-party apps like XDrip will show you these detailed readings as well. I guess the simplified trend arrow view is a user-friendliness thing, but personally I much prefer to just eyeball the graph and figure it out for myself.

@daisymae, you might want to try some kind of holder for the sensor, similar to this one: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303191538528. Some people are actually making these themselves using a 3D printer. The sensor itself is seems essentially waterproof and I’ve never heard of one breaking because of water. Some people even use it for scuba diving. The problem is the tape and there are workarounds for that. For swimming, the Libre might actually be better than a Dexcom. I think @Kaelan mentioned using Dexcom for swimming and that he had to time the 5-minute transmission interval with getting out of the water. With the Libre, you can just scan it at any time.

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@daisymae, I’m so sorry to hear the Libre didn’t work out for you even though you loved it. I swim as well, though not as often as you. My understanding is that the Libre and Dexcom both have similar levels of waterproofness. I’ll likely buy some extra tape or a cover for the Libre since it’ll be on my arm, but I’ve never had any issues swimming with the Dexcom on my stomach. I’m hoping the Libre will be a similar experience.

Wow, thanks @kalle for this great write up about the Libre. It’s very clear and explains a lot!!

the dexcom is 100% waterproof. if you call their tech support, they will tell you the same. the biggest problem i had with the dex while swimming is that i was ALWAYS out of range, so it wasnt helpful to me at all.; it served absolutely no purpose. i was told by my endo (my idiot endo at the time) that the LIBRE was also waterproof and that i would have no problems swimming with it on. well my first trial run went smoothly without a hitch; it was during the second round with the LIBRE that it fell off in the pool. I called up their tech support team and was told that it was only water resistant for 20 minutes. i swim for 90-120 minutes a day, so this was not going to work for me.

i really hope that it works for you. if it had been truly waterproof, i would have totally switched from the dexcom to the LIBRE. i prefered it a million times better. it just suited my needs better than wearing the dex.

good luck and enjoy!!! :blush:

i guess because LIBRE tech support told me that it wasnt waterproof, i took it at their word. but, hearing this info, it might be worth another try. i dont know, though, if MEDICARE will pay for it. MEDICARE pays 100% for all DEXCOM supplies.

I will let you know how it goes. I talked to a friend of mine who is a swimmer and she’s had no problems with the Libre. People generally do advise using extra tape on it. Since it’s on the arm, it seems like in general it could be dislodged more easily.

Both Dexcom and Libre seem to advertise their products as water-resistant rather than waterproof. I couldn’t find specifics for the G4 and G5, though, which is what I’ve been swimming with. I think Dexcom, in general, has a much more liberal sensor replacement policy than Abbott does, at least from what I’ve heard.

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i would love to hear how it works for you. also, the bonus with the LIBRE is that you are never out of range, b/c you just test your BG by scanning it. but the other thing that i dont care for is all the extra taping and gluing and covering up you need to do just to wear a cgm. i like the freedom of being unattatched. my pump is a Medtronic, and it is tethered. i dont know why that has never bothered me, while all the taping does. i know it probably makes no sense; its just me. i dont want to be bothered by the extra work :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::rofl:

@daisymae My libre is covered by my medicade as a pharmacy benefit. I have not in 6 months hade to tape or anything with my libre. But i dont swim that long anymore.

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Medicaid and Medicare are different. i would have to find out about the coverage i might have for the LIBRE. i’ll contact my endo. everyone seems so gung-ho about it. i would LOVE to have a successful experience with a cgm. dexcom was a nightmare for me. a real disappointment.

Coverage wish they are from what i have seem the same. I cant remember the acronym right now but the approvall body is _______ medicare/medicade. I am on disability and if I make it to next year ( cancer is back ) they are going to try and move me to medicare.

I’ve been reading lots of information on this site, written by more experienced people, over the last half year and it has helped me more than I could imagine. It’s great to be able to give something back now that I’ve found a topic where I do have some real experience.

The tape seems to be the only real issue with using the Libre in water, so I think it would be worth a shot to try it again. Where is it coming off? For me it’s actually the sensor coming off the tape a little bit but the tape itself sticking to my skin like it’s nailed there. I hear this differs a lot from person to person, and some of the potential solutions are different.

I find that the exact placement on the arm makes a big difference. I know some people like to put it on the outside to make it easy to reach, but they tend to rip sensors off against door frames every now and then. I’ve always used it on the back of my upper arm, which is the officially approved position, but I’ve tried some adjustment within the area. Even a few centimeters can make a big difference because of the curvature of the skin in different situations. Sleeping position is one thing to look out for.

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