Everything you need to know about glucose sensors
Anyone with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, can use a glucose sensor. But it’s most useful for any diabetic who has to inject themselves with insulin several times a day and therefore also has to measure their blood sugar levels frequently each day. If you ask these people what they think of having to prick their finger every day, the most common words you’ll hear are ‘painful’, ‘fiddly’ and ‘annoying’. A glucose meter means that none of this is necessary anymore!
Insulin pump combined with a glucose sensor
New technological developments have an important impact on the treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Insulin is administered via an insulin pump, glucose levels are measured using a body sensor, and there are a growing number of dynamic ways in which glucose sensors and insulin pumps work together.
It is a combination of the insulin pump and glucose sensor. The pump can predict a hypo: it stops supplying insulin when blood sugar levels are low. So an insulin pump that automatically stops administering insulin when required means fewer hypos.
How a glucose sensor works
The glucose sensor is secured using a tiny needle in the arm or belly. This allows it to continually read your glucose levels. When it comes to flash glucose monitoring (FGM), like the FreeStyle Libre, you use a sensor. You can see the glucose levels when you scan the sensor with a reader or a smartphone app. The FreeStyle Libre glucose sensor stores the values recorded over the last eight hours for you to then view in a graph on screen.
The sensor is water-resistant and remains in place on your skin for one to two weeks. If you want to feel like your glucose sensor is more secure, then Diacé’s sensor holders are ideal. The FreeStyle Libre sensor holders have an adjustable elastic band, which means anyone can use them. Perfect!
The advantages of a glucose sensor
When you measure your levels with a ‘normal’ blood glucose meter, as a diabetic you never get all the information. With a glucose sensor that’s not the case. You get all the essential information. Research carried out among diabetics has shown that the use of a glucose sensor considerably improves the quality of life of diabetes patients. More people were able to get their glucose levels under control and there was a decrease in the number of patients where their diabetes was preventing them from leaving the house.
Can I get my glucose sensor reimbursed?
Standard health insurance in Many European countries entitles people with diabetes on intensive insulin therapy to a reimbursement when they buy the FreeStyle Libre glucose sensor. There are a few conditions you need to fulfil, namely that you inject yourself with insulin at least four times a day, or you have an insulin pump. In addition, you also need to be measuring your blood glucose levels via a finger prick at least four times a day. To find out if you’re eligible for a glucose sensor, it’s best to discuss with your doctor.