Here are the results of my 14 day review of the LibreView Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor device.
Firstly, I don’t have diabetes but my A1C (glycated hemoglobin) is higher than I’d like it to be. Usually in the 5.7 range. In Canada, pre-diabetes is in the range of 6.0 – 6.5 AIC. A reading over 6.5 A1C is considered Diabetes.
What is it?
The LibreView is a wireless blood glucose sensor that you apply on your body. It measures your blood glucose levels continuously without the need to poke yourself with a needle
Ease of Use – Application
The sensor took a minute to apply on the inside of inner upper arm – just over the triceps. It doesn’t hurt – though you think it would by looking at it. You need to have some else apply it on your arm.
The sensor comes with a reader device which is a bit clunky looking. What’s great about the LibreView is that you can use an app on your iPhone that was really easy to pair with the sensor. You just need to wait 60 minutes after the sensor is applied for the first reading
So to get a blood glucose (BG) reading you need to bring the iPhone a few cm away from the sensor. It will then give you a reading of your BG and download the new results of the previous 8 hours into your phone. The app is pretty easy to use and the graphs of the BG readings are helpful to understand how the BG changes.
I was a bit worried that the sensor would be affected by weight training/exercise. There was no issue – just needed to make sure not to bang it on something as I have heard from others it could come off.
Carbs make a difference but what you eat with the Carbs is also critical
There was a clear difference in how high and fast my glucose went up if I had white rice, bread or sugary foods. But it was useful to see that if the carbs were mixed with a heavy load of protein – then the sugar rise was muted. In my case, nuts didn’t cause much of a sugar rise, nor did a few pieces of 90% Lindt chocolate.
How late you eat matters
Eating a late meal did result in a delay in the time it look to hit my low for the night. Even when I finished eating at 8 – 9 pm, it still took till 2 am before I got to a BG of 4 or so.
Multiple small meals works but so does not eating
The advice to get multiple small meals rather than large meals seems to be borne out by results. small healthy meals kept the BG was rising much about 5.5. But a larger meal did cause the BG to stay higher for longer. My best BG occurred when I didn’t eat much for a longer period of time. My thought is it is probably best to avoid snacking to keep the BG low between meals.
On a few occasions I noted that my BG went higher during exercise. It may have been that it was related to my use of preworkout drinks. But those drinks don’t have much sugar. I wonder if exercise initially causes a risk in BG by causing the release of glycogen from muscle tissues.
Behaviour changes do happen
You might be wondering – this information is interesting but does it result in health benefits. Over the 2 weeks, I found myself checking my sugars regularly and avoiding unhealthy foods. I think the awareness of how food impacts one’s sugars naturally leads to healthy behaviours as long as one has some realistic and healthy targets in mind.
If you have Type 2 Diabetes – using the LibreView Glucometer Device is well worth using as it saves you getting poked and it provides way more useful information than then taking just 4 readings a day with a typical glycometer.
If you have pre-diabetes or just want to prevent it from coming – it’s worth doing a 2 week trial to learn how foods affect your blood sugar. You can also couple this with the DayTwo microbiome test to see how your gut microbiome determines which foods are best to keep your sugars down.
The 2 week sensor costs about $80 and the reader is free if you use your smartphone.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or share your experience.
Dr. Sanjeev Goel – email@example.com